Personnel Selection
eBook - ePub

Personnel Selection

Adding Value Through People - A Changing Picture

Mark Cook

  1. English
  2. ePUB (adapté aux mobiles)
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eBook - ePub

Personnel Selection

Adding Value Through People - A Changing Picture

Mark Cook

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À propos de ce livre

This is a fully updated edition of Personnel Selection, a seminal text on the psychometric approach to personnel selection by a noted expert in the field.

  • Focuses on cutting-edge topics including the influence of social networking sites, adverse impact, age differences and stereotypes, distribution of work performance, and the problems of selecting new employees using research based on incumbent employees
  • Questions established beliefs in the field, especially issues that have been characterized as "not a problem, " such as differential validity, over-reliance on self-report, and "faking good"
  • Contains expanded discussion of research and practice in the US and internationally, while maintaining the definitive coverage of UK and European selection approaches
  • Provides comprehensive yet accessible information for professionals and students, as well as helpful pedagogical tools (technical and statistical boxes, simplified figures and tables, research agenda boxes, key point summaries, and key references)

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Old and new selection methods
We’ve always done it this way


Clark Hull is better known, to psychologists at least, as an animal learning theorist, but very early in his career he wrote a book on aptitude testing (Hull, 1928), and described ratios of output of best to worst performers in a variety of occupations. Hull was the first psychologist to ask how much workers differ in productivity, and he discovered the principle that should be written in letters of fire on every HR manager’s office wall: the best is twice as good as the worst.
Human resource managers sometimes find they have difficulty convincing colleagues that HR departments also make a major contribution to the organization’s success. Because HR departments are neither making things, nor selling things, some colleagues think they do not add any value to the organization. This represents a very narrow approach to how organizations work, which overlooks the fact that an organization’s most important asset is its staff. Psychologists have devised techniques for showing how finding and keeping the right staff adds value to the organization. Rational Estimate technique (described in detail in Chapter 14) estimates how much workers doing the same job vary in the value of their contribution. One ‘rule of thumb’ this research generated states that The value of a good employee minus the value of a poor employee is roughly equal to the salary paid for the job. If the salary for the job in question is £50,000, then a good employee, in the top 15%, is worth £50,000 more each year than one in the bottom 15%. Differences in value of the order of £50,000 per employee mount up across an organization. Hunter and Hunter (1984) generated a couple of examples, for the public sector in the USA.
  • A small employer, the Philadelphia police force (5,000 employees), could save $18 million a year by using psychological tests to select the best.
  • A large employer, the US Federal Government (4 million employees), could save $16 billion a year. Or, to reverse the perspective, the US Federal Government was losing $16 billion a year, at 1980s prices, by not using tests.
Some critics see a flaw in such calculations. Every company in the country cannot employ the best, for example, computer programmers; someone has to employ the rest. Good selection cannot increase national productivity, only the productivity of employers that use good selection methods to grab more than their fair share of talent. At present, employers are – largely – free to do precisely that. The rest of this book explains how.


Traditional methods

Figure 1.1 summarizes the successive stages of recruiting and selecting an academic for a British university. The advertisement attracts applicants, who complete and return an application form. Some applicants’ references are taken up; the rest are excluded from further consideration. Applicants (As) with satisfactory references are shortlisted, and invited for interview, after which the post is filled. The employer tries to attract as many As as possible, then pass them through a series of filters, until the number of surviving As equals the number of vacancies.
Decision diagram presenting successive stages in selecting academic staff in a British university (top to bottom): advertisement, applicants, references, interview, and selection.
Figure 1.1 Successive stages in selecting academic staff in a British university.

Recruitment sources

There are many ways employers can try to attract applicants: advertisements, agencies – public or private, word of mouth, ‘walk-ins’ (people who come in and ask if there are any vacancies), job fairs, and the Internet. Employers should analyse recruiting sources carefully to determine which find good employees who stay with them. Employers also need to check whether their recruitment methods are finding a representative applicant pool, in terms of gender, ethnicity, and disability. Newman and Lyon (2009) investigate targeted recruiting, through the wording of advertisements for job. They suggest that saying the organization is ‘results oriented’ will tend to attract more As high in conscientiousness, and saying the organization is ‘innovative’ will attract more As high in mental ability. Later chapters will describe research showing As high in conscientiousness and mental ability tend to make better employees. Newman and Lyon suggest the right advertisement can attract such applicants, both overall and from minorities, so meeting the twin aims of many employers: good employees and a representative workforce.

Realistic job previews

Any organization can paint a rosy picture of what is really a boring and unpleasant job be...

Table des matiĂšres

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Preface to the sixth edition
  5. Preface to the first edition
  6. CHAPTER 1: Old and new selection methods
  7. CHAPTER 2: Validity of selection methods
  8. CHAPTER 3: Job description, work analysis and competences
  9. CHAPTER 4: The interview
  10. CHAPTER 5: References and ratings
  11. CHAPTER 6: Tests of mental ability
  12. CHAPTER 7: Assessing personality by questionnaire
  13. CHAPTER 8: Alternative ways of assessing personality
  14. CHAPTER 9: Biodata and weighted application blanks
  15. CHAPTER 10: Assessment centres
  16. CHAPTER 11: Emotional intelligence and other methods
  17. CHAPTER 12: Criteria of work performance
  18. CHAPTER 13: Minorities, fairness and the law
  19. CHAPTER 14: The value of good employees
  20. CHAPTER 15: Conclusions
  21. References
  22. Index
  23. End User License Agreement