Elaine D. Pulakos, Rose A. Mueller-Hanson, and Johnathan K. Nelson
In this chapter, we examine issues relevant to incorporating trainability and adaptive performance into selection research. We adopt the definition of adaptive performance suggested by Pulakos et al. (2000) that specified eight dimensions defining this construct. One of these dimensions, leaning new tasks, technology, and procedures, was used to define trainability. We then examine recent models of adaptive performance and training to identify likely predictors of adaptability and trainability and propose a method for determining when and where these criteria should be included and explicitly predicted in selection research. We examine the pros and cons associated with different criterion measures and recommend that typical rating measures potentially supplemented by lower-fidelity work sample measures be incorporated in selection research. Finally, we discuss gaps in the current literature and recommend areas for future research.
Stephen W. Gilliland and Dirk D. Steiner
Applicant reactions to selection and assessment have developed into a theoretically grounded and productive body of research over the past 20 years. Organizational justice theories provide a valuable foundation for much of this research, but important models have also been developed from test motivation and social psychological perspectives. Research indicates that applicant reactions are strongly related to prehire attitudes and applicant self-perceptions, but not related to most behaviors. Research has also demonstrated substantial consistency in applicant reactions across gender, race, and cultures. Generally, applicants react most favorably toward work sample tests and interviews, negatively toward graphology and honesty tests, and moderately toward cognitive ability tests, biodata, and personality inventories. We conclude by highlighting a number of areas for future research, suggesting that with broader perspectives applicant reactions research can continue to be as productive as it has been in the past.
Todd A. Baker and Deborah L. Gebhardt
The world of work has many arduous jobs that require the worker to possess greater levels of physical ability than found in the normal population. This chapter provides an overview of the underlying physiological principles associated with physical performance and methods to assess arduous jobs in the workplace. It includes an overview of test development and validation of physical tests and litigation related to their use in job selection and retention. The benefits of physical testing and the methods for reducing adverse impact are highlighted.
Assessment of Voluntary Turnover in Organizations: Answering the Questions of Why, Who, and How Much
Sang Eun Woo and Carl P. Maertz
This chapter reviews recent research related to the assessment of three questions: why people quit, who is more or less likely to quit, and how much do instances of quitting cost the organization. Assessments of the “why” and the “who” questions together inform the assessment of turnover functionality (i.e., the “how much” question). Furthermore, the “why” assessment indicates which specific interventions are most likely to succeed with employees in the organization, and the “who” assessment helps determine for which employees the interventions should be implemented. Therefore, answers to these three interrelated questions ultimately converge as the critical inputs for practitioners who seek to determine whether organizations should (and are able) to intervene effectively to influence specific turnover instances. Following discussions of the complexity involved in these assessments, a person-centered, clustering approach was recommended as an effective strategy of accounting for the uniqueness of turnover incidents and prevention strategies.
Michael D. Mumford, Jamie D. Barrett, and Kimberly S. Hester
Background data, or biodata, measures are widely applied in personnel selection. In the present effort, it is argued that background data measures reflect the recall of differential experiential, or case-based, knowledge. The techniques for developing and scaling background data measures are described and evidence bearing on the reliability and validity of these measures is discussed. Critical contingencies bearing on the application of these measures in personnel selection are described. Potential directions for future research are examined along with issues bearing on the application of background data measures in personnel selection.
Simon L. Albrecht
This chapter addresses the issue of the creation and maintenance of a climate for employee engagement in organizations. Employee engagement has been receiving increased attention in the past 5 to 10 years and is increasingly recognized as a crucial source of competitive advantage. This chapter offers a definition of “a climate for engagement,” locates climate for engagement in a taxonomy of “climates for something,” offers items by which to measure a climate for engagement, and offers an integrated model showing how climate for engagement mediates the influence of antecedents (e.g., organizational leadership, culture, human resource management systems, organizational climate) on psychological-motivational factors (e.g., need satisfaction, engagement) and downstream attitudes, behaviors and organizational level effectiveness outcomes.
Deniz S. Ones, Stephan Dilchert, and Chockalingam Viswesvaran
This chapter describes measures of cognitive ability (general mental ability and specific abilities) and examines their usefulness for personnel selection. An overview of definitional and theoretical issues as they apply to use of such measures in personnel decision making is provided first. Then, issues of reliability of measures are discussed, again with particular emphasis on implications for personnel selection (e.g., impact on rank order of candidates when using different measures). Next, validities of cognitive ability tests are summarized for the following criteria: overall job performance, task performance, contextual performance, counterproductive work behaviors, leadership, creativity and innovation, voluntary turnover, job satisfaction, and career success. The authors address the nature of predictor-criterion relationships (e.g., usefulness of general versus specific abilities, criterion dynamicity, assumption of linearity) by discussing both recent large-scale evidence in normal samples and among the highly gifted. Finally, the extent to which cognitive ability is captured in tools other than standardized tests is summarized, enabling an evaluation of other selection assessments as substitutes and/or supplements to standardized cognitive ability tests.
Paul R. Sackett, Dan J. Putka, and Rodney A. McCloy
In this chapter we first set the stage by focusing on the concept of validity, documenting key changes over time in how the term is used and examining the specific ways in which the concept is instantiated in the domain of personnel selection. We then move from conceptual to operational and discuss issues in the use of various strategies to establish what we term the predictive inference, namely, that scores on the predictor measure of interest can be used to draw inferences about an individual's future job behavior or other criterion of interest. Finally, we address a number of specialized issues aimed at illustrating some of the complexities and nuances of validation.
Talya N. Bauer, Donald M. Truxillo, Layla R. Mansfield, and Berrin Erdogan
The contingent workforce has become an integral part of the workplace, yet literature on the selection of the temporary or contingent workforce is relatively limited. This chapter describes who contingent workers are, the reasons why an organization may choose contingent (also known as temporary) workers, and how the selection process for these workers may differ from the process of hiring a long-term employee. Selection challenges associated with the contingent workforce and the key individual differences that may determine if a temporary worker is successful are examined. Finally, future research questions and topics to further the conversation on selection of contingent workers are offered.
James A. Breaugh
Because the way an organization recruits can influence the type of employees it hires, how they perform, and their retention rate, the topic of employee recruitment has attracted considerable attention. In this chapter, I provide a selective review of research that has addressed topics such as recruitment targeting, recruitment methods, the timing of recruitment actions, the wording of the recruitment message, recruiters, the organizational site visit, and the job offer. These and other topics are discussed in terms of their potential impact on both prehire (e.g., the quality of job applicants) and posthire (e.g., new employee retention) outcomes. In addition, I have highlighted future directions for research.
Employee Value: Combining Utility Analysis with Strategic Human Resource Management Research to Yield Strong Theory
Michael C. Sturman
The idea that an organization's employees have value has been both an implicit or explicit component of human resource management research throughout its history. Some attempts have been made to quantify this value; other research has simply assumed that human capital is a valuable resource without further detail as to this concept. This chapter reviews work related to employee value. In particular, it reviews work on both utility analysis and Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM), two areas that have relied most heavily and directly on the idea of employee value to make their predictions. Although research on utility analysis has diminished notably in the past decade, I argue that recent research efforts have been misplaced. By directly considering the idea of employee value and its relevance to SHRM research, utility analysis offers an opportunity to develop strong theory in SHRM and improve the precision of research in this area.
Nancy T. Tippins
Careful implementation of a test or assessment procedure that is used for selection is critical to its success and sustainability. Poor implementation can threaten the validity of a carefully developed test and weaken its value to the staffing process. This chapter considers three broad categories of implementation issues: administration, scoring, and the use of test results, and discusses the interactions among implementation decisions, decisions about choices of tests, organizational goals for selection procedures, and staffing environments.
Kevin R. Murphy
Individual differences in cognitive and physical abilities, personality, interests, and core self-concepts are all relevant for understanding behavior in organizations. Cognitive abilities are hierarchically organized, which implies that general cognitive ability predicts performance on most tasks that involves active information processing. Physical abilities show a less well-defined structure; these abilities tend to be relevant to more narrowly defined tasks. Personality traits (especially the Big-Five—Neuroticism, Extroversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness) are most relevant to understanding interpersonal interactions. They are related to job performance, but this relationship is surprisingly weak. Interests are related to vocational choice, motivation, and satisfaction. Individual differences in core self-evaluations predict a willingness to take the initiative, to persevere, and to attempt to achieve challenging goals.
S. Morton McPhail and P. Richard Jeanneret
We concentrate on six major themes that organize both the scientific and practical knowledge regarding individual psychological assessment. After providing a definition and associated contextual background, we discuss the various organizational purposes for which individual assessments can be used, followed by a description of how assessments should be designed to satisfy those purposes. A fourth theme is devoted to the “nuts and bolts” of developing and implementing an assessment process, followed by a discussion of assessment data integration and presenting it to both the assessee and the organizational representatives who will rely upon the information. After reviewing several “special issues,” our concluding comments describe the state of the science and art, and our outlooks and recommendations for the future of individual psychological assessment.
Job Analysis for Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics, Predictor Measures, and Performance Outcomes
Michael T. Brannick, Adrienne Cadle, and Edward L. Levine
Job analysis is the process of discovering the nature of a job. It typically results in an understanding of the work content, such as tasks and duties, understanding what people need to accomplish the job (the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics), and some formal product such as a job description or a test blueprint. Because it forms the foundation of test and criterion development, job analysis is important for personnel selection. The chapter is divided into four main sections. The first section defines terms and addresses issues that commonly arise in job analysis. The second section describes common work-oriented methods of job analysis. The third section presents a taxonomy of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics along with worker-oriented methods of job analysis. The fourth section describes test validation strategies including conventional test validation, synthetic validation, and judgment-based methods (content validation and setting minimum qualifications), emphasizing the role of job analysis in each. The last section is a chapter summary.
This chapter examines critical Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) case law precedents relating to personnel selection, with an emphasis on hiring, promotion, and termination. Several major laws are discussed, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (CRA-91), and Executive Order 11246 on Affirmative action. Six main topics are covered, including (1) disparate treatment theory, (2) Title VII adverse impact theory related to standardized tests, (3) selection issues associated with age discrimination, (4) diversity as a compelling government interest, (5) selection issues associated with disability discrimination, and (6) retaliation. The case law surveyed focuses on costly mistakes employers can make. Recommendations are made to prevent these mistakes from occurring, and to correct them if they occur.
Jerard Kehoe, Steven Brown, and Calvin C. Hoffman
This chapter describes strategies and mechanisms for managing selection programs that will enable the programs to successfully adapt to changing conditions. The types of changes and their causes and consequences that most impact the success of selection programs are described. The chapter offers guidance about the evaluation and analysis necessary to manage factors that affect the sustainability of successful selection programs. These considerations extend beyond the domain of personnel selection research and describe the importance of organizational considerations and the influence of stakeholders in supporting successful selection programs.
George C. Banks and Michael A. McDaniel
The chapter discusses the role of meta-analysis in enhancing the understanding of employment test validity. We discuss the state of validity knowledge prior to the introduction of meta-analysis and summarize the gains in knowledge following the introduction of meta-analysis. We review the standards of systematic literature reviews, data typically reported in a meta-analysis of a personnel selection test, and how meta-analytic findings are interpreted. Furthermore, we consider the differences between the meta-analysis of selection tests that evaluate specific constructs and those that assess selection test methods that measure multiple constructs. We discuss issues to consider when evaluating the degree to which meta-analytic reviews of validity data have credibility and how to make decisions regarding the appropriateness of the application of a selection test. Finally, we discuss the need to improve reporting practices in meta-analytic reviews as well as the inconsistencies of the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures with scientific knowledge concerning meta-analysis and validity.
Maximiliane E. Szinovacz
The aim of this chapter is to show the complexity of retirement processes through a multilevel, contextual approach. First, a conceptual framework for studying retirement as a multilevel phenomenon is presented. The model distinguishes among macro- (e.g., retirement as institution), meso- (organizational retirement policies and cultures), and micro-level (individual retirement) conceptualizations of retirement as well as among macro- (e.g., culture, population structures, labor markets, economy), meso- (e.g., local and regional infrastructures, labor markets, and economies), and micro-level (e.g., families, social networks) structures that impinge on retirement processes. This is followed by a discussion of retirement at each level, its linkages to structural contexts, and the interrelationships among contexts. The chapter concludes with recommendations for future research.
Robert E. Ployhart
The paradox of sustained competitive advantage suggests that individual knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics may be related to individual job performance, but fail to contribute to a firm's sustained competitive advantage. Much of the cause of this paradox can be attributed to a lack of theory and research linking microtraditions and macrotraditions. This chapter considers the nature of this paradox, identifying how and why it exists, and presents a multilevel model of personnel selection as one means for reconciling it. Empirical research relating to the model is presented, and the implications of this model for future research and practice are discussed.