Employee Selection: Candidate Pre-Screening and Testing

Topics: Psychometrics, Criterion validity, Validity Pages: 14 (4056 words) Published: April 7, 2011
Employee Selection: Part 1 – Candidate Pre-screening and Testing What we know, best practices, and future trends. Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D. Executive Vice-President, Navient Corporation

Overview – Employee selection is the logical beginning of Employee Relationship Management (ERM). The initial experience of the candidate during the selection process is likely to have a major impact on their view of the organization’s culture, their perception of the value being placed on talent, and their perception of the sophistication of the organization’s business processes. The definition of job specifications necessary for the evaluation and selection of candidates is a critical foundation for other phases of the ERM cycle. Job specifications provide the initial direction for employees during the on-boarding process (e.g., what are the primary responsibilities and expectations concerning job performance) and are the framework for beginning performance management discussions. Selection system performance in competency areas defined in the job specifications helps to establish developmental goals for the employee and provides a framework for ongoing competency assessments. Building a high performance workforce certainly starts with selection. Retention rates, individual productivity, and business competitiveness all begin with doing a superior job of matching individuals to jobs. This white paper provides an overview of what is known about common employee selection procedures, what are considered best practices, and describes future trends that are impacting how employees are selected. It is divided into two parts. Part 1 deals with the early phases of employee selection and focuses on prescreening and testing components. Part 2 deals with latter phases of employee selection and focuses on the employment interview and simulations. What do we know about candidate pre-screening? – Candidate pre-screening refers to the initial evaluation of candidate qualifications at time of application. The purpose is to reduce a potentially large candidate pool to a more manageable number that can be progressed to more rigorous assessment phases. In today’s job market with jobs relatively scarce and large numbers of available candidates, it is highly likely that employers will be inundated with applications that make efficient pre-screening even more critical. Criteria for Effective Screening Tools

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Efficiency – With large candidate pools, it is very important that application information can be evaluated quickly. This criterion makes manual reviews problematic and argues for automated solutions. Validity – It makes little sense to collect information that is not relevant to job requirements. Validity has to do with the accuracy of predicting potential job performance based on the information collected. This criterion argues strongly for a clear definition of job requirements and a logical relationship between information collected and the defined job requirements. Legal Defensibility – One has to be careful to not collect information that is illegal. For example, it is unlawful to ask for date of birth or age but it would be lawful to ask if the candidate is 18 years old or older. This criterion argues for a careful legal review of planned application questions. Length – Even in times where there are a large number of candidates chasing relatively few jobs, there is a limit to the patience of candidates completing an application process. It is important to balance the need for relevant information and the length of time needed provide the information. This criterion argues for relatively short information blanks. Fairness – It is always important to consider whether a selection step results in differential progression rates among protected classes. This criterion argues for evaluating the progression rates of protected class members during...
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