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Chapter 6: Employee Testing and Selection

1. Why is it important to select the right employees for a position? (easy)

Answer: First, a manager’s own performance depends in part on his or her subordinates. Second, it is costly to recruit, hire, and train employees. Third, there are legal implications to incompetent hiring. EEO laws and court decisions require nondiscriminatory selection procedures for protected groups. Courts will find employees liable when employees with criminal records or other problems take advantage of access to customers’ property to commit crimes. Hiring workers with such backgrounds without proper safeguards is called negligent hiring.

2. How can employers protect themselves against claims of negligent hiring? (moderate)

Answer: Employers can take the following steps to protect themselves against claims of negligent hiring. • Carefully scrutinize all information supplied by the applicant on the employment application. • Get the applicant’s written authorization for reference checks and check those references carefully. • Save all records and information you obtain about the applicant. • Reject applicants who make false statements of material facts or who have conviction records for offenses directly related and important to the job in question. • Keep in mind the need to balance the applicant’s privacy rights with others’ “need to know” when damaging information is discovered. • Take immediate disciplinary action if problems develop.

3. Describe the two main ways to demonstrate a test’s validity in employment testing. What third method is rarely used? (moderate)

Answer: The three ways to demonstrate a test’s validity are criterion validity, content validity, and construct validity. Criterion validity means demonstrating that those who do well on the test also do well on the job and those that do poorly on the test do poorly on the job. Employers can demonstrate content validity of a test by showing that the test constitutes a fair sample of the content of the job. If the content on the test is representative of what the person needs to know for the job, then the test is probably content valid. Construct validity is not used as often.

4. Explain the five steps in the validation process. (moderate)

Answer: The five steps are to analyze the job, choose tests, administer tests, relate the test scores and the criteria, and cross-validate and revalidate. The first step is to analyze the job and write job descriptions and job specifications. Next, the tests that measure the attributes important for job success are chosen. Then, the tests are administered. The next step is to determine if there is a significant relationship between scores and performance. Before putting the test into use, the test should be checked by cross-validating and/ or revalidating.

5. Several guidelines exist for managing a testing program. List these guidelines. (moderate)

Answer: The guidelines for testing programs are as follows. 1) Use tests as supplements
2) Validate the tests
3) Monitor the testing and selection program 4) Keep accurate records
5) Use a certified psychologist
6) Manage test conditions
7) Revalidate periodically

6. Industrial psychologists often emphasize the “big five” personality dimensions in personnel testing. List and explain the meaning of the big five dimensions. What do the dimensions tell us about applicants as it relates to job success? (moderate)

Answer: The “big five” personality dimensions are neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. Neuroticism refers to a tendency to exhibit poor emotional adjustment and experience negative effects like anxiety and...
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