Staffing Organizations

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Case requirements:

1. Assess the practical and statistical significance of a proposed set of hiring tools, and make recommendations regarding how adopting these new hiring methods might benefit stores.

2. Make suggestions to Tanglewood regarding which subset of predictors is most likely to improve the effectiveness of selection without creating an administrative burden.

3. Assess the content validity of various proposed selection techniques by determining how well they match the general requirements of the job.

4. Estimate how well the test sample results will generalize to other locations.

Case Objectives

Once concrete goals for hiring have been established and applicants have been generated, the most important part of the staffing process is developing methods to identify individuals who will be the best performers on the job. Anything that identifies good potential performers is a “predictor.” This includes interviews, standardized tests of knowledge, personality measures, job trials, and so on. Although finding good predictors requires intuition about the job, the organization, and the type of people who are going to apply, demonstrating which predictors are most effective requires clear quantitative skills as well.

In this instance, you will review several types of evidence related to predictors and job performance and select a mix of predictors you think will work well. Developing a good selection strategy also means thinking of the process from the applicant’s point of view. The greatest selection system in the world is not effective if it scares the best applicants away. This case is an opportunity to look at the types of measures (found in Appendix C) that are often used in the selection process and determine how applicants might react to them.

Hiring for the Store Associate Position

Two years ago, Marilyn Anchley instigated a thorough assessment of the hiring practices in the Tanglewood stores following complaints from many store managers regarding the quality of employees. Results were not encouraging. The current methods for selection received negative reports from managers. Many have noted that their current employees deliver suboptimal work, fail to appreciate the organization’s culture, and have difficulty working in teams. This sometimes means that they have to fire poor performers, which is not good for morale in a team-based organization.

There are few selection methods traditionally used at all Tanglewood stores. The first method for selection is an application blank as shown in Appendix C. Applicants provide some basic information regarding their employment history and education, along with other simple contact information. Ideally, Tanglewood would prefer to contact former employers to get job performance history information, but in practice, very few former employers give much more than dates worked and job titles because of concerns about being sued for disseminating damaging information about their former employees. In practice, then, the only useful information Tanglewood obtains from the application blank is the number of years of work experience a person has and the highest degree they have completed.

The process of selection begins when the applicants turn in their application blanks. These forms are reviewed by the Assistant Store Manager for Operations and HR, who will also conduct brief interviews. The initial application interview is generally brief and consists mostly of efforts to confirm and clarify information in the application blank. Those who make it past this stage of the process are termed “candidates.”

A more substantial interview occurs with the candidates who are referred to the department manager. There is a relatively loose protocol for how managers should conduct the interviews. Tanglewood provides a list of suggested interview topics, including, “tell...
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