Evaluate Leaders

Stigma-by-Association: How Follower Characteristics Influence Evaluation of Leaders

Evaluation of leaders is becoming an increasingly important workplace topic. This is especially so, because some research suggests that racial disparities within the US workforce have increased over the last decade, as some minority groups are greatly underrepresented in positions of management. There may be a number of reasons for this, but new research (Hernandez, Avery, Tonidandel, Hebl, Smith, & McKay, 2015) suggest that one reason could be biased appraisals of leaders (i.e. evaluations of performance, value and competence) that occur due to characteristics of individuals in the group. This means that the racial composition of the leader’s group, influences opinions of that leader’s effectiveness.


Pre-employment Testing

Pre-Employment Testing Done Right: Does it Really Reduce Cheating?

Most companies that use pre-employment testing include at least some of it as unproctored internet testing (UIT). UIT may include biodata responses (e.g., where you went to college), personality testing, and cognitive ability testing. It’s harder to cheat on biodata or personality tests, but cheating on cognitive ability tests could be a problem.


Cognitive Abilities

Specific Cognitive Abilities Can Benefit Selection Programs

Organizations oftentimes use specific cognitive abilities to help select people for jobs. Selection itself is important because organizations can sometimes waste millions of dollars in training people who don’t have the right aptitude, aren’t motivated, or who don’t fit minimum requirements for the job. When an organization selects employees, it often uses an assessment process to try and find the “right people.” This assessment often involves tests of general cognitive ability, which is basically what we’d consider overall intelligence. What if organizations could fine tune these processes so that they were more successful in identifying those who may succeed in a training context or in a job? Recent research findings offer a possible way to do this.


Avoiding Adverse Impact: Selection Procedures That Increase Organizational Diversity

Using cognitive tests as part of an employee selection process will generally help more than various other methods (such as interviews) to ensure the selection of better performing individuals. There are some methods that are slightly better predictors of performance, but cognitive tests have proven to be a mainstay.

Unfortunately, the use of such tests can lead to discriminatory hiring practices against minority groups, who often score below their white counterparts due to a variety of factors.


Welcome to the Future: Investigating Mobile Devices as Assessment Platforms

There are very few areas of our lives that have not been affected by technological innovations. A vast number of people these days use their phones for virtually everything, from staying in contact with friends and family, to navigating a busy city center, to booking flights.

So it doesn’t seem out of the question that mobile phones might one day be used as a medium by which organizations could assess job applicants. And it appears as if that day may have already come.


How to Increase Your Productivity: Setting Priorities

How many of us frequently find ourselves with a never-ending to-do list, wishing there were more hours in a day? We want to achieve our goals and increase productivity, but there’s just no way to get it all done. Well, the trick to boosting your productivity is not necessarily having more time to accomplish your tasks, but instead simply making the most of what time you do have by setting priorities.


Selection Tests and Job Performance

Ideally, when we test prospective employees, we gather valuable information that will help us determine if a candidate is suitable for a given job. But that’s not all. We also create an impression in the candidate’s mind about our company, its culture, and its values. Research has found that candidates’ reactions to selection testing do affect their attitudes. For example, candidates may react anxiously or perceive unjust treatment. These reactions can influence a candidate’s view of an organization, as well as determine whether they would recommend it to others. New research (McCarthy, Van Iddekinge, Lievens, Kung, Sinar, & Campion, 2013) explores the possibility that selections tests could also be influencing subsequent job performance.


How Prospective Employees Judge Fit With An Organization

When you interview for a job, you make choices using the relatively small amount of information to which you have access. As a candidate, not yet on the job, your view of the organization and its work culture is limited. In a way, you are forced to judge a book by its cover, and maybe also by the sneak peak of pages the company gives you access to during the selection process. This research focused on how we make those judgments.


Big Five Personality Factors: Are they effective for Hiring Selection?

When companies decide whom to hire, a process known as selection, they typically look at the personality of the applicant, among other factors. When evaluating the personality of an applicant, companies frequently look at the Big Five personality factors. These dimensions are extraversion, which relates to how outgoing someone is; openness, which relates to a person’s level of curiosity; agreeableness, which relates to someone’s levels of compassion and warmth; conscientiousness, which refers to a person’s drive to succeed; and neuroticism, which relates to how secure someone feels.


Conscientiousness and Job Performance: Is Conscientiousness Always King?

Conscientiousness is a predictor of job performance in many jobs, job levels, and industries. But does being conscientious still predict job performance as strongly when characteristics and requirements of the job change? Is conscientiousness the Holy Grail of employee traits?

To learn more about this, the authors conducted a meta-analysis across 53 research studies where conscientiousness was a predictor of job performance. They then rated the jobs that were included in these studies on a number of factors including the level of worker autonomy, how much of the work followed a routine, how much thought and mental ability was required, and so on.


Ask Me Online: Benefits of a Web-Based Reference Check Process

Reference checks, the process of asking past employers and colleagues about a job applicant’s qualifications and past performance, have long been a part of human resource management. However, despite the fact that the limitations of using reference checks in the hiring process have been well-recognized for many years, they continue to be a popular part of many organizations’ selection procedures. Recently, there has been increased interest in how reference checks might be made more useful.


When Reading Research Leads to a Brain Full of “What?!” (IO Psychology)

When you read scientific research, you should be left feeling as though you gained knowledge and/or have something new and shiny that can be applied to the real world. But once in a while you finish an article and there is nothing but unpoppable “What did I just read?!” bubbles floating in your brain.


Random Thoughts While Taking a Personality Test (IO Psychology)

Have you ever taken a personality test as part of a hiring process and found your mind wandering?  Where did it go?  Did you wonder how to best answer the questions to secure the job?  Or did you ponder why puppies are just so damn cute?  Or why the Flock of Seagulls hairstyle never took off?


How Should I Measure That?

Topic: Selection, Assessment
Publication: Human Performance (2009)
Article: Not much more than g? An examination of the impact of intelligence on NFL performance
Authors: B.D. Lyons, B.J. Hoffman, & J.W. Michel
Reviewed By: Scott Charles Sitrin, M.A.

In most work, intelligence is a key a predictor of job performance.  But what about when your job involves physically assaulting your opponent and not letting him say “uncle” until you have successfully moved a pigskin 100 yards into his end zone?  For a football player, does intelligence predict performance?  Do you, as an owner of a National Football team, select the genius in the tweed jacket with an Ivy League smile?


Size Matters in Court? Determinations of Adverse Impact Based on Organization Size (IO Psychology)

Topic: Assessment, Discrimination, HR Policy, Statistics

Publication: Journal of Business Psychology (JUN 2012)

Article: Unintended consequences of EEO enforcement policies: Being big is worse than being bad

Authors: R. Jacobs, K. Murphy, and J. Silva

Reviewed By: Megan Leasher


Adverse impact occurs when neutral-appearing employment practices have an unintentional, discriminatory effect on a protected group. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is charged with enforcing all federal legislation related to employment discrimination and adheres to the 1978 Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures for “rules of thumb” on inferring whether adverse impact is present.


What are those emerging markets thinking? (IO Psychology)

Topic: Selection, Assessment
Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment (JUN 2012)
Article: Cross-cultural Examination of Applicant Reactions to Selection Methods: United States and Vietnam
Authors: Hoang, T.G., Truxillo, D.M., Erdogan, B., and Bauer, T.N.
Reviewer: Neil Morelli

Over the past several years I-O psychologists have become more interested in understanding applicant reactions to selection tools. Of course we still care about the reliability and validity of the selection tool, but we know that how an applicant reacts to the process could influence how fair or trusting the company is perceived to be, how well the newly hired employee adjusts to the job, or how vulnerable the selection tools are to legal challenge. And, as organizations become more global and enter emerging markets, it’s important to understand what the reactions of people in these new, unexamined candidate pools may be.


Unproctored Testing: Increasing the Applicant Pool to Combat Concerns with Cheating (IO Psychology)

Topic: Selection, Evidence Based Management, Assessment
Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment (JUN 2012)
Article: Offsetting Performance Losses Due to Cheating in Unproctored Internet-Based Testing by Increasing the Applicant Pool
Authors: Richard N. Landers & Paul R. Sackett
Reviewed By: Thaddeus Rada

Unproctored Internet testing (UIT) has been a hot topic in IO psychology over the past several years. In a nutshell, UIT allows organizations to post some of their selection tests online, allowing applicants to access them from virtually anywhere, so they can complete them on their own time. Some of the research on UIT has confirmed its strengths, such as its accessibility and efficiency, but other research has highlighted some of its limitations; in particular, there remains widespread concern about cheating in UIT. Because UIT is unproctored (it’s right there in the name), applicants are not under any supervision when they take such tests, so it’s possible that cheating could occur in a wide variety of ways.


A Sequel to the Ring of Fire: How Internal and External Candidates React to Employment Testing (I/O Psychology)

Topic: Assessment, Personality Assessment, Selection
Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment (JUN 2012)
Article: Don’t you know me well enough yet? Comparing reactions of internal and external candidates to employment testing
Authors: G. W. Giumetti and E. F. Sinar
Reviewed By: Megan Leasher

Employment testing is gaining in popularity at all levels within organizations, leading internal candidates to complete assessment tests to be considered for promotion or lateral moves. When you test employees you already hired, you might expect some pushback!


Scoring Biodata Measures (IO Psychology)

Topic: Selection, Assessment
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SUMMER 2012)
Article: Unlocking the key to biodata scoring: A comparison of empirical, rational, and hybrid approaches at different sample sizes
Authors: J. M. Cucina, P. M. Caputo, H. F. Thibodeaux, & C. N. Maclane
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

Cucina and his colleagues recently conducted a study to explore the best method of scoring biographical data (biodata) measures. Biodata can be scored using empirical keying methods in which the assessor weights item responses based on the objective relationship between the item and performance; rational keying, in which scorers come up with subjective estimates of that relationship based on theory; and a hybrid approach, in which assessors use both rational and empirical keying). In this study, the authors answered seven research questions. We’ve provided you with the questions and answers for your own biodata-scoring enjoyment.


Team Intimacy and Organizational Interventions: Emphasizing Team Cohesion May be More Effective (IO Psychology)

Topic: Teams, Development
Publication: Human Resource Management Review (JUN 2012)
Article: Too Close for Comfort? Distinguishing Between Team Intimacy and Team Cohesion
Authors: Rosh, L., Offermann, L. R., & Van Diest, R.
Reviewed By: Thaddeus Rada

Within IO psychology, research on teams has become increasingly important in recent years. As organizations have begun to use teams for a wider variety of roles and purposes, it has become necessary for both researchers and practitioners to gain a better understanding of how teams work and how they can be designed to operate most effectively. Two constructs that have received research attention in the realm of teams include team intimacy and team cohesion. Although these constructs may appear to be very similar from the outside, Lisa Rosh and colleagues argue that there are important differences between these constructs, and that they are best conceptualized as distinct constructs.


Predicting someone’s propensity to morally disengage (IO Psychology)

Topic: Assessment, Personality, Ethics, Counter-Productive Work Behavior, Workplace Deviance
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SPRING 2012)
Article: Why employees do bad things: Moral disengagement and unethical organizational behavior
Authors: Celia Moore, James R. Detert, Linda Klebe Treviño, Vicki L. Baker, & David M. Mayer
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

Organizations obviously want their employees to be ethical. While there are existing measures that are used to predict who will act immorally, the authors of this paper proposed a new construct that they called an individual’s propensity to morally disengage – an individual difference in how people think about ethical decisions and behavior that allows them to act unethically without feeling bad about it.


Are cognitive ability tests insulting your applicants? (IO Psychology)

Topic: Organizational Justice, Fairness, Interviewing, Assessment, Selection
Publication: Personnel Psychology (WINTER 2011)
Article: Status and organizational entry: How organizational and individual status affect justice perceptions of hiring systems
Authors: Sumanth, J. J., & Cable, D. M.
Reviewed by: Alexandra Rechlin

It is well known in the field of IO psychology that cognitive ability tests are very predictive of employee performance.  However, applicants often see them as unfair and do not like taking them; more informal and much less valid methods (like informal interviews) tend to be preferred by applicants. In this study, Sumanth and Cable (2011) investigated the effect that the status of the organization and the career status of the applicant would have on applicants’ perceptions of the selection system’s fairness.


The Peril of Excess: Why Moderate Levels of Many Traits Might be Best (Human Resource Management)

Topic: Assessment, Performance, Selection, Human Resource Management
Publication: Perspectives on Psychological Science (JAN 2011)
Article: Too Much of a Good Thing: The Challenge and Opportunity of the Inverted U
Authors: Grant, A. M., & Schwartz, B.
Reviewed By: Thaddeus Rada

A common assumption in personnel selection practice (and research) in IO psychology is that increasingly high levels of desirable traits are always a good thing. For instance, the Big 5 personality trait conscientiousness has been found to be a good predictor of job performance, such that highly-conscientiousness employees tend to be the best performers. As such, our selection systems are typically designed to identify applicants who are highest on these positive traits, so that they can be selected into the organization.


Don’t Dump the Dimensions: A New Model for Evaluating Assessment Center Participants

Topic: Assessment
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SUMMER 2011)
Article: Exercises and Dimensions are the Currency of Assessment Centers
Authors: Hoffman, B. J., Melchers, K. G., Blair, C. A., Kleinmann, M., & Ladd, R. T.
Reviewed By: Thaddeus Rada

Assessment centers (ACs) remain a popular, and often effective, way for organizations to evaluate candidates, both in hiring and promotion settings. One choice that confronts users of assessment centers concerns the type of information that is gathered about candidates. A traditional practice with ACs has been to use multiple exercises to measure multiple job-relevant dimensions of candidate performance. However, some research has suggested that task-performance ratings are a more effective way to assess candidates. Some authors have even advocated for the abandonment of dimension ratings in AC practice.


Test Order Can Matter: A New Application of Order of Operations

Topic: Assessment
Publication: European Journal of Psychological Assessment (SPRING 2011)
Article: Context Effects on Test Performance: What about Test Order?
Authors: L. Khorramdel & M. Frebort
Reviewed By: Thaddeus Rada

Many people are familiar with the mathematical concept of order of operations. Sometimes shortened to the acronym PEMDAS, order of operations instructs us to solve in parentheses (P) before we deal with exponents (E), to multiply (M) before we divide (D), etc. The reason for working through math problems in this way is to lead us to the correct answer; if we solve the problem in any other order, we run the risk of coming up with an incorrect answer. It now appears that this same principle might apply to test administration. Previous studies have assessed how the order of items in a single test might impact individuals’ responses to the items. Now, a new study by Lale Khorramdel and Martina Frebort suggests that the order in which multiple tests in a testing battery are administered may impact individuals’ responses on the tests.


Managing Assessors’ Workloads in Assessment Centers

Topic: Assessment, Staffing
Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment (SEP 2010)
Article: Do assessors have too much on their plates? The effects of simultaneously rating multiple assessment center candidates on rating quality
Authors: K.G. Melchers, M. Kleinmann, and M.A. Prinz
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Assessment centers (ACs) usually consist of several job-related exercises that tap competencies necessary for the job.  ACs are most often used by organizations to select, promote and develop their employees.  Like many employee selection and assessment methods (e.g., interviews), ACs require a scorer or assessor to provide an evaluation of candidates’ performance.  But here’s where it gets tricky.


Using Simulations to Study, Assess, and Grow Managers

Topic: Assessment, Training
Publication: American Psychologist
Article: Developing Managerial Talent
Through Simulation
Authors: G. C. Thornton, J. N. Cleveland
Reviewed By: Rachel Marsh

Simulations are replications of essential parts of a job and have been utilized by organizations for over 55 years. They are used to study, assess and develop talent, especially managerial talent, and offer more information about assessees than questionnaires. Job simulations can range from being low fidelity and very simple (e.g., asking employees what they would do in certain situations, to very high fidelity and quite complicated (e.g., behavioral simulations that include analyzing many different aspects of company information).


Is What We Think We Know, What We Actually Know?

Topic: Assessment, Training

Publication: Academy of Management Learning & Education (JUN 2010)

Article: Self-assessment of knowledge: A cognitive learning or affective measure?

Authors: T. Sitzmann, K.E. Ely, K.G. Brown and K.N. Bauer

Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger


Evaluating the effectiveness of an organizational
training program is a necessary but expensive process.  Oftentimes, the success of a training program is evaluated by how much trainees learn or how much they know after completing the program. The classic post-training test/exam is a great way to do this.  But, because developing and administering well-constructed learning measures can be costly, one option is to simply ask trainees how much they have learned. 
But how “good” are trainees’ self-assessments of their learning/knowledge? That is, how well do self-assessments really measure actual learning/knowledge gain?


Assessment centers for personnel selection: strengths, inconsistencies, and best practices

Topic: Assessment

Publication: Human Resource Management Review (September, 2009)

Article: Validity of assessment centers for personnel selection

Authors: Thornton, G. C., & Gibbons, A.M.

Reviewed By: Bobby Bullock

Assessment centers (ACs) have been used to aid the process of external and internal selection of employees and high potentials, certification, and promotion for over 50 years.  At ACs, multiple assessors observe the behavior of assesses as they engage in organizational simulations designed to test their ability to perform new, relevant assignments.  Historically, overall assessment ratings (OARs) and dimensional scores have been shown to predict a range of relevant selection outcomes.


Thank Goodness – Guidelines on Assessment Centers!

Topic: Assessment Centers

Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment (SEP 2009)

Article: Guidelines and ethical considerations for assessment center operations

Authors: International Task Force on Assessment Center Guidelines

Reviewed by: Jared Ferrell


The ethical guidelines for assessment centers were first published in 1975 out of a need for standards for those using assessment centers.  They have been revised over the years since their initial publication with 4 main goals in mind: (1) to give guidance to psychologists and/or practitioners who use assessment centers; (2) to provide information to those thinking about implementing assessment centers in their organizations; (3) to give instruction to those who serve on the staff of an assessment center; and (4) to give some guidance in terms of the use of technology in assessment centers.  The numerous revisions over the years came about because of new issues that have arisen since 1975.  Some examples of issues that prompted the latest revision include technology in assessment centers, the need for more detailed guidelines about training assessors, and the issue of assessment centers for multinational organizations, as well as methodological differences among these centers that are used for different purposes. 


Maximizing the Predictive Power of Personality Measures

Topic: Assessment, Personality
Publication: International Journal of Selection
and Assessment (JUN)
Article: Improving prediction of work
performance through frame-of-reference consistency: Empirical evidence using
openness to experience
Authors: V.L. Pace and M.T. Brannick
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Although measures of personality are fairly common in employee selection and assessment contexts, research suggests that measures of various personality characteristics tend to be less predictive of job performance than other common selection go-to’s (e.g., cognitive ability tests, technical work sample tests). Typically, items on personality measures ask job applicants/employees to report on how they are/act in general, across many different contexts (e.g., home, work, school).


The Pearls and Perils of Work Sample Exams

Topic: Assessment, Staffing
Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment (JUN 2010)
Article: Work sample exams and gender adverse impact potential: The influence of self-concept, social skills, and written skills
Authors: P.L. Roth, M.A. Buster, and J. Barnes-Farrell
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Work sample exams are employee selection tools that represent actual or highly similar job task characteristics (i.e., writing a sample response email to a customer for a customer service job).  These selection tools are good predictors of job performance, and job applicants tend to respond favorably to them (largely because they are easily linked to the job).


Does It Pay to Measure Emotional Intelligence During Selection?

Topic: Assessment, Emotional Intelligence, Staffing
Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment (MAR 2010)
Article: Emotional intelligence in selection contexts: Measurement method, criterion-related validity, and vulnerability to response distortion
Authors: N.D. Christiansen, J.E. Janovics, and B.P. Siers
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a hot topic in both the personnel selection literature and the popular business press.  While there are many available measures of EI, approaches to its measurement can be organized into two general categories: (1) self-report questionnaires and (2) performance-based measures.  Self-report EI questionnaires are similar to personality measures in that they treat EI as non-cognitive traits and temperaments. Performance- or ability-based EI measures, on the other hand, treat EI as a largely ability-based trait that reflects how people process information related to their emotions and the emotions of others.


Everything You Need to Know about Situational Judgement Tests

Topic: Assessment, Staffing
Publication: Human Resource Management Review (SEP 2009)
Article: Situational judgment tests: An overview of current research
Authors: Whetzel, D. L., & McDaniel, M.A.
Reviewed By: Benjamin Granger

Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs): you may have heard of them, may have used them, may have taken them, and may swear by them, but unless you spend every waking moment thinking about SJTs (You nerd!), then you may want to read on. In a recent issue of the Human Resource Management Review, Whetzel and McDaniel (2009) provide a thorough overview of the current research on SJTs.


Putting Your Prettiest Foot Forward: The Role of Attractiveness in Selection

Topic: Assessment, Staffing
Publication:  International Journal of Selection and Assessment
Article: Beauty revisited: The
impact of attractiveness, ability, and personality in the assessment of
employment suitability.
Author: M.J. Tews, K. Stafford, J. Zhu
Featured by:  Benjamin Granger

Like it or not, physical attractiveness plays a role in determining certain workplace outcomes. For example, physically attractive employees (1) are often perceived to be higher in ability, (2) receive higher compensation, and (3) garner more attention in the hiring process than less attractive employees.


Slamming the Door on Performance Reviews

Topic: Assessment, Organizational Performance, Performance Appraisal
Publication: Wall Street journal
ArticleGet rid of the performance review. 
Author: S.A. Culbert
Feature by: Benjamin Granger

Annual pay and performance reviews are rarely fun (We can all attest to that!).  But it remains a common practice in many organizations.  Surely there’s a good reason why we have to go through this sometimes painful process (“my review is today, I can’t wait to hear about all my weaknesses!”).  Although performance appraisals (PAs) are usually intended to help with pay and promotion decisions as well as help employees develop, some experts find PAs to be downright silly!


Tell Us what You Really Think…About Letters of Recommendation

Topic: Assessment, Selection
Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment
Article: Letters of recommendation: Controversy and consensus from expert perspectives.
Author: J.M. Nicklin, S.G. Roch
Featured by: Benjamin Granger

Despite the widespread use of letters of recommendation (LORs), there is some evidence in the research  literature that LORs are unreliable and invalid for selecting employees. In an attempt to develop some  preliminary conclusions about the advantages and disadvantages of LORs, Nicklin and Roch (2009) surveyed 575 academic and applied professionals about their experiences and opinions.


Situational Judgment Tests and the Impact of Elaboration

Topic: Assessment, Selection
Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment
Article: Impact of elaboration on responding to situational judgment test items.
Author: F. Lievens, H. Peeters
Featured by: Benjamin Granger

Several questions can and should be asked of the tools organizations use for employee selection.  For example, does the specific tool create adverse impact? Does it really predict future performance on the job?  Is it prone to faking?  Because they have been shown to relate to actual job performance and create little adverse impact against minority groups, many organizations employ Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs) in their selection procedures. However, recent work on SJTs suggests that they may be susceptible to faking.


What Practitioners Need to Know about Personality Testing

Topic: Assessment, Personality, Selection
Publication: Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Article: Personality testing and Industrial Organizational Psychology: A productive exchange and some future directions.
Blogger: Benjamin Granger

In an overview of the current state of personality testing in organizations, Oswald and Hough (2008)  take on several perspectives and present some important ideas for research and practice in the area of personality testing.  Although their discussion involves many aspects of personality measurement, I will discuss two that are highly relevant for practice.


A limp handshake = no follow up calls

Topic: Assessment, Personality
Publication:  Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Exploring the Handshake in Employment Interviews.
Blogger: Rob Stilson

Stewart, Dustin, Barrick, & Darnold (2008) looked at the relationship between a person’s handshake  and the outcomes of an interview. They also looked at what information is conveyed with a handshake.  They were mainly concerned with what a person’s handshake said about their level of extraversion but also included measures for the five factor model (FFM) for exploratory purposes. One thing I really liked about the study was statistically controlling for the effects of the “what is beautiful is good” stereotype, which essentially says that since this person is good looking, they will be good at what they do (Eagly, Ashmore, Makhijani, & Longo, 1991). The researchers were also interested in how women would be evaluated via handshake as compared to men.


AC/DC (Assessment Centers Do Count!)

Topic: Assessment
Publication:  Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Further Evidence for the Validity of Assessment Center Dimensions: A Meta-Analysis of the Incremental Criterion-Related Validity of Dimension Ratings
Blogger: Rob Stilson

Here I go again with a psychometrically heavy article, but I encourage you to stick it out with me as I guide you through the statistical minefield because there are some applicable findings at the end. First, a little bit of history. Assessment Centers (ACs) are often used to select or promote personnel at the managerial level or higher. An AC is collection of standardized exercises, such as a leaderless group discussion, inbox task, role play, etc., where you are rated on your ability in these different exercises and then given an overall assessment center rating (OAR) to determine if you get the position or the promotion.  Each exercise is supposed to get at one or more dimensions, which roughly break down into the following seven (Arthur, Day, McNelly, & Edens, 2003):


The Intuition Strikes Back

Topic: AssessmentSelectionStaffing
Publication: Industrial and Org. Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice
Article:  Stubborn reliance on human nature in employee selection: statistical decision aids are evolutionarily novel.
Blogger: Benjamin Granger

In a previous blog titled “Intuition vs. Science: The Battle Rages On!”, I wrote on Highhouse’s (2008) article which called attention to the disparity between research-based employee selection techniques and those actually used in organizations. Highhouse suggested that the general neglect of decision aids and overreliance on expert intuition is based on two beliefs: (1) Near-perfect precision in selecting employees is possible and (2) Intuition can be improved with experience. But as was pointed out in the blog, this is certainly not the end of the story.


Intuition vs. Science: The Battle Rages On!

Topic: Assessment, Selection, Staffing
Publication: Industrial and Org. Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice
Article: Stubborn reliance on intuition and subjectivity in employee selection.
Blogger: Benjamin Granger

How do typical organizations make hiring decisions? More specifically, do employers tend to prefer selection decision aids supported by research, or do they tend to prefer the use of expert intuition?


Friends don’t let friends use unsubstantiated selection and development methods

Topic: Assessment, Research Methodology
Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment
Article: HR professionals’ beliefs about, and knowledge of, assessment techniques and psychometric tests.
Blogger: Rob Stilson

Some academics slave over piles of data and spend months of their lives trying to determine the best selection and development methods available for the work place. Makes you wonder; is anybody paying attention? If your life’s work involves developing the absolute, most reliable and valid methods for selection and development, you may want to stop reading now.


When the Cat’s Away the Mice Will Cheat. Unless…

Topic: Assessment, Selection

Publication: International Journal of Selection and Assessment

Article: Two step testing in employee selection: Is score inflation a problem?

Blogger: Benjamin Granger

Many organizations are moving from traditional proctored selection tests to unproctored web-based tests.  Why? Among other advantages, unproctored web-based selection tests are often cheaper (no need for physical testing facilities or proctors) than traditional proctored tests (e.g., paper-pencil tests), and they can be completed by job applicants in any geographical location.  But, as always, there’s a catch.  One of the most problematic disadvantages of using unproctored selection tests is its susceptibility to cheating! In high-stakes selection contexts, does it seem reasonable that at least some job applicants will misrepresent themselves (cheat, fake) if given the opportunity? There is quite a bit of evidence suggesting that faking does occur, especially on personality tests.  But what about ability tests that can’t be faked?  Does cheating occur in these contexts (e.g., use supplementary material, have a particularly smart friend or family member complete the test)?


Stop Faking Before It Happens

Topic: AssessmentPersonality Assessment

Publication:  International Journal of Selection and Assessment

ArticleComparing personality test formats and warnings: Effects on criterion-related validity and test-taker reactions

Authors:  P.D. Converse

Reviewed by: Benjamin Granger

Although personality testing in employee selection settings is a common practice, it hasn’t gone without critique.  The reason for this is simple: personality tests can be faked.  (Let’s see, I really want this job so, yea I’m conscientious and agreeable).  A quick glance at many of the commonly used personality test items will corroborate this concern (e.g., “I am always prepared”, “I make friends easily”).  Seriously, why would a job applicant even consider disagreeing with such statements in a high stakes situation? Despite the obvious problem of faking, personality tests have been shown to predict employee job performance.  Thus, there is a major dilemma over what to do about personality testing in employee selection settings.


Probing the Mind of an Interviewer

Topic: Assessment, Interviewing
Publication: Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology
Article: Fit perceptions in the employment interview: The role of similarity, liking, and expectations.
Blogger: Benjamin Granger

To better understand how interviewers make hiring decisions, Garcia, Posthuma, and Colella (2008) present a study published in a recent issue of the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. Although it is well-known that hiring decisions are based on how well applicants fit in with the job (Person-Job fit) and within the organization as a whole (Person-Organization fit), the authors were interested in investigating several factors that may influence these fit perceptions.


Interviewing: When to hold ’em…When to fold ’em

Topic: Assesment, Interviewing
Publication: Human Performance (2008)
ArticleTransparency in structured interviews: consequences for construct and criterion-related validity
Authors:  U. C. Klehe, C. J. König, G. M. Richter, M. Kleinmann, & K. G. Melchers
Reviewed by: Benjamin Granger

J0422564While holding your cards close to the vest may be key for your next game of Texas Hold ‘em…, you might want to reconsider your approach when sitting across the table from a potential new hire.