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.
A good example of an emerging market is Vietnam—economic reports show that companies are moving operations to Vietnam in greater numbers and Vietnam’s economy is expected to become the 17th largest by 2025. To understand the potential reactions to selection methods in a country with very different cultural, legal, and socioeconomic conditions, the authors compared the reactions of 225 Vietnamese business students to 151 American business students. Examples of the selection methods included interviews, work samples, resumes, biodata, and graphology, while the specific reactions were process favorability and fairness (i.e.,
face validity, personal privacy, and legality).
Hoang et al. discovered that perceptions in either country were fairly similar to each other: interviews and work samples were viewed more positively than biodata, cognitive ability tests, and personality tests, which were viewed more positively than honesty tests and graphology. However, the finding that Americans viewed personal contacts as more positive than Vietnamese, while Vietnamese found written ability tests more favorable than Americans reveals that cultural differences do exist. Another important finding was that the perceived face validity and legality of the selection method were the strongest fairness predictors of process favorability—apparently no matter where you go the test should still look and feel appropriate to the job.
Overall, organizations should be mindful of the culture they’re moving to, but using more favorable methods while making sure they are as face valid as possible is a best practice for any organization looking to select candidates overseas.
Hoang, T.G., Truxillo, D.M., Erdogan, B., & Bauer, T.N.. (2012). Cross-cultural
examination of applicant reactions to selection methods: United States and Vietnam.
International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 20(2), 209-219.
human resource management, organizational industrial psychology, organizational management