Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fairness in selection

So I got the Autumn issue of Personnel Psychology a few days ago and have had time to digest it.

One of the articles (by Schleicher, et al.) is on fairness perceptions of the selection process--specifically, an individual's opportunity to perform (OTP) (i.e., having the opportunity to demonstrate your competencies). What the authors found (using a fairly large sample of applicants to a U.S. government agency) is that OTP was strongly related to how fair the applicants felt the overall selection process was. As we know, procedural fairness perceptions are related to all kinds of important things, like intention to accept job offers, recommending the employer to others, and likelihood of filing a complaint. In short, how you treat job applicants
matters .

So how can we increase OTP? Some of the authors' recommendations include:
- Include performance tests
- Use both structured and unstructured interviews during selection procedures (Ed: just make sure you can defend them)
- Provide adequate time and resources and prevent environmental distractions
- Tailor assessment tools to the likely candidate population (Ed: ditto)
- Provide clear instructions before the assessments.

Seems like basic stuff, but it's amazing how many hiring processes fail to follow these fundamental guidelines.

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