Tuesday, May 08, 2007

2007 SIOP Conference: Highlights, Part 2

This is the third in a series of posts about the 2007 SIOP Conference. In Part 1 I talked about some of the new products out there and in Part 2 I went over some of the research that was presented. In this post I'll point out some more research that you may find interesting...

Legal risks and defensibility factors for employee selection procedures

Posthuma, Roehling, and Campion analyzed nearly 600 federal district court cases and came up with some very interesting results:

- Employers are most likely to win (by far) when defending tests of math or mechanical ability. Employers also fare well when defending assessments of employment history and interviews.

- Employers did worst when defending physical ability tests and medical examinations. Tests of verbal ability and job knowledge were also more likely to result in a plaintiff win.

Predicting Internet job search behavior and turnover

Using a sample of 110 nurses in Texas, Posthuma et al. found using longitudinal survey data that (among other things) Internet job search behavior was related to turnover--folks weren't just surfing for fun. This suggests that organizations need to pay close attention to job searching behavior among employees; not necessarily to curtail it but instead to figure out why high performers want to leave.

Gender differences in career choice influences

After analyzing survey data from nearly 1,400 fourth-year medical students from two U.S. schools, Behrend et al. found a gender difference in preferred career: specifically, female medical students valued "opportunities to provide comprehensive care" when choosing a specialty much more than men. This is consistent with other work that has showed women to be more "relationship-oriented" than men when it comes to choosing a career.

Portraying an organization's culture through properties of a recruitment website

In this study of 278 undergraduate students, Kroustalis and Meade found that inclusion of pictures on a website that were intended to portray a certain organizational culture did so--but only for certain cultural characteristics. Specifically, pictures that implied a culture of either innovation or diversity had the intended effect--but pictures representing a team orientation did not. Interestingly, "employee testimonials" designed to emphasize these cultural aspects failed to do so for any of the three aspects studied. Finally, individuals who perceived a greater fit between themselves and the organization (in terms of the three cultural aspects) reported being more attracted to the organization.

Recruiting solutions for adverse impact: Race differences in organizational attraction

Last but definitely not least, Lyon and Newman gathered data from nearly 600 university students on their reactions to 40 hypothetical job postings...and came away with some very interesting results. For example:

- Conscientious individuals were more likely to apply to postings that explicitly stated a preference for conscientious applicants.

- Conscientious individuals were more likely to apply to postings that described the company as results-oriented.

- Black applicants with higher cognitive ability were more likely to respond to ads seeking conscientious individuals while White applicants with higher cognitive ability were less likely to do so.

- When a company was described as innovative, Black applicants high on conscientiousness were more likely to apply; this was not the case for White applicants.

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