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Selection. Criteria and Job Analysis. Selection. What is selection? Using scientific methodology to choose one alternative (job candidate) over another. Job Analysis Measurement Statistics Why is selection important? Decreases the likelihood of hiring “bad” employees

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Criteria and Job Analysis

  • What is selection?
    • Using scientific methodology to choose one alternative (job candidate) over another.
      • Job Analysis
      • Measurement
      • Statistics
  • Why is selection important?
    • Decreases the likelihood of hiring “bad” employees
    • Increases the likelihood that people will be treated fairly when hiring decisions are made
      • Reduces discrimination
      • Reduces likelihood of discrimination lawsuits
  • What do I/O psychologists need to know about selection?
    • How to select predictors of job performance (criteria problem)
    • How to accurately indentify and validate predictors for specific jobs (job analysis)
      • Rely on cognitive and personality variables
    • How to reliably and validly measure these predictors
    • How to use these predictors to make selection decisions

Abstract concept or idea



  • Criteria - standards used to judge the quality of (discriminate among) alternatives.
  • For I/O psychologists, this means judging the quality of employees, programs, and units in the organization.

Criterion deficiency



Criterion relevance

Criterion contamination

Measures that act as “proxies”

classification of criteria
I/O Psychologists try to choose criteria that assess performance excellence.

Criteria are typically classified in one of two ways



More easily quantifiable


Number of touchdowns

Number of units produced








Classification of Criteria
  • Judgements made about employees performance
    • general factor (effectiveness)
      • specific factors
        • quantity of work
        • quality of work
  • Note: More complex jobs require more criteria for effective evaluation
illegal criteria
Illegal Criteria
  • Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits using selection practices that have an unequal impact on members of a different:
    • Race
    • Color
    • Sex
    • Religion
    • National Origin
types of illegal discrimination
Types of Illegal Discrimination
  • Disparate Treatment (Opportunities)
    • Discrimination decisions based on one of five prohibited categories
  • Disparate Impact (Outcomes)
    • Illegal discrimination is any practice (without a business justification) that has unequal consequences for members of protected groups.
  • Roger Parloff, Fortune senior editor:
    • Though disparate treatment and disparate impact cases are both aimed at eradicating the same thing, there is potential tension between them.
      • The goal of disparate treatment cases is to guarantee every worker equal opportunity, but not equal outcomes.
      • The focus of disparate impact cases is on equal outcomes.
    • If one pursues equal outcomes too single-mindedly, one can compromise the principle of equal opportunity by inducing the use of quotas.
determining disparate impact
Determining Disparate Impact
  • The 4/5ths Rule
    • Disparate impact occurs if the selection ratio for any minority group is less than 4/5ths of the selection ratio of the majority group

100 male applicants

50 female applicants

20 males selected

50 * .16 = 8

20/100 = .20

At least 8 females should be selected

.20 * 4/5ths(.80) = .16

At least 16% of people from minority group should be selected using a

given procedure.

  • Criteria
    • Reliable and valid predictors of job performance.
    • All criteria suffer from:
      • Deficiency
      • Contamination
    • Criteria typically classified as:
      • Objective
      • Subjective
        • These labels can be misleading
    • There are several illegal criteria
    • There are two types of illegal discrimination
      • Disparate treatment
      • Disparate impact
choosing predictors of job performance
Choosing Predictors of Job Performance
  • When selecting new employees, I/O psychologists use criteria that will identify effective on-the-job performance
  • Performance is a function of the following:
    • Knowledge
    • Skills
    • Abilities
    • Motivation
    • Situational Constraints

Performance = (KSA)*Motivation – Situational Constraints

job analysis
Job Analysis
  • Describes:
    • the tasks that are performed
      • type of work
      • tools used
      • working conditions
    • human qualities (KSAOs or competencies) needed to perform the work
  • Tells us what tasks people do and the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to accomplish those tasks.
purposes of job analysis
Purposes of Job Analysis
  • Recruiting
  • Career development
    • What does it take to move up?
  • Legal defense
    • Essential functions: What tasks must be done?
  • Performance appraisal
  • Selection
    • What sorts of people should we hire?
  • Training
    • What knowledge and skills are needed?
  • Research
job oriented job analysis
Job-Oriented Job Analysis
  • Job components (for a carpenter)
    • Duty: construct houses
    • Task: build kitchen cabinets
    • Activity: assemble cabinets
    • Element: drill holes
person oriented job analysis
Person-Oriented Job Analysis
  • KSAO’s (for a carpenter)
    • Knowledge: Have information to do a task
    • Skill: Practiced act or behavior.
    • Ability: Stable capacity to do task.
    • Other personal characteristics: personality, interests, etc.
examples of ksaos for different occupations





Other Personal Characteristics


Constitutional rights

Writing clearly


Willingness to work long hours


Surgical procedures

Drawing blood

Remain calm in a crisis

Lack of squeamishness in the sight of blood


Pipe design

Soldering joints

Hand-eye coordination

Willingness to get dirty



Knowledge of

legal arrest


Writing clearly


Willingness to risk personal safety

Examples Of KSAOs For Different Occupations
hiring the best
Hiring the Best
  • Job: College Professor
  • What are the major duties of a college professor?
  • What tasks are performed to complete each duty
  • Develop a set of KSAO’s necessary for these tasks.
    • should be useable for recruiting and evaluating
  • Challenges?
  • What other information would you want? How would you get it?
data collection approaches
Data Collection Approaches
  • Questionnaire
    • diaries
  • Interview
    • critical incidents
  • Observation
  • Analyst does work

Who do you collect data from?

  • Subject Matter Experts
    • -incumbent
    • -supervisor
    • -co-worker
occasions for formal job analysis
Occasions for Formal Job Analysis
  • Major Restructuring
    • after dramatic growth
    • downsizing
    • new positions
  • Large Selection Procedure
  • Dramatic changes in technology
  • Passage of Time