Selection Management System: 3 Tips for Success

By Team Hireology,
November 15, 2012

Hello everyone! I’m Hireology’s Industrial and Organizational Psychology Intern. Don’t go clicking on to the next blog just yet, this is something that is relevant to anyone looking to improve their selection management system, or even those looking for validation that their current system is awesome.

Everyone wants to have the best selection management system possible for their business. However, a lot of companies don’t realize that integrating psychological theories and practices into their business is the best way to get to know their candidates, and make the best selection decisions. Selection management encompasses a wide array of things. Although there are many facets to the process of selection, at its core, the system must always be fair, effective and useful. This may seem like a simple task, however ensuring that the system meets these requirements is not always as easy as it seems.

Is your process neutral?

The issue of fairness is brought about in order to avoid adverse impact, which is simply eliminating people of a specific group, whether it be by race, socioeconomic status, etc. Though many companies think that their selection processes are neutral, they can be discriminating against protected groups by having testing that may not be fair across groups. Tests must be checked for validity across various groups to ensure they are not biased against any specific group. One solution to the issue of adverse impact is to use banding. Banding is the process of ranking candidates by test scores (or interview scores), and selecting the top scoring applicant/s for hire. Or another approach can be taken, where the top three or five candidates are given to the hiring authority. This is incredibly important, because members of protected groups can actually follow through with suing companies if there is obvious discrimination against certain groups of people (and no one wants to deal with legal issues).

Is your process effective?

Another way of improving your company’s selection management is to make sure that your process is effective. (Hopefully I’m not losing you yet!) The effectiveness of your selection process is absolutely vital to the success of your company (you need to find the right people in the right way). Effectiveness refers to the validity (are you measuring what you want to measure with your test) and reliability (are your results consistent). The two things you want to make sure of with validity is that your questions (test or interview) are telling you what you want to know, and also that they are related to a specific job task that you are trying to learn about through the question. If your questions are not actually telling you about how the candidate is going to do in a specific job, then they are not really helping you select the best person for that position. Reliability is ensuring that your results are consistent, whether it be consistency between alternate forms of the same test, or consistency between raters (important during interviews held by multiple members of the company). If interviews and test are not reliable, then they cannot be valid, deeming them ultimately useless in the process of selection management.

Are you using your resources wisely?

Finally, every company wants to make sure they are using their resources wisely. (We’re almost done, and money is a big deal, so hang in there!) The usefulness of your selection techniques are of top priority, because no one wants to waste the time of hiring managers (or any other company employees) and they definitely don’t want to waste any money!

We all know that you have to spend some money to get the best candidates, but using more resources than necessary is wasteful and detrimental to the company. In order to make sure your company isn’t throwing away resources, it is important to examine the utility of your selection management processes. In other words, you want to make sure that this system you’re pouring time and money into is actually giving you the results you desire (i.e. amazing employees). There are some awesome ways to look at your systems utility (but I’ll only bore you with one of them).

Looking at the proportion of correct decisions is a great way to evaluate your utility. All you need is a cut off score for your test or interview, along with the ideal length of time you’d like someone to stay with the company. You create a chart with the test/interview score scale across the bottom, and the time with the company on the side, and plot your current employees. By looking at people who score above the cut off and have been there as for your desired time, you can see if your test is proving you with adequate predictions of your employee performance (or in this case, loyalty). If you have most of the people who scored above your cutoff staying past your desired time frame, then your test is giving you a pretty valid prediction of how your candidates will perform (meaning it is useful), if not then you may want to reevaluate your test and/or interview choices (which Hireology offers you, don’t forget!).

In conclusion (the end is in sight!), you want to make sure that you are not only using a selection management system, but that your system is also fair, effective, and useful for your company. If it’s not, you’re only wasting your company’s resources, and you’re not even getting great employees to show for all of your efforts.

One extra tip for success: Look for these four elements in each candidate. 

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