The Employment Selection Interview: Disparity among Research-Based Recommendations, Current Practices and What Matters to Human Rights Tribunals

By Simola, Sheldene K; Taggar, Simon; Smith, Geoffrey W | Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, March 2007 | Go to article overview

The Employment Selection Interview: Disparity among Research-Based Recommendations, Current Practices and What Matters to Human Rights Tribunals


Simola, Sheldene K; Taggar, Simon; Smith, Geoffrey W, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences


Abstract

We surveyed Human Resources (HR) professionals (N = 301) on their use of structure in employment interviews. We compared these data with research-based recommendations and with elements of interview structure considered important by Canadian Human Rights Tribunals. Contrary to research-informed recommendations, HR practitioners and Human Rights Tribunals appear to attach little importance to job analysis as the foundation for developing interview questions and to interviewer training. While Tribunals and the established research literature on employment interviewing favour standardization, this is of lesser concern to Canadian HR practitioners. Finally, there was convergence on valuing behavioural questions and note-taking, but not on valuing interview panels. Implications of our findings for research and practice are discussed. Copyright © 2007 ASAC. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

JEL classification: M12 - Personnel Management

Keywords: employment interview, human resources professionals, Human Rights Tribunals, interview structure, job analysis

Résumé

Des praticiens (N = 301) en ressources humaines (RH) ont été sondés quant à leur recours à la structure dans les entrevues d'emploi. Les données ont été comparées aux recommandations issues de la recherche et aux éléments de structure d'entrevue retenus par les Tribunaux canadiens des droits de la personne. Comparativement aux recommandations issues de la recherche, les praticiens en RH et les Tribunaux des droits de la personne semblent accorder moins d'importance à l'analyse de l'emploi comme point de départ à l'élaboration des questions d'entrevue et moins d'importance à la formation de Vintervieweur. Par ailleurs, bien que les Tribunaux, des droits de la personne et les chercheurs privilégient la normalisation du processus d'entrevue, cet intérêt est moins évident chez les praticiens en RH. Enfin, les praticiens en RH, les Tribunaux des droits de la personne et les chercheurs spécialisés en entrevue d'emploi conviennent de la valeur des questions comportementales et de la prise de notes; la valeur des comités de sélection ne fait toutefois pas l'unanimité. Copyright © 2007 ASAC. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Mots-clés : entrevue d'emploi, l'analyse de l'emploi, praticiens en ressources humaines, structure d'entrevue, Tribunaux des droits de la personne

Employee selection is critical to competitive advantage and organizational survival. Of the numerous selection tools available, the interview is the most widely used (Dipboye, 1992; Eder, Kacmar, & Ferris, 1989; Robertson & Makin, 1986). Interview structure improves the reliability and validity of the selection interview (Harris, 1989; Judge, Higgins, & Cable, 2000; McDaniel, Whetzel, Schmidt & Maurer, 1994; Wiesner & Cronshaw, 1988) and increases its legal defensibility (Hackett, Lapierre, & Gardiner, 2004; Williamson, Campion, Malos, Roehling, & Campion, 1997). However, despite the prevalence of studies indicating the value of structured interviews, there is with few exceptions (i.e., Barclay, 1999; 2001; Chapman & Zweig, 2005) a paucity of data speaking to the degree to which structure is reflected in the interview practices of Canadian HR practitioners. Such information would be valuable in allowing us to determine whether HR practices are consistent with research-based recommendations and with the elements of interview structure considered important to Canadian Human Rights Tribunals. Also, knowing the extent to which practitioners use research-proven employment interviewing techniques helps identify training and development needs.

The primary purpose of our study is to identify employment interview practices used by a sample of HR professionals from a central Canadian province. These practices are compared to those prescribed by the established scholarly literature on employment interviewing (e.g., Campion, Palmer, & Campion, 1997) and to those elements of structure that are considered in deliberations of Canadian Human Rights Tribunals (Hackett et al.

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