Personnel Selection and Assessment: Individual and Organizational Perspectives

Personnel Selection and Assessment: Individual and Organizational Perspectives

Personnel Selection and Assessment: Individual and Organizational Perspectives

Personnel Selection and Assessment: Individual and Organizational Perspectives


The impetus for this volume came from the editors' belief that most current research and thinking about personnel selection and assessment in organizations considered only the perspective of the employer. The job applicant seeking to join the organization or the employee being considered for promotion or reassignment was typically given little attention from the designers of employment or assessment systems.

They believed that this imbalance had several negative implications:
1. Organizational selection and assessment appeared to be the principal area within work and organizational psychology that had forgotten a basic tenet of the profession of psychology, namely, that the welfare of the individual is paramount.
2. A lack of concern for the individuals who were being assessed could result in additional criticisms of psychological assessment in employment settings.
3. The acceptability of selection and assessment devices and systems may impact in (largely) unknown ways on the decisions of individuals to apply for jobs or transfers, thus affecting the selection ratio and potential utility of such systems.
4. Individual reactions to the characteristics of assessment and selection devices could affect the accuracy of the information obtained about those individuals, adversely affecting the reliability and validity of resulting personnel decisions.

Informally discussing these concerns with their professional colleagues, the editors found that others were similarly troubled. Their next response was to organize a three day conference bringing together a number of researchers in applied psychology to present papers and participate in discussions related to balancing individual and organizational needs in selection and assessment. Revisions of the papers presented at this conference form the core of this volume.


There is a compelling need for innovative approaches to the solution of many pressing problems involving human relationships in today's society. Such approaches are more likely to be successful when they are based on sound research and applications. This Series in Applied Psychology offers publications which emphasize state-of-the-art research and its application to important issues of human behavior in a variety of societal settings. The objective is to bridge both academic and applied interests.

A longstanding application of psychology has been in the area of personnel selection. Applied psychologists have developed a variety of assessment instruments, all designed for the purpose of measuring the extent to which job candidates possess skills, abilities, knowledges, and other characteristics relevant to successful performance of the job in question. For the most part, the application of such selection instruments, and the more basic psychological research underlying their use, has been directed toward organizational objectives, such as increasing the productivity of the workforce, reducing turnover, and minimizing training costs. The perspective of the job candidates has received little attention from researchers concerned with organizational selection systems.

This volume argues for the inclusion of the individual perspective in personnel selection and assessment and contains a number of chapters that provide examples of such perspectives as they apply to specific topical areas within this general domain. However, the organizational perspective is not ignored. The volume as a whole provides a useful balance to the important concerns of the employing organization and the individual job candidate.

Adding further variety to the perspectives expressed in these chapters is the international nature of the volume editors and chapter authors. There are . . .

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