Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview

Section One
PERSONNEL SELECTION

Introduction

THIS SECTION describes the application of scientific methods in the selection of employee and management personnel. The basic problem is that of improving decisions made at the hiring stage. Essentially, the person doing the hiring is making a prediction of an applicant's probable success on a particular job. Put another way, he is trying to match individual differences in people to differences in the requirements of particular jobs. The adequacy with which he can do this depends on his knowledge of how to assess the relevant individual differences, on the accuracy of his information regarding the requirements of the jobs in question and on the validity of the assessment procedures used.

Many personnel procedures are used to assist the personnel department in making hiring decisions. These include job descriptions, application blank information, interviews, psychological test data, and employment references. Often these are used unsystematically and without knowledge of their actual usefulness in particular job situations. The readings in this section describe specific research studies aimed at evaluating or improving such procedures.

The first article, by Rothe, describes one of the first steps in setting up a personnel selection program. This step, usually called job analysis, involves an analysis of the operations and requirements of the job for which we wish to select people. In "Matching Men to Job Requirements," Rothe describes a method developed for supervisory jobs.

A second step in the hiring process is that of recruitment, which involves attracting suitable applicants to the company. It is surprising how little systematic information is actually known about the relative importance of various factors in attracting applicants. Yet many companies have enormous recruiting campaigns which even may include full-page magazine advertisements or visits by company executives to college campuses. The second article in this section, "What Applicants Look for in a Company" by Jurgensen, describes one of the few studies on this subject.

Perhaps, no personnel technique is so widely used (and misused) as the employment interview. It is here that the applicant may have his first personal contact with the company. Thus, the employment interview has a

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