Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview

TABLE 5
MEAN CRITERION SCORES OF "YES" AND "No" GROUPS ON ERQ ITEM 3
"Is applicant specially qualified for any particular branch of the trade in which he seeks
employment?"
TRADE "YES" GROUP "NO" GROUPDm CRITICAL
RATIO
N MeanN Mean
Radio mechanic 19 6.60 116 5.90 .446 1.57
Auto mechanic 45 6.38 57 5.98 .730 0.55
Painter 34 5.82 112 5.87 .219 0.23

These results reveal no statistically significant difference between the criterion means of the two groups; none of the critical ratios reached even the .05 level of confidence. Apparently respondent judgments regarding the applicant's qualifications for the particular branch of the trade in which he seeks employment have no bearing on subsequent job performance.

A further check was made on 116 printers in which the mean of respondent replies to Item 3 was used as the score. The correlation with the criterion was .05, thus supporting the above finding.


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Evidence is presented on the validity of a widely used but little studied personnel selection instrument--the employment recommendation questionnaire (ERQ). This device obtains judgments and information by mail from persons familiar with the applicant. The ERQ's studied were objectively scored, and the score for each applicant was the average of his scores from all respondents reporting on him. Validity was studied for 12 skilled jobs against the criterion of performance ratings, and for three professional jobs against the results from intensive field investigations.

Results show that ERQ's for the trades positions had practically no value in predicting later supervisory ratings. Evaluations by references on the applicant's character manifested slightly higher validity than did those on occupational ability, although the correlations varied considerably from job to job. For certain jobs both of these ratings showed sufficient promise to warrant their inclusion as items in a group of other predictors.

Item discrimination in general was very poor, with the possible exception of judgments on the applicant's special qualifications for the particular branch of the trade for which he was applying. This latter item, however, showed no validity.

It should be noted that these results have been obtained for the conventional type of ERQ item, scored objectively according to "face value," and combined on an average-respondent basis. No provision was

-43-

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