Selection Process

Hiring a Human Resource Manager

Waseem D. Ezzie
Jul 7 · 10 min read

Selection Proposal of the Four Selection Tests

The proposed process of utilizing formal assessments with a decision model of using multiple hurdles will increase the validity predictor for an applicant’s future work performance. The proposed four selection tests worth considering in administering for the Human Resource Manager position are: Cognitive Ability Test, Structured Interviews, Integrity Test, and Situational Judgment Tests. The reasoning behind utilizing these four tests is because they cover certain Work-Related Characteristics (WRC’s) associated with the open position. These four assessment methods can serve as an essential tool to screen and select applicants in a cost-efficient manner, with a high probability of predicting future work performance.

Cognitive Ability Tests are valid for many jobs, and as the job becomes more complex, the higher the predictability of future work performance. This test measures the applicant’s correlation between the content of the test and the applicant’s education (i.e. linked to academic success). This test measures various mental abilities like memory span, general and intuitive reasoning, logical evaluation, and conceptual classifications (Gatewood et al., 2015, pp. 506).

The Gatewood textbook explains Situational Judgment Tests as “verbal simulations and regarded as low-fidelity because they are almost exclusively descriptions of work situations rather than actual replication” and the test asks the respondent to choose among multiple-choice alternatives (Gatewood et al., 2015, pp. 602). The Situational Judgment Tests proposed in this paper will not be in multiple-choice format, but in a word format for the applicant to answer the questions in writing.

The Integrity Tests are “typically aimed toward identifying job applicants predisposed to participate in or exhibit counterproductive behaviors, such as violence, theft, or illicit drug use” (Gatewood et al., 2015, pp. 617). Structured Interviews are a formal standardized interview where the interviewer asks the interviewee prepared questions in the same order as they are written, and they are substantially reliable in predicting future work performance.

The Pros & Cons

The four key criteria to determine the advantages and disadvantages include; How valid is the selection assessment method with respect to predicting future work performance? What adverse impacts could the company’s Human Resource and Legal Department encounter in utilizing each selection assessment method? Are the costs high, moderate, or low with respect to developing and administering each selection assessment method? Will the applicant’s reaction be positive or negative when presented with each selection assessment method?

The advantages for using a Cognitive Ability Test are: the test can serve as a useful selection tool as it fits the scope for the HR Manager’s WRC’s educational requirements, and the test predictability increases as the job position gets more complex, especially job positions that require advanced education as a requirement. Thus, this test is valid to use for an HR Manager as the test has been validated using academic material. The disadvantages are: using Cognitive Ability Test over the internet is unprotected as someone else can take the applicant’s test, and an applicant can use books or internet material to cheat the test (Gatewood et al., 2015, pp. 509–510, 506, 519–521). Other important advantages for using the Cognitive Ability Test are: the cost-efficiency associated with the test’s development and administration, the test has a high validity to predict future work performance, and the applicant’s reaction to the test is slightly favorable. The disadvantage of using the Cognitive Ability Test is that the test has a high risk of causing an adverse impact, as the cognitive test can create a disparate impact (Pulakos, 2005). Disparate impact is basically unintentional discrimination; it occurs when a protected group is adversely affected by an employer’s practices, procedures, or tests, even though they do not appear to be discriminatory.

An advantage for using a Situational Judgment Test is that a company can develop their own test by following a few simple steps from, gathering stories from supervisory subject matters experts (SMEs) to creating a 5-point scale to grade the answers (Gatewood et al., 2015, pp. 602–608). The disadvantages of internally developing a test without the validation from a psychologist and review from the legal department can cause disparate impact or other legal challenges. Other important advantages are the low cost associated with administering the assessment method, the test has a moderate validity to predict future work performance, and the applicant’s reaction to the test is more favorable. The disadvantages are that the test carries a high cost to develop the assessment method and moderate adverse impact as the cognitive test can create disparate impact (Pulakos, 2005).

The advantages for using a Structured Interview are: that the test offers a more valid predictor of future work performance than unstructured interviews, physical attractiveness factors are reduced in influencing selection decision, and the test reduces casual conversation which could result in subjective selection decisions. One disadvantage of using a Structured Interview is if the interviewer is not prepared, he or she can easily slip into an unstructured and subjective interview (Gatewood et al., 2015, pp. 445–449). Other important advantages for utilizing a Structured Interview are that the test has a high validity to predict future work performance, the test carries a low adverse impact, and the applicant’s reaction to the test is highly favorable. The disadvantage of using Structured Interviews is a high cost associated to develop and administer the assessment method. Thousands of studies, however, concluded that structured interviews are more valid than unstructured interviews (Pulakos, 2005).

Advantages for using an Integrity Test are the test’s validity in predicting “theft, general counterproductive behaviors, and various types of work performance”, and the tests show the applicant the importance of ethics in the company culture. The main disadvantage of using an Integrity Test is that an applicant can fake their responses, especially direct questions about attitude and theft from a previous employer (Gatewood et al., 2015, pp. 622, 626). Other important advantages for using an Integrity Test are the assessment method carries a low adverse impact, low cost to develop and administer, and moderate to high validity to predict future work performance. The disadvantage is that the applicant’s reaction to the test is less favorable (Pulakos, 2005).

Selection Process: Sequence to Conduct the Tests

Figure 1: The below shows the multiple hurdles an applicant for the HR Manager position must undergo in the selection process.

After screening resumés and conducting telephone screening interviews by the HR Coordinator, the Integrity Test will be emailed to ideal applicants and the test will be conducted via a web portal. The reason to start with the Integrity Test is to ensure the applicant has a good moral compose associated to the job-related WRC’s before going forward with the selection process and to show the applicant the importance of ethics in the workplace. An ideal HR Manager is entrusted with confidential information and works independently, so he or she must demonstrate the ability to do the right thing when other people are not looking.

Based on the Integrity Test results (i.e. the score cutoff acceptance point), the next step is an automated email that will be sent to the applicant inviting them to participant in the next test, which is the Cognitive Ability Test, via the web portal. This test is essential because an HR Manager must possess certain job-related WRC’s to identify their attribute in critical thinking. Based on the test results, this test will translate to whether the applicant has the mental ability to perform well in the Situational Judgment Test. If the applicant scored well on Cognitive Ability Test, then the applicant will undergo a Situational Judgment Test. This test will be emailed to the applicant in a word file with challenging questions. The applicant is expected to answer the questions in a written format and the applicant will email the word file to the HR Coordinator. The HR Coordinator will review the answers with an answer key. Each answer will be weighed on a score scale of 1–5, with 1 being low quality, 3 being Moderate Quality, and 5 being High Quality.

The HR Coordinator will manually calculate the applicant’s score, and based on the acceptance cutoff point, the applicant will be offered the opportunity to be interviewed by the Senior HR Manager. The Structured Interview is the last step of the multiple hurdles in the selection process. The main reasoning for performing the tests in this order is because this process is the most efficient manner in utilizing the HR department’s time and tasks in the selection process. Also, one test successfully completed complements the next test’s predictor.

Decision Model Recommendation

The recommended selection decision model is to use the Multiple Hurdles strategy. This is the ideal model to use because the minimum level to accept applicants is a valid predictor of future work performance. The minimum cutoff scores are preset to accept or reject an applicant. The buffer area between the scores acceptance and rejection area are accepted provisionally and can be manually reviewed for consideration if need be. Each applicant must meet the minimum cutoff of each test before going on to the next test (i.e. the applicant must pass one predictor before going to the next predictor). Those applicants who do not pass the minimum predictor cutoff point will be ineligible to go to the next stage of the multiple hurdles (Gatewood et al., 2015, pp. 669–671).

Costs Associated with Conducting the Selection Process

The Integrity Test, Cognitive Ability Test, and the Situational Judgment Test will be administered at the leisure of the applicant via email and web portal. The Integrity Test and Cognitive Ability Test are automatically calculated, if the applicant meets the minimum score standard, then an automated email will be sent to invite the applicant to the next hurdle. The Situational Judgment Test will be calculated manually by the HR Coordinator. The Structured Interview will be performed by the Senior HR Manager, who’s time is very expensive. If the applicant lives in the same city as the company, then the applicant will be invited to interview in the office. If the applicant lives too far to drive to the office, then the Structured Interview will be performed via WebEx.

Critique & Suggestions for the Selection Proposal

The proposed Cognitive Abilities Test and Situational Judgment Test could cause a disparate impact. For example, the 1971 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Griggs v. Duke Power noted that Duke Power violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The court ruled that Duke Power’s use of intelligence tests prevented African-Americans their equal employment opportunities. Thus, to use cognitive abilities test, the selection test’s content must have valid and sufficient defense to show that the selection tests are job-related (Gatewood et al., 2015, pp. 134–136).

In a different position or industry, if these tests are not related to the position, then there is a need to change the Cognitive Abilities Test and Situational Judgment Test to assessments that are job-related. For example, if the job position does not require much education, then there are no grounds to administer such a test. These tests can cause a disparate impact in certain positions which can lead to a lawsuit or investigation from the EEOC. More applicable assessments may be more suited to align with the tests and the job-related specs (e.g. if the position is for a sales department, then change the tests to a Personality Test and Work Sample Test).

The proposed Situational Judgment Test will require the company to develop their own assessment tool. If the test is not reviewed by a phycologist and an attorney, this can cause legal issues and/or the test and scoring method are not valid predictors. Also, using this test will be costly to develop internally as one must consider the associated cost of labor, and if the investment will yield a good rate of return (i.e. decide whether it is worth investing an abundant amount of resources for a position that is not usually vacant). Depending on the position and the industry, a Skills Assessment might be more practical and cost-efficient.

The proposed Integrity Test can be easily manipulated by an applicant and result in a low validity to predict future work performance. In a different position or industry, one can consider replacing this test with a Biological Data Inventories. Using Biological Data Inventories can measure future performance based on past behavior (i.e. past behavior may be the best way to predict future behavior).

The Structured Interview is undoubtedly better a predictor than unstructured interviews. However, if the position is at Twin Peaks location and the manager is hiring for a server, then an unstructured interview may be better suited. The manager will base the bone-fide occupational qualifications (BFOQ) physical features. The Twin Peaks manager’s hiring practices might easily be to hire based on the attractiveness of a female.

Recap

The proposed selection process with respect to the order of the assessments is one of the more proper manner to select an applicant for the Human Resource Manager position. All the assessments complement the WRC’s of the job position’s specs, and each assessment covers the essential fundamental WRC’s to move on to the next selection hurdle. The Integrity Test covers the applicant’s skills and abilities in cooperation, leadership, and reliability as the premise duties for the position. The Cognitive Ability Test covers the applicant’s skills to perform the assigned duties in complex issues, analytical thinking, and problem-solving. The Situational Judgment Test covers the applicant’s strategies in critical thinking, decision making, and resolving conflicts. The Structured Interview will give the hiring manager clarification when making his or her final hiring decision.


References

“Average HR Coordinator Salary”. (n.d.). PayScale. Retrieve from https://www.payscale.com /research/US/Job=Human_Resources_(HR)_Coordinator/Salary/7ee200bd/Houston-TX

“Average Sr. HR Manager Salary”. (n.d.). Retrieve from https://www.payscale.com/ research/US/Job=Sr._Human_Resources_(HR)_Manager/Salary

“Buros Center for Testing”. (n.d.). Retrieve from https://marketplace.unl.edu /buros/catalogsearch/advanced/result/?name=integrity&buros_acronym=&buros_auth or=&buros_publisher=&buros_purpose=&buros_scores=

Gatewood, R. D., Field, H.S., Barrick, M. R. (2015). Human Resource Selection. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. p 134–136; 445–449; 506; 509–510, 506, 519–521; 602; 602–608; 617; 622; 626; 669–671;

“O*Net”. (n.d.). Retrieve from https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/11-3121.00

Pulakos, E. D. (2005). Selection Assessment Methods. Alexandria, VA: SHRM Foundation.

Waseem D. Ezzie

Work Sample Portfolio

Waseem D. Ezzie

Written by

MBA Student @ the University of Houston Downtown with a concentration in Human Resource.

Waseem D. Ezzie

Work Sample Portfolio

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