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Reference Checking Would You Hire This Applicant? Exercise 5.7 Why Check References? • Check for resume fraud • Find new information about the applicant • Check for potential discipline problems • Predict future performance Checking for Resume Fraud • Why Check? • Obtaining Missing – 1/3 resumes contain information inaccurate info – unintentional omission – over 500,000 people – strategic omission have bogus degrees – deceptive omission • Verifying Information • Alternative methods – truth – bogus application items – error – social security reports – embellishment – hire professional – fabrication reference checkers Finding New Information About the Applicant • Types of Information • Alternative Measures – personality – psychological tests – interpersonal style – letters of – background recommendation – work habits – biodata • Problems – resumes – references seldom agree – interviews – people act in different ways in different situations Checking for Potential Discipline Problems • Criminal Records • Previous employers • Motor vehicle records • Military records • Credit reports • Colleges and universities • Neighbors and friends Criminal Records • Obtained from local and state agencies • Check with each jurisdiction • Only convictions can be used (EEOC Decision No. 72- 1460) – “Reasonable amount of time” between release and decision to hire – In using convictions, employer must consider • Nature and gravity of offense • Amount of time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of the sentence • The nature of the job held or being sought Credit Checks • Purpose – Predict motivation to steal – Determine character of applicant • Fair Credit Reporting Act – Order through a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) – Provide written notice to applicant to you will be checking credit – Get applicant’s written authorization to check credit – If adverse action is to be taken • Provide applicant with “Pre-adverse Action Disclosure” which includes copy of credit report • Inform applicant that they will not be hired due to credit check and provide name of CRA and notice of applicant rights to appeal within 60 days References Often Have a Limited Opportunity to View Behavior Recalled Remembered Processed % Observed Behavior 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Potential Legal Ramifications • Negligent hiring • Invasion of privacy • Negligent reference • Defamation Defamation • Three types – libel (written) – slander (oral) – self-publication • Employers have a conditional privilege that limits their liability Avoiding Liability for Defamation Employers will not be liable if their statements were • Truthful • Made in good faith – statements were true – don’t offer unsolicited – not true, but reasonable information person would have believed – statements cannot be made them to be true for revenge – opinions are protected – avoid personal comments unless reference infers opinion is based on facts • Made with the permission that don’t exist of the applicant • Made for a legitimate – use waivers purpose – let the former employee know if the reference will not be positive Trait Method of Evaluating Letters of Recommendation • Peres and Garcia (1962) • The Technique – Read each letter – Highlight traits in each letter – Place each trait into one of five categories • Mental agility (openness to experience) • Vigor • Urbanity (Extroversion) • Cooperation-Consideration (Agreeableness) • Dependability-Reliability (Conscientiousness) – Total the number of traits per category – Divide the number of traits per category by the total number of traits Dear HR Director, Ms. Monica Geller asked that I write this letter in support of her application as an assistant manager and I am pleased to do so. I have known Monica for six years as she was my assistant in the accounting department. Monica always had her work completed accurately and promptly. In her six years here, she never missed a deadline. She is very detail oriented, critical, and methodical in her problem solving approach. Interpersonally, Monica is very caring and helpful. Mental Ability:0 Urbanity: 0 Vigor: 0 Cooperation: 2 Dependability: 6 Using the Trait Approach Exercise 5.1 James Beam Dear Mr. Daniels: It is a pleasure to write this letter in support of Mr. James Beam. I have known Jim for 10 years as he was an accounting associate in our firm. Jim is one of the most intelligent, original, and creative individuals I have ever met. He is always developing new ideas. In addition to being so smart, Jim has a great sense of humor, is very friendly, and always cheerful. James Beam Dear Mr. Daniels: It is a pleasure to write this letter in support of Mr. James Beam. I have known Jim for 10 years as he was an accounting associate in our firm. Jim is one of the most intelligent, original, and creative individuals I have ever met. He is always developing new ideas. In addition to being so smart, Jim has a great sense of humor, is very friendly, and always cheerful. The Real Meaning of Recommendations Recommendation Actual Meaning He is a man of great vision He hallucinates He is definitely a man to watch I don’t trust him She merits a close look Don’t let her out of your sight He’s the kind of employee you can He likes dirty jokes swear by She doesn’t mind being disturbed She spent 10 years in a mental hospital When he worked for us, he was He was arrested several times given many citations She gives every appearance of But, appearances are deceiving being a loyal, dedicated employee The Real Meaning of Recommendations Recommendation Actual Meaning If I were you I would give him He can handle a broom sweeping responsibilities She commands the respect of But she rarely gets it everyone with whom she works I am sure that whatever task he He will foul up any project undertakes, no matter how small, he will be fired with enthusiasm You would be very lucky to get She is lazy this person to work for you You will never catch him asleep on He is too crafty to get caught the job Personnel Selection Methods • Training & Education • Skills • Experience – Work Samples – Applications/Resumes – Assessment Centers – Biodata – References – Interviews • Personality & Character • Knowledge – Personality Tests • Ability – Integrity Tests – Cognitive • Medical – Physical – Medical Exams – Perceptual – Psychological Exams – Drug Testing What types of employment tests have you taken? Predicting Performance Using Training and Education Ratings of Training • Education • Work-Related Training • Military Cognitive Ability Tests Strengths – Highest validity of all selection measures (ρ = .51) – Easy to administer – Relatively inexpensive – Most are not time consuming Cognitive Ability Tests Weaknesses – Likely to cause adverse impact – Low face validity – Not well liked by applicants Sample Cognitive Ability Test Exercise 5.2 Perceptual Ability Tests • Perceptual Ability (Fleishman & Reilly (1992) – Vision (near, far, night, peripheral) – Depth perception – Glare sensitivity – Hearing (sensitivity, auditory attention, sound localization) Psychomotor Ability Tests • Psychomotor Ability (Fleishman & Reilly (1992) – Dexterity (finger, manual) – Control precision – Multilimb coordination – Response control – Reaction time – Arm-hand steadiness – Wrist-finger speed – Speed-of-limb movement Physical Ability • Used for jobs with high physical demands • Three Issues – Job relatedness – Passing scores – When the ability must be present • Two common ways to measure – Simulations – Physical agility tests Physical Ability Physical Abilities (Fleishman & Reilly, 1992) – Dynamic strength (strength requiring repetitions) – Trunk strength (stooping or bending over) – Explosive strength (jumping or throwing) – Static strength – Dynamic flexibility (speed of bending or stretching) – Extent flexibility (Degree of bending or stretching) – Gross body equilibrium (balance) – Gross body coordination (coordination) – Stamina Assessment Centers What are They? • A selection technique that uses multiple job-related assessment exercises and multiple assessors to observe and record behaviors of candidates performing job-related tasks Guidelines for Assessment Center Practices Joiner (2000) • Based on job analysis • Use multiple assessors • Behavioral • Assessor training classification • Recording behavior • Assessment techniques • Reports • Use multiple • Overall judgment assessment exercises based on integration of • Simulations information Assessment Center Exercises • Leaderless group discussions • In-basket technique • Simulations – Situational exercises – Work samples • Role plays • Case analyses and business games Evaluation of Assessment Centers Weaknesses – Very expensive – Time consuming – Can have low inter-rater agreement – Behaviors can overlap into several dimensions – Safety of candidates for some work samples When are assessment centers most appropriate? – Most useful for promotion rather than selection – When candidates have some knowledge of the job – When you have the money to develop and maintain assessment centers – When you have the time and trainers Leaderless Group Discussion Exercise 5.3 Predicting Performance Using Prior Experience Experience • Evaluated through: – Application blanks – Resumes – Interviews – Reference checks – Biodata instruments Experience • Considerations – How much experience? – How well did the person perform? – How related is it to the current job? Experience Predicts Best… • Credit prior work experience only: – In the same occupational area as that in which performance is to be predicted – In the performance of tasks or functions that have direct application on the job • Recency of experience should be used as a decision rule for awarding credit only when justified on a case-by-case basis • Credit for duration of work experience should be limited to a few years. • High prediction up to about 3 years of experience, declining to low prediction for more than 12 years of experience. Biodata A selection method that considers an applicant’s life, school, military, community, and work experience Personality Inventories Personality is a collection of traits that persist across time and situations and differentiate one person from another Differences in Personality Inventories • Types of Personality Inventories – Measures of normal personality – Measures of psychopathology • Basis for Personality Dimensions – Theory based – Statistically based – Empirically based • Scoring – Objective – Projective Five-Factor Model (The Big 5) Openness to Experience – imaginative, curious, cultured Conscientiousness – organized, disciplined, careful Extraversion – outgoing, gregarious, fun-loving Agreeableness – trusting, cooperative, flexible Neuroticism (emotional stability) – anxious, insecure, vulnerable to stress Evaluation of Personality Strengths – Relatively cheap – Easy to administer – Little adverse impact – Predicts best when based on a job analysis Weaknesses – Scale development – Validity – Faking Sample Personality Inventory Exercise 5.4 Polygraph Testing • Polygraph (lie detector) is a machine that measures the physiological responses that accompany the verbal responses an individual makes to a direct questions asked by polygraph operator. Limitations of the Polygraph • Emotions other than guilt can trigger responses • Countermeasures used to avoid detection • Frequency of false positives • Frequency of false negatives Legal Guidelines for Polygraph Testing Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 makes it illegal to: • Directly or indirectly require an employee to take a polygraph • Use, accept, refer to, or inquire about the results of any polygraph test of any applicant or employee • Discharge, discipline, discriminate against, or deny employment or promotion to (or threaten such actions) against any prospective or current employee who refuses, declines, or fails to take or submit to a polygraph Legal Guidelines for Polygraph Testing The following are exempt from these prohibitions – Private employers providing security services – Employers who manufacture, distribute, or dispense controlled substances – Federal, state, and local government employees. Drug Testing • Use in 2001 – 80% of U.S. organizations tested for drugs – 16% of employees admit to using drugs • Drug users are more likely to – Miss work – Use health care benefits – Be fired – Have an accident Drug Testing Forms of Testing – Pre-employment testing – Random selection at predetermined times – Random selection at random times – Testing after an accident or disciplinary action Responses to the Presence of Drugs – 98% of job offers withdrawn – Current employees who test positive • 25% are fired after a positive test • 66% are referred to counseling and treatment Two Stages of Drug Testing • Initial screening of hair or urine – Cheaper method ($30 for urine, $50 for hair sample) – Enzyme Multiplied Immunoassay Technique (EMIT) – Radioimmunoassay (RIA) • Confirmation test – Typically used only after a positive initial screening – Thin layer chromatography/mass spectrometry – More expensive Should Organizations Test for Drugs?