HR Practitioners

Several studies since have explored why these research findings have seemingly failed to transfer to

HR practitioners. Among the causes are the fact that HR professionals often don’t have time to read

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HR Practitioners
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the latest research; the research itself is often present with technically complex language and data;

and that the prospect of introducing an entirely new screening measure is daunting from multiple


At the same time, anyone who has ever been responsible for hiring, much less managing, employees

knows that there is a wide variation in worker performance levels across jobs. Therefore, it is critical

for organizations to understand what differences among individuals systematically affect job

performance so that the candidates with the greatest probability of success can be hired.

So what are the most effective screening measures?

Extensive research has been done on the ability of various hiring methods and measures to actually

predict job performance. A seminal work in this area is Frank Schmidt’s meta-analysis of a century’s

worth of workplace productivity data, first published in 1998 and recently updated. The table below

shows the predictive validity of some commonly used selection practices, sorted from most

effective to least effective, according to his latest analysis that was shared at the Personnel Testing

Counsel Metropolitan Washington chapter meeting this past November:

So if your hiring process relies primarily on interviews, reference checks, and personality tests, you are choosing to use a process that is significantly less effective than it could be if more effective measures were incorporated.


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