Selection System Design and Evaluation

Selection system design and evaluation can either be for a specific job, or on an organisation wide basis.  This can entail either evaluating and improving an existing system, or developing a new system from scratch.

The systems we design can involve all or some of the standard phases of the selection process. The first stage of the selection process involves carrying out a job analysis to identify the key elements involved in it. From this, a person specification is produced. This stage also involves identifying the criteria that can be used to assess the effectiveness of the system as well as attracting suitable applicants. Next, the tools available to the selector are assessed in terms of their psychometric proprieties (reliability and validity) and their suitability for the particular purpose before being  incorporated into a selection system and used to arrive at a decision. The final and possibly most important stage is that of evaluation of the system used in terms of its effectiveness and the effect it has upon the candidates.

Selection System Evaluation

A selection system audit involves answering the question – Does this system accurately and fairly predict those who will be successful at their job? The majority of selection systems do not undergo any systematic or detailed analysis and evaluation of their predictive power until a problem arises. Best practise involves completing an audit on a regular basis.

The need for an effective audit often only comes about when an organisation runs into a problem – increasing staff turnover and attrition, poor individual performance at work or declining worker morale. Often, selection decisions being brought before an Employment Tribunal, or other legal action being taken by candidates are the trigger for an audit.

The ability to be able to prove, to both the internal organisation and any external third parties, such as insurers, Employment Tribunals or external audit bodies, that your selection system is effective, ethical and operating within the law can lower staff turnover, reduce the risk of running into legal problems and increase organisational effectiveness.

The rationale underlying an audit report is based on widely published work regarding selection system evaluation. The audit deals with the determination of desirable personal characteristics in employees and how those characteristics are assessed. The guiding principle is that a selection system should be objective and specified.

The audit is divided into three sections

Section One Ÿ        

  • The specification of purpose Ÿ        
  • The consideration given to the needs of End-Users: applicants; selectors and consumers. Ÿ        
  • The information about competencies/ability obtained Ÿ        
  • Information about the selection tools: the instruments and procedures which will be used to elicit information about candidates.    
  • Information about the selectors: those people involved in evaluating and assessing information and reaching a selection decision. Ÿ        
  • The environment in which selection takes place.  

Section Two  Ÿ        

  • Describe the competency domain: the scope of what is assessed and any technical or structural weaknesses in the job analysis method used to derive it, and the behavioural outcomes produced.Ÿ        
  • Specify the utility of the approach: reliability and validity.   This is a crucial section and one where we look for a defence against claims of direct or indirect discrimination. It involves analysis of any descriptive/inferential statistics used, as well as any regression based quantitative analysis.     
  • Specify the usability of the approach: acceptability and practicality.

Section Three provides a means of summarising and integrating the evaluations made in the previous two sections and of providing an overall assessment in terms of: Ÿ        

  • Strengths and weaknesses. Ÿ        
  • Ratings of the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the selection procedure. Ÿ        
  • A final overall effectiveness rating.

If you would like to discuss your selection system design and evaluation needs with one of our psychologists please contact us.