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Internal Selection

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The Logic of Prediction

-indicators of internal applicants’ degree of success in past situations (previous job/current job in an org.) should be predictive of their likely success in new situations (internal vacancy via org’s transfer or promotion system) -Most valid selection measures: Biographical Data, Cognitive Ability Tests, Work Samples -Although logic of prediction & likely effectiveness of selection methods are similar for both internal & external, several advantages with internal include:

-greater depth – relevance -verifiability -variability -Variability Ex: Multiple assessments solicited from other supervisors & peers -Factors that can derail the logic of prediction include:

-Impression Mgmt & Organizational Politics: decision makers selecting internal candidates need to make sure the are not being played by candidates
-Title Inflation: study shows responsibilities of 46% of recently promoted executives remained roughly the same. No harm caused, but those receiving promotions should see them for what they are

Types of Predictors

-Predictors used in external selection also applicable in internal selection -One important difference pertains to content: usually greater depth and relevance to the data available on internal candidates

Selection Plan

-Mgr’s tend to rely heavily on opinions of previous mgrs who supervised the internal candidate -Decision errors often occur when relying on subjective feelings Ex: job candidates w/ the best technical skills will make the best mgrs when this is not really the case -a sound job analysis will show both technical & managerial skills need to be assessed w/ well-crafted predictors – Feel, hunch, gut instinct, intuition, and the like do not substitute for well developed predictors -Imperative a selection plan be used for internal as well as external selection -a selection plan lists the predictors to be used for assessment of each KSAO

Initial Assessment Methods

-screen out applicants who don’t meet minimum requirements

Talent Management/Succession systems

-Major problem for med and lrg orgs is finding out which employees have the desired skills -Sometimes call “human capital mgmt”, keep an ongoing org record of the skills, talents, and capabilities of org’s employees to inform HR decisions -used to attain many goals including performance mgmt, recruitment needs analysis, employee development, & compensation and career mgmt -primary goal of such systems is to facilitate internal selection decisions by keeping an organized, up-to-date record of employee skills, talents, & capabilities -Less than half of orgs use them because it is seen as too costly (this must be compared to the cost of not using a system: What are the costs of making selection decisions based on incomplete knowledge of the skills/capabilities of current employees?) -Secondly, the expertise to create such a system may not be available -Good systems include the KSAO’s held by each employee in different skill categories, current position, future positions they are capable of performing, summarizes data so a skills audit can be generated to id talent shortages -Problems include systems quickly becoming outdated (Mgr.s must continually update info), can be rather general or generic -must be frequently updated, specific, aligned w/ org’s strategies, and be used when internal selection decisions are made

Peer Assessments

-variety of methods: peer ratings, peer nominations, peer rankings -used extensively in military & to a lesser degree in industry -advantage: rely on raters who are presumed to be knowledgeable of applicants’ KSAO’s -disadvantages: may encourage friendship bias and may undermine morale by fostering a competitive environment, criteria not always made clear

-use a job requirements matrix so job is spelled out in advance
-peers more likely to feel decisions reached are fair
-used more with open rather than closed systems of internal recruitment


-sometimes used with open recruitment systems
-may raise expectations of those rating themselves that they will be selected -ensure employees are realistic in their self-assessment

Managerial Sponsorship

-Provides day to day feedback
-diagnoses & resolves performance problems
-creates opportunities for employees using existing training programs & career developments
-actively promotes person for advancement opportunities
-guides person’s career rather than simply informing them of opportunities
-creates opportunities for people in decision-making capacities to see the skils of the employee (lead a task force)
-becomes personally responsible for the success of the person
-available to person on & off job
-lets person in on “insider” info
-solicits & values person’s input

-sometimes these relationships are assigned in org’s & other times they occur naturally -individuals are often given considerable influence in promotion decisions

Informal Discussions & Recommendations

-common means of internal selection decisions, especially in small companies -limited validity because they are quite subjective

Choice of Initial Assessment Methods

-Cost refers to expenses incurred in using predictor
-Reliability refers to consistency of measurement
-Validity refers to strength of the relationship between predictor & job performance
-low = .00-.15
-moderate = .16-.3
-high = .31+
-Utility refers to monetary return minus costs, associated w/ using predictor -Adverse impact refers to possibility that disproportionate # women/minorities are rejected using this predictor -Applicant reactions refers to likely impact on applicants

-Talent mgmt/succession systems & informal methods are used extensively, suggesting that many org’s continue to rely on closed rather than open internal recruitment
– talented applicants may be overlooked in these approaches – peer assessment methods are very promising in terms of reliability & validity
-not frequently used, but more org’s should consider using them

Substantive Assessment Methods

-decision to which internal candidates will become finalists

Seniority & Experience

-seniority: length of service or tenure with org, dept, or job -experience: length of service in org but also kinds of activities undertaken

Use and Evaluation

-Ressearch has shown seniority is more likely to be used for promotions in small, unionized, & capital-intensive companies
-experience may be content balid b/c it reflects on the job experience
-seniority & experience info is easily obtained
-unions believe that reliance on objective measures such as seniority & experience protects the employee from capricious treatment & favoritism
-promoting experienced or senior individuals is socially acceptable b/c it is seen as rewarding loyalty
-seniority (org. tenure) was rather weakly related to task performance (rbarxy=0.1), helping behavior at work (rbarxy =.08), work creativity (rbarxy =.06), & work counterproductive behavior (rbarxy = -.07)

-validity of experience is more positive than seniority
-experience is moderately related to job performance
-experience is preducitive of job performance in the short run, but is followed by a plateau during which experience loses its ability to predict job performance
-will not remedy performance difficulties due to low ability
-conclusions drawn from research evidence about the use of seniority & experience in internal selection decisions seem appropriate:
1. Experience is more valid method of internal selection than seniority
2. Experience is better suited to predict short term rather than long term potential
3. Experience is more likely to be content valid if the past or present jobs are similar to future job
4. Employees seem to expect that promotions will go to the most senior or experienced employee, so using seniority or experience for promotions may yield positive reactions from employees
5. Experience is unlikely to remedy initial performance difficulties of low ability employees

Job Knowledge Tests

-complex concept that includes elements of both ability(capacity to learn) and seniority (opportunity to learn) -a paper and pencil test- content from which test questions will be constructed need to be clearly identified -Federal express developed a video-based job knowledge test, Quality Using Electronic Systems Training (QUEST) -90% competency level suggest that such assessments could be used in internal selection decisions when promoting employees into customer-sensitive positions

Performance Appraisal

-data on employees’ previous performance are routinely collected as part of the performance appraisal process and thus available for use in internal selection -Advantage is that they are readily available and capture both ability & motivation -offer complete look at person’s qualifications

-not always direct correspondence between the requirements of the current job and the requirements of position applied for -should only be used as predictors when job analysis indicates a close relationship between current job and position applied for -Subject to many influences tha have nothing to do with the likelihood of success in a future job -”Peter Principle”- individuals rise to their lowest level of incompetence; if org’s promote individuals on the basis of their past performance, the only time that people stop being promoted is when they perform poorly -over time this will result in the org internally staffing positions with individuals who are incompetent -past performance may have some validity in predicting future performance, the relationship may not be overly strong -questions to as in using performance appraisal as a method of internal staffing decisions:

Is the performance appraisal process reliable and unbiased?
Is present job content representative of future job content?
Have the KSAO’s required for performance in future job(s) been acquired and demonstrated in the previous job(s)?
Is the organizational or job environment stable such that what led to past job success will lead to future job success?

Promotability Ratings

-assessemtn of promo ability (assessment of potential for a higher-level job) is made at the same time that performance appraisals are conducted -useful from selection perspective and recruitment perspective -by discussing what is needed to be promo table, employee dev may be encouraged as well as coupled w/ organizational sponsorship of the opportunites needed to develop -caution must be exercised that employees don’t received mixed messages

Assessment Centers

-primarily used internally and for higher level jobs b/c of high costs involved -concern is with predicting an individuals behavior and effectiveness in critical roles, usually managerial -selection plan must be developed when using assessment centers

Characteristics of Assessment Centers

-most 2-3 days; no longer than 5 days
-assessors usually line mgr’s, but sometimes psychologists
-avg. ratio of assessors to assesses ranges from 1:1 to 4:1
-typical dimensions assessed include communications, leadership & human relations, planning, problem solving, decision making

In-Basket Exercise “Inbox”
-most common
-contains memoranda, reports, phone messages, and letters that the candidate must prioritize, draft responses, schedule meetings
-times exercise (approx. 3 hrs)

Group Discussion
-small group given problem to see how each candidate behaves in unstructured
setting looking for leadership & communication skills, teamwork, judgment

Case Analysis
-each candidate is asked to provide a written analysis of the case, give an oral
presentation to a panel of mgrs and respond to their questions

Validity & Effective Practices
-27 validity studies revealed correlation between the assessment center overall assessment rating (OAR) & job performance was reasonably positive (rbarxy=.28)
-little or no adverse impact against women & minorities
-females usually perform better
-Problems: assessment center dimensions do not show much construct validity calling into question the content of what is being assessed
-dimensional effects tend to be weak because halo effects in assessors’ ratings and assessee behavior tends to be consistent across situations
-evidence does suggest that more research is needed as to what constructs are uniquely captured with assessment centers
-very costly
-validity of a situational judgment test composite score (rbarxy=.28) was identical to the validity of assessment centers
-assessment centers are stressful to participants, and the unfavorable feedback that often results from participation is particularly taxing to assesses

Interview Simulations

-simulates oral communications required on the job

Role Play
-he/she must interact w/ a person at work (dealing w/ difficult employee)

Fact Finding
-presented w/ case or problem w/ incomplete information

Oral Presentations
-useful to see what sort of “sales pitch” a consultant might make or how an executive would present their proposed strategic plan to a board of directors

Promotion Panels & Review Boards

-they review the qualifications of candidates
-typically consists of job experts, HR professionals, and representatives from constituencies in the community that the board represents -Advantages: multiple assessors ensure a complete & accurate assessment and by participating in the selection process constituents are likely to be more committed to the decision reached

Choice of Substantive Assessment Methods

-same criteria are applied to evaluating the effectiveness of these predictors as were used to evaluate the effectiveness of initial assessment methods pg 528 -no single best method of narrowing down the candidate list to finalists -job knowledge tests, promo ability ratings, and assessment centers have a strong record in terms of reliability & validity in choosing candidates -a very promising development for internal selection is the use of job knowledge tests -effectiveness of several internal selection predictors(case analysis, interview simulations, and panels and review boards) is not known at this stage -interview simulations appear to be a promising technique for jobs requiring public contact skills -all of them need additional research

Discretionary Assessment Methods

-used to narrow down list of finalists to thos who will receive job offers -sometimes made on basis of organizational citizenship behavior and staffing philosophy regarding EEO/AA -Two areas differ from external selection: previous finalists who do not receive job offers do not simply disappear(being bypassed a 2nd time may create a disgruntled employee -multiple assessors are generally used w/ internal selection -evaluations by people other than the hiring mgr may be accorded substantial weight in the decision-making process

Legal Issues

-from a legal perspective, methods & processes viewed in the same way as those of external selection -legal influences already discussed in ch 8 & 9

Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP)
-apply to any “employment decision” which explicitly includes promotion decisions
-when there is adverse impact in promotions, the organization is given the option of justifying it through the conduct of validation studies
-these are criterion-related or content validity studies, ideally criterion-related studies w/ predictive validation designs will be used
-place substantial administrative and research demands on the org that are difficult to fulfill most of the time
-content validation appears to be a better bet for validation purposes
-org should pay particular and close attention to validation & documentation requirements for content validation in the UGESP

The Glass Ceiling
-EEOC’s policy on nondiscriminatory promotions is 1) the KSAO’s to be assed must be job related & consistent w/ business necessity & 2) thre must be uniform and consistently applied standards across all promotion candidates -How might an org. operate its internal selection system to comply w/ EEOC?

-greater use of selection plans that lay out KSAO’s required, which KSAO’s are necessary to bring to the job(not aquire there), and of those necessary, the appropriate assessment for each
-such a plan forces org to conduct job analysis, construct career ladders or KASO lattices, and consider alternatives to methods of promotion
-back away from traditional method(supervisory recommendation, typical promotability ratings, quick reviews of personnel files, and informal recommendations) of assessment in way consistent w/ the selection plan w/ more formal, standardized, & job-related methods (assessment centers, promotion review boards or panels, and interview simulations)

-pay close attention to types of KSAO’s necessary for advancemtn and undertake programs to impart these KSAO’s to aspiring employees ( job & committee assignements, participation in conferences & other networking opportunities, mentoring/coaching programs, skill acquisition in formal training programs

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