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Employee selection: Mechanisms behind practitioners’ preference for hiring practices
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 000-0002-8104-0308
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Despite the great advances science has made in developing selection decision aids practitioners’ generally remain reluctant to adopt them. This phenomenon is considered today one of the greatest gaps in industrial, work and organizational psychology. This thesis adopts a psychological approach to practitioners’ resistance toward hiring procedures with high predictive validity of work performance. Consequently, three specific research questions were examined, two of which highlighted aspects of self-regulation, and one focused on agency relation in order to study outcomes in terms of actual use of hiring procedures and intention to change hiring procedures. The present thesis comprises three studies. Questionnaire data is used in two studies (Study I and II) to study how 1) prototype beliefs and ability to evaluate the quality of own performance is related to use of selection decision methods; and also how 2) behavioral intention to change hiring practice is related to self-efficacy beliefs, causal attribution and past behavior. Data collected with semi-structured interviews is used in Study III in order to study practitioners’ experiences in collaborative contexts in employee selection. Study I found that prototype beliefs and task quality ambiguity perceptions varied across various hiring practices. The results from Study II showed that self-efficacy beliefs, external attributions of success and internal attributions of failure were related to intention to change hiring practices. Study III highlighted the prevalence of separate self-interests over more general organizational interests in the agentic relation between practitioners. In conclusion, the present thesis has implication for theory as well as practice when it concludes that conscious steered cognitive mechanisms are important for understanding practitioners’ resistance towards high standardized hiring practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University , 2013. , 66 p.
Keyword [en]
employee selection decision making, employee data collection methods, hiring practices, self-efficacy, causal attribution, behavioral intention, agency
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95890ISBN: 978-91-7447-814-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-95890DiVA: diva2:662235
Public defence
2013-12-20, David Magnussonssalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2013-11-28 Created: 2013-11-06 Last updated: 2013-12-05Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Hiring Managers’ Prototype Beliefs and Their Use of Employee Selection Practices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hiring Managers’ Prototype Beliefs and Their Use of Employee Selection Practices
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Current approaches in employee selection research suggest that understanding practitioners’ beliefs would help explain their resistance towards standardized employee selection practices. For this purpose we conducted a survey among hiring managers from the Swedish retail industry. Based on their answers we identified prototype beliefs about what it takes to be successful in employee selection and examined the relationships between these beliefs and hiring managers’ use of employee selection practices. The results indicate that the prototypical hiring manager is defined by three primary facets: professional experience, disposition, and importance of individual attributes. We also found that (a) beliefs about the importance of educational experiences are positively related to hiring managers’ use of standardized assessment methods, and (b) that hiring managers’ beliefs about the importance of disposition are positively related to their use of non-standardized assessment methods and negatively related to their use of standardized assessment methods. Moreover, individuals who frequently used standardized tests and structured interviews are significantly less likely to perceive employee selection as an ambiguous process. This study contributes to the theory of employee selection by demonstrating that hiring managers’ prototype beliefs are significantly related to their use of employee selection practices. The results also suggest that using standardized methods of assessment may improve practitioners’ ability to evaluate the effectiveness of their employee selection decisions. A practical contribution of this study is that it informs organizations about the characteristics that hiring managers believe are important for someone in their line of work to possess.

Keyword
employee selection, assessment methods, prototypes, task quality ambiguity, intuition-based hiring practices
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95918 (URN)
Projects
Handeln som arbetsplats
Funder
Swedish Retail and Wholesale Development Council
Available from: 2013-11-07 Created: 2013-11-07 Last updated: 2013-11-11
2. Individual Determinants of Behavioral Intentions: What tells us that practitioners really want to change hiring strategies?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Individual Determinants of Behavioral Intentions: What tells us that practitioners really want to change hiring strategies?
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Selection and Assessment, ISSN 0965-075X, E-ISSN 1468-2389, Vol. 20, no 4, 453-463 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The current study investigated hiring managers' intentional readiness to change hiring procedures as a function of individual determinants, such as their self-efficacy beliefs, causal attributions, and past behaviors. Hiring managers from three large organizations were recruited to participate and provide information about their current hiring processes and personal experiences. Results showed that self-efficacy beliefs had a strong negative relationship with intentional readiness to change. Managers' past behavior, in terms of use of unstructured interviews and external attributions of failure, were negatively associated with intentional readiness to change, while use of unstructured interviews and external attribution of success were positively associated with intentional readiness to change. Furthermore, the interactive effect of causal attribution and use of selection methods played a significant role in explaining intentional readiness for change. The results indicated that recruiting managers who preferred using unstructured interviews and attributed failures to external causes were less willing to change hiring practices than those who made less use of unstructured interviews and explained their failure externally. Implications and limitations are discussed.

National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-84802 (URN)10.1111/ijsa.12008 (DOI)000311377600009 ()
Note

AuthorCount:3;

Available from: 2013-01-02 Created: 2013-01-02 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Hiring Managers’ Reliance on Intuition and Subjectivity in Employee Selection: An Agency Theory Approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hiring Managers’ Reliance on Intuition and Subjectivity in Employee Selection: An Agency Theory Approach
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present study investigated the factors influencing employers’ preference for non-standardized applicant data collection methods and data combination strategies based on the principal-agent framework (i.e. Agency theory). This is a qualitative study, based on semi-structured interviews with three categories of professionals, including hiring managers, corporate, and third-party recruiters. The data show that hiring managers (i.e. principals) strive to monitor corporate and third party recruiters’ (i.e. agents) behavior in order to overcome problems of opportunistic behavior and asymmetric information. Asymmetric information was perceived as a problem especially when related to the use of standardized data collection methods, of which the principals had little or no control. In addition, different agents’ affiliations (internal or external) trigger different degrees of assertive behavior by agents. A direct implication is that intuition can be a powerful tool in the hand of principals especially when confronted with more exertive agents, as for example, external ones (i.e. third party recruiters). The study expands the traditional principal-agent framework and contributes to the understanding of mechanisms and reasons behind why practitioners rely on their own subjectivity, which has been a central topic of discussion in the field of personnel selection in recent years. 

Keyword
applicant data collection methods, agency theory, recruiter credibility, intuition
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95920 (URN)
Available from: 2013-11-07 Created: 2013-11-07 Last updated: 2013-11-11

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