[IPAC-List] Fw: Job Qualifications

keith.poole at phoenix.gov keith.poole at phoenix.gov
Wed May 12 16:44:30 EDT 2010

The City of Phoenix essentially went the same direction as the Feds about
10 yrs ago...no more lengthy T&E's, resume screening only, basically for
all the reasons Lorin mentions below. In the job market (then) the
hiring managers really wanted fresh lists much quicker. The timeliness of
processing applicants was key to getting the best qualified for many of
the jobs with relatively frequent turnover. I think the resume-only
process is a good option to use for the right jobs in the right market.

Keith Poole
Human Resources Supervisor
City of Phoenix Human Resources Dept
Employment Services
(602) 262-7140
keith.poole at phoenix.gov

"Phoenix - 2009 All-America City"
----- Forwarded by Keith Poole/PER/PHX on 05/12/2010 01:19 PM -----

"Mueller, Lorin" <LMueller at air.org>
Sent by: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org
05/12/2010 12:58 PM

Bryan Baldwin <Bryan.Baldwin at doj.ca.gov>, "ipac-list at ipacweb.org"
<ipac-list at ipacweb.org>, "Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca"
<Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca>

Re: [IPAC-List] Job Qualifications

Some thoughts from 9 or so years of peering over the shoulders of federal
hiring managers.

1) Even is KSA statements are more valid than résumé -based decisions, it
doesn't matter much if they discourage applicants or if applicants
select-out before decisions can be made. The most common complaints among
my federal clients is that they get a certificate of eligibles, start
calling to arrange interviews, and everyone withdraws because they have
already found other jobs. And these are folks who filled out the
application in the first place.

2) I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that KSA statements are more
valid than point-based T&Es. I think the problem with point-based T&Es is
that we don't have a way to score them that is consistent with reality.
These things aren’t additive, they are configural. Early in the federal
hiring process, we just want to know whether someone has the basic
qualifications to perform the work successfully. That typically requires
one of many combinations of education and experience that we believe
confer KSAs. In our SIOP workshop, Steve Ferrara and I presented (in
brief) a potential method for matrix-based resume scoring that I think is
more reliable, valid, and legally defensible than other approaches. It
still may not be the equal to the validity of KSA statements in a lab
setting, but it lowers the time investment for highly qualified
applicants. In short, I think there are valid ways to score résumés that
are valid for making basic qualifications decisions, but it’s not exactly
a sexy research area (just try to do a lit review on the topic).

3) All of the above presumes that KSA statements are completed by the
applicant. A common complaint among hiring managers is that they get
applicants who were obviously coached on what to write in their KSA
statements. Not surprisingly, this is a common complaint among applicants
as well - that KSA statements are coached or the questions are slanted to
a particular candidate.

I am not saying this is what I would have done (agencies who have flirted
with résumé based hiring have had their won problems), but it does address
some common complaints regarding the federal hiring process. I see our
role as I/O psychologists and HR professionals is to propose and promote
best practices to maximize the reliability, validity, fairness, and legal
defensibility of the new processes.

Lorin Mueller, PhD, SPHR
Principal Research Scientist
American Institutes for Research

From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org [ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On
Behalf Of Bryan Baldwin [Bryan.Baldwin at doj.ca.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 9:31 AM
To: ipac-list at ipacweb.org; Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca
Subject: Re: [IPAC-List] Job Qualifications

Not to sound overly cynical, but why does it seem like when organizations
use a valid selection method (e.g, behavioral consistency T&Es) but
implement it poorly (e.g., using said instrument for thousands of
applicants), the solution is to replace it with something much less valid
(e.g., resumes/applications, point-based T&Es)? Or is this just one more
example of the rush to make the selection process as fast as possible,
regardless of the impact on utility (supported by their suggested, highly
suspect, metric of time-to-fill)?

On a related point, how exactly do they intend to get managers and
supervisors "more fully involved in the hiring process, including planning
current and future workforce requirements, identifying the skills required
for the job, and engaging actively in the recruitment and, when
applicable, the interviewing process"? I mean more power to them, but I
gotta think this is something many of have been struggling with for years.

Kudos for trying to modernize the federal hiring system, but I wonder if
there is an appreciation for the enormity of what is being suggested and
the resources it will require.

End rant.

Bryan Baldwin
Staff Services Manager II
California Department of Justice
Division of Administrative Support
Personnel Programs
(916) 322-5446

>>> Mark Hammer <Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca> 05/12/10 6:16 AM >>>


Here is the link to the White House memorandum -
Makes for interesting reading.


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