[IPAC-List] veterans' preference

Aamodt, Michael G maamodt at RADFORD.EDU
Thu May 5 13:12:19 EDT 2011

Interesting proposal. An unintended consequence of veterans preference rights such as that proposed by Oregon is that fewer women will probably be hired. Given that about 85% of people currently active in the military are men, it would seem that there is an increased likelhood for adverse impact. Thus a bill with good intentions might end up hurting women.

Michael G. Aamodt, Ph.D. (Mike)
Professor Emeritus
Department of Psychology
Radford University
Radford, VA 24142-6946
(202) 280-2172
maamodt at radford.edu
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org [ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Partain, Steven C. [Steven.Partain at tvfr.com]
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2011 10:56 AM
To: 'ipac-list at ipacweb.org'
Subject: [IPAC-List] veterans' preference

The Oregon legislature is considering a bill to obligate public employers to interview all veterans who qualify for preference under state law. The rationale behind the effort apparently is to get veterans past initial screening and give them a chance to articulate how they might have transferable skills that are worthy of consideration. As much as we and other public agencies support veteran reintegration and the challenges of mapping military experience to the civilian world, we have a number of concerns about the notion of forcing interviews. Our biggest concern is that we have increasingly opted against using oral interviews as a selection tool, choosing instead other selection tools such as situational judgment tests, simulations, etc. We typically do conduct an interview, but that's usually at the very end of the series of selection steps. And for civil service positions, that interview phase isn't even part of the process to establish the eligible list (for exampl
e, entry-level firefighter). Being obligated to advance all veterans to that step would likely force us to rethink our process. We're working with the sponsors of the bill to clarify that only veterans who meet the minimum qualifications would advance to interviews, which will help some, but not entirely.

I'm wondering if folks on this list have any helpful comments from the perspective of selection theory and best practices that relate. The main proponents of the bill have the perspective that the interview is the lynchpin of the standard selection process, that it occurs as initial step just after applications are screened, and our agency is an outlier in putting it so late in the process.

Is anyone else facing similar efforts in other states?


Steven Partain
HR Manager
Human Resources
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue
11945 SW 70th Avenue, Tigard, Oregon 97223
Ph. 503-259-1292
Fax. 503-974-2235

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