[IPAC-List] Mistakes in selection

Fred Rafilson fred at iosolutions.org
Tue Nov 22 10:00:30 EST 2011

I spent many years working in the integrity testing field and still work with them today. Based on the advice provided by the 'employee' below, the candidate would probably score poorly on the test and most likely fail because of the validity or lie scale that would be incorporates into that type of overt integrity test. Those 'lie scales' typically contain many items referencing behaviors that we all have most likely engaged in or would endorse just because we are real people (i.e., taking paper clips or minor supplies from work, stealing something when you were a kid or knowing someone who has, feeling resentful or jealous of others' good fortune, calling in sick for school or work when you're not really ill, falsifying a time sheet, etc.) By responding 'never' to a number of these items, your 'score' falls at the tail of the distribution, clearly outside of the norm. It is critical to realize that the type of overt integrity test described below is a norm-referenced test.

So - René - if you answered honestly and the test was well developed, I think you would have passed. Unfortunately for the candidates that would take the advice of the 'employee' below, I believe the results would not have been favorable. Of course, the tests are far from perfect. As for the validity of the decision made based on the score, imperfect tests (i.e., all of them) can only predict group behavior - not an individual's, but that's just part of the deal.

Fred M. Rafilson, Ph.D. ~ Chief Executive Officer
888.784.1290 ~ fax: 708.410.1558

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-----Original Message-----
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Shekerjian, Rene
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 8:26 AM
To: Michael McDaniel (WSF); Dennis Doverspike
Cc: ipac-list at ipacweb.org
Subject: Re: [IPAC-List] Mistakes in selection

The following excerpt from Mike's post seems to back up the blogger's post that was recently shared here.

"A graduate student told me how an integrity test was used to screen applicants at a jewelry store where she worked. The store staff resented the integrity test rejecting applicants who the staff had already identified as acceptable for employment. To undermine the testing process, the store staff coached the applicants prior to the taking of the integrity test by telling them to answer consistent with this: 'You have never stolen anything. None of your friends or family members have ever stolen anything. You believe that stealing anything, no matter how small, is very bad behavior. You believe that if someone steals anything at work, no matter how small, the person should be fired and criminally prosecuted.' No one who received this coaching ever failed the integrity test."

>From my naïve perspective I can only think, if the above is true, that a truly honest person would be doomed by such testing. For example, I was brought up to be honest to a fault. It was considered immoral in my family to deviate at all from the truth. I would be compelled to deviate from the above advice, and here is why.

When I was four years old I stole some gum from the drug store.
I believe that if your family is starving it may be okay to steal some food. Maybe not, but not absolutely not.
If someone stole 3 paper clips at work, I would let it slide.
I had a friend in grade school who walked out of a store once (to my knowledge) without paying for some merchandise.

Of course I recognize that the above excerpt may simply be another case of misinformation. But if it is not, it raises some concerns.


René Shekerjian | Testing Services Division | NYS Department of Civil Service

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael McDaniel (WSF) [mailto:McDaniel at WorkSkillsFirst.com]
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2011 6:44 PM
To: Dennis Doverspike
Cc: ipac-list at ipacweb.org
Subject: Re: [IPAC-List] Mistakes in selection

Dennis said that I had some faking stories. I found the link for some I
sent to TIP in 2000

Best wishes,

Mike McDaniel

On Sun, Aug 7, 2011 at 10:31 AM, Dennis Doverspike <
dennisdoverspike at gmail.com> wrote:

> And speaking of hiring mistakes. Of course the public relations problem for

> the public sector is not only why were these individuals hired, but why

> cant

> we get rid of them.


> The whole article is at:



> http://news.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/2011_0803sacked_t_punks_back_on_the_job/


> First few lines:


> The MBTA has been forced to rehire seven drivers and other key employees

> after they were fired for offenses ranging from dozing at the wheel due to

> drug use, child rape, and assaulting and making bizarre threats of violence

> against co-workers - after bureaucratic arbitrators overturned their

> dismissals on technicalities, a Herald review has found.


> If you are in the public sector, how do you explain this type of result at

> a

> time when the public sector is under attack.


> Dennis Doverspike


> On Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 5:21 PM, Mark Hammer <Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca

> >wrote:


> > I was responding to a thread on another site, and it occurred to me that

> > I've never seen any research on "mistakes" in selection that examnes

> > such mistakes as subject matter. We discuss tests and other tools here

> > under the presumption that mistakes in selection are more likely when

> > suitable validated tools are not used or used properly, but I don't

> > think we look at those mistakes themselves very closely.

> >

> > And by "mistake", I don't mean someone who is simply not as strong a

> > performer as you'd hope for, but someone that makes you regret not

> > hiring a different person. What sorts of clusters are there? (e.g.,

> > nutbar/trouble? all hat no cattle? s**t disturber? not a team player?

> > not really interested in THIS job?) Does category of hiring mistake

> > made show any systematic relationship to kinds of tests/tools used, or

> > *not* used? What role do interviews play in generating or catching

> > mistakes? What role do referrals play? (a good friend received a strong

> > reference for someone from a trusted source in a similar high-powered

> > job to his, and the referral turned out to be a nightmare)

> >

> > How do managers come to the realization that they've made a hiring

> > mistake? What How long does it take them to decide that, what tips

> > them off, and how do they respond?

> >

> > Now, as fascinating as all that might be, and as excited as I am

> > thinking about it, I'll be the first to admit that there are some

> > serious confounds to untangle. Performance is easily confounded with

> > disengagement, and disengagement can be precipitated by actions of the

> > very manager who decides that hire was a mistake. There are also

> > mistakes that are out of the manager's control for the most part. So a

> > manager might be told "You must select from this recruitment pool", and

> > find the validly-assessed people in the pool are a poor fit for the

> > particular role and position they have to offer. I know my wife's

> > micro-agency has but 46 or so positions, including the CEO and

> > receptionist, so folks interested in upward mobility tend not to stick

> > around very long. Obviously few policies would permit the hiring

> > manager to ask point blank "Are you REALLY serious about sticking

> > around, or are you basically passing through?"

> >

> > But, failing all those sticky issues, I think there is something to

> > this. Has somebody already started looking at it?

> > Finally, I have to once again thank Ilene Gast for introducing me to the

> > phrase "30 year mistake" some time back (I believe it was SIOP 2000 in

> > New Orleans). We've all seen them. I want to know how they got there,

> > and how we recognize them.

> >

> > Mark Hammer

> > Ottawa

> >

> > >

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> --

> Dennis Doverspike, PhD., ABPP

> Licensed Psychologist, #3539 (OHIO)

> Independent Consultant

> Professor of Psychology, University of Akron

> dennisdoverspike at gmail.com


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Michael A. McDaniel, Ph.D.
Work Skills First, Inc.
12340 Morning Creek Road
Glen Allen, VA 23059-7100
Voice: 804-277-9730
E-Mail: McDaniel at WorkSkillsFirst.com


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