[IPAC-List] Manager-level interviews involving peers or rank-and-file ...

Partain, Steven C. Steven.Partain at tvfr.com
Thu May 3 11:17:50 EDT 2012

We have the same desire among hiring managers to do this sort of evaluation. To me, it's a variation of the "let's take the candidate to lunch and get to know him" event. Perhaps Dr. Highhouse can weigh in directly if part of this forum, but I find his criticism of holistic assessments like this to be very persuasive. Key points I've taken away from his writings and presentations:

*There are surprisingly few studies on the relative effectiveness of holistic assessment for employee selection.
*Only one study clearly favored holistic assessment, compared with at least five that clearly favored analytical approaches, and at least seven that were a draw.
*The few studies to examine the incremental validity of holistic judgment have not provided encouraging results (i.e., analytical, mechanical approaches fill the glass half way; holistic judgments fill it the rest of the way).
*Research has shown unequivocally that the more the interview is structured or standardized to look like a test, the greater its utility for predicting on-the-job performance.

Having said that, Highhouse also points out that despite the overwhelming scientific evidence and growing movement in the use of evidence-based practices, people--including HR professionals and some I/O psychologists--continue to believe an intuitive approach to assessment is superior to an analytical one. We all think we can "size up" people better than evidence supports. I've made little headway in tempering that among hiring managers at my organization.

I'm interested in counter thoughts.

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

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Feuquay [mailto:jfeuquay at gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 8:28 AM
To: ipac-list at ipacweb.org
Subject: Re: [IPAC-List] Manager-level interviews involving peers or rank-and-file ...

My recollection of a talk several years ago by Dr. Scott Highhouse, or I could be making it up entirely, was that his department used a similarly described process for the final selection of faculty. The trick, as I understood it, is to provide to the panel only those individuals who are well-qualified to do the job based on professional screening. That way, the group interview can do little harm if it's not significantly less effective than a coin toss. That is, except for that elephant in the room . . . when a bunch of [insert age range], [insert race/ethnicity] [insert gender] consistently presumes the most qualified candidate is much like themselves.
Then, after our best efforts, we end up with the limited-criteria "tap on the shoulder" selection that EEOC seems particularly attracted to recently.
Dr. Jeffrey P Feuquay, I/O Psychologist & Attorney Special Counsel to Russell, Brown & Breckenridge, LLC and Director, Psychology-Law Center, LLC
108 W. Walnut, PO Box 376, Nevada, MO 64772
ofc: 417.667.5076 fax: 417.667.3013

On Wed, May 2, 2012 at 9:53 AM, <RPClare at aol.com> wrote:

> I don't believe the composition of the panel would necessarily change

> our obligations regarding the functions of the panel. it does give the

> advantage of varied perspectives (and perhaps more "accurate" ones).

> Wouldn't leadership/management style be important to have the

> perspective of those to be led/managed? Our real challenge is to

> determine how we structure the panel and to ensure that our analysis

> is designed to uncover the characteristics that can be better tapped

> with the panels competency. Regardless of the composition of the

> panel, the issue of controlling "hidden agendas"(and some not so

> hidden)/bias/feelings among panelists is a continuing and difficult

> challenge. This type of panel in "merely" the selection equivalent of

> a

> 360

> performance evaluation.



> In a message dated 5/2/2012 10:03:18 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,

> ppluta at hr.lacounty.gov writes:


> I believe this would qualify as a 'fit' type of evaluation, rather

> than a competency-based assessment. If it is part of an overall

> selection battery, I would certainly make it the last hurdle. I would

> also develop some structure for the panels to provide their

> evaluations, such as ratings on specific indexes of

> person-organization fit. The extant literature (e.g., Adkins,

> Russell, & Werbel, 1994; Amiot, Vallerand, & Blanchard, 2006;

> Chatman, 1991; Hult, 2005; Westerman, & Cyr, 2004) indicates that

> values congruence is one of the best indicators of person-organization

> fit. So identifying your organization's shared values and identifying

> the extent to which the candidate shares those values may be helpful.

> I believe there are potential pitfalls to leaving these interactions

> completely unstructured and making it an evaluation of how the people

> "feel" about the candidate.


> Paul E. Pluta, ABD

> Human Resources Analyst

> Department of Human Resources

> Talent Management Division

> Phone: 213.738.2021

> ppluta at hr.lacounty.gov


> -----Original Message-----

> From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org

> [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org

> ]

> On Behalf Of keith.poole at phoenix.gov

> Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 3:10 PM

> To: ipac-list at ipacweb.org

> Subject: [IPAC-List] Manager-level interviews involving peers or

> rank-and-file employees


> We (central HR) occasionally get asked by departments to bless "synergy"

> interview panels or discussions with candidates. Usually this is for

> a management level position, and the department wants to invite all

> employees, or a cross-section of employees, to meet candidates and

> have either structured or unstructured Q&A with that potential

> manager. Another

> variation: a panel of the existing, equivalent-level managers in

> that department will interview and assess candidates, potentially

> picking their next coworker/peer.


> The trick seems to be, how do we incorporate their feedback and

> assessment


> into the overall selection decision, while avoiding hidden agendas. In

> some cases the synergy panels do seem to reveal fatal flaws. In

> other cases you get camps rooting for candidate A vs B vs C and

> everything just gets muddy.


> Is there an industry term for this type of interview? Any research

> or suggestions on how this can be a meaningful part of the selection process?



> Keith Poole

> Human Resources Supervisor

> City of Phoenix HR Department

> 135 N 2nd Ave

> Phoenix, AZ 85003

> Phone: (602) 262-7140

> Fax: (602) 495-5498

> Email: keith.poole at phoenix.gov

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