Three Things to Know About Selection

Frank L. Schmidt and John E. Hunter are two highly regarded individuals in the realm of Industrial/Organizational Psychology. They have both published fascinating research on the most effective talent selection processes. They found that General Mental Ability (also known as general intelligence or cognitive ability) was the best predictor of how an employee would perform. When combined with other tools such as personality tests or structured interviews, the accuracy of prediction is destined to rise. In this article, we will talk about what IO Psychology is and the benefits of using it, selection methods, and impacts on your business. 

What is IO Psychology?

Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology is the study of behavior at organizations and workplaces. This specialty focuses on deriving principles of individual, group and organizational behavior and applying this knowledge to the solution of problems at work. Many companies have I/O teams that improve their employee selection, development, feedback, and much more. Industrial Organizational Psychology addresses issues of recruitment, selection and placement, training and development, performance measurement, workplace motivation and reward systems, quality of work life, and much more. Between the two sides of IO Psychology, the Industrial side involves understanding how to match individuals to specific roles while the organizational side focuses on the effects of structures and management styles on behavior. 

Three Key Takeaways of Selection Methods

  1. Cognitive ability, work sample tests, personality tests, and structured interviews are the most effective predictors of performance.
    1. Out of the nineteen selection processes looked at in this study, Schmidt and Hunter found that cognitive ability, work sample tests, personal tests, and structured interviews were among the top predictors of employee performance. When assessing personality, integrity correlates with the factors of the Big 5 personality model that consists of conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. The focus of this study is the correlation of personality to all types of jobs.
  2. Cognitive ability is a #1 predictor.
    1. Schmidt & Hunter’s research gathered that cognitive ability is ultimately the best predictor of performance in job seekers. Correlations are measured using coefficients that range from -1.0 to +1.0, with a coefficient of 0.35 and above being beneficial for companies. Items that would be on a resume such as GPA, education, and experience have a correlation of only 0.10 – 0.18. 
  3. Businesses are significantly impacted by all selection methods.
    1. Oftentimes, the failure or success in your business can be a direct effect of what selection methods you use. Numerous companies across the nation rely only on unstructured interviews, when in reality you should be using more valid methods to improve your selection processes. According to Schmidt and Hunter, “these organizations are unnecessarily creating a competitive disadvantage for themselves”. To avoid this, try adapting your hiring processes to be more valid and you will see the benefits. Not only will you have the right candidates, but you will also see the increased output.

Ultimately, every company is going to come across hiring needs; there is no choice regarding that. However, companies can choose which selection methods they want to use in making some of those tough decisions. Remember, the perfect combination of selection processes are the GMA test and personality test that both have a high validity when it comes to hiring. 

One of the biggest benefits of partnering with an RPO Service Firm like JCSI, is that we do the “weeding out” of candidates that you are looking for with our relationship. By working as a seamless recruitment supplement, we can work hands-on in your company and get an idea of what your culture is while helping you perform these crucial processes. With our partnership, we can match the best-qualified candidates with your culture to ensure a long lasting successful hire. Visit to learn more!