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1 PSY 6430 Unit 8, Pre-employment Screening Application Forms, Reference Checks, Credit and Background Checks, Social Media, & Interviews Schedule Wednesday,

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Presentation on theme: "1 PSY 6430 Unit 8, Pre-employment Screening Application Forms, Reference Checks, Credit and Background Checks, Social Media, & Interviews Schedule Wednesday,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 PSY 6430 Unit 8, Pre-employment Screening Application Forms, Reference Checks, Credit and Background Checks, Social Media, & Interviews Schedule Wednesday, 4/15: Lecture, one lecture unit! Monday, 4/20: Exam 8 Task analysis due if grade BF ME2 Wednesday, 4/22: Return of E8 ME2 Study objectives Monday, 4/27: ME2 at 5:00-7:00 pm Task analysis due – can leave it in my mailbox in Wood, if you prefer

2 Application forms & Biodata assessments As indicated in SO1, while I understand that biodata assessments are valid, I have a hard time with them because: Invasion of privacy: see questions in Tables 9.2 and 9.3 on pages 340 and 341 Particularly given the warning by the authors later in the text that invasion of privacy issues are likely to become more important in the future Nature of the work force may (and does) change over time and what predicts successful performance for current workers may not at all predict successful performance for “new” generations of workers, particularly given increasing diversity of the workforce 2 (cont. next slide)

3 SO2: Application & Biodata assessments A. And, they don’t add any predictive value over general mental ability tests B. Implication: Employers would do as well with a readily available mental ability test (save time and money re development) and avoiding biodata inventories 3

4 4 SO3: Falsification of information on resumes and application forms People do falsify information, for positions at all levels of an organization A study by the Society of Human Resources Management reported that 53% of applications contain false information The NY Times reported that 34% of applications contain outright lies about experience, education, and ability to perform the essential job functions NFE, but 41% of college students said they included at least one false statement on an application, and 95% said they were willing to do that Also NFE, but 40% of executives reported they had lied about their education

5 5 SO3, NFE: examples from a 2012 article Marilee Jones, Dean of Admissions at MIT did not have any of the degrees she claimed from three universities Kenneth Lonchar, CEO of Veritas Software lied about having an accounting degree Shirley DeLibero, head of Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority, did not have two degrees listed on her resume Michael Brown, head of the Federal Emergency Agency Claimed he was assistant city manger when he was only assistant to the manager with no mgt. responsibilities Claimed he was a professor when he was only a student at a particular university Claimed to have been the national head of a trade group when he had only headed a regional chapter Did not reveal previous employment from which he had been terminated *Bible, J. D. (2012). Lies and damned lies: Some legal implications of resume fraud and advice for Preventing it. Employee Relations Law Journal, 38(3), (and probably once of the most infamous..)

6 6 SO3,NFE: Examples cont. Any sports fans? In 2001, Notre Dame hired George Leary as the new football coach He was fired 5 days later for falsifying his credentials He claimed he had an MA from NYU, which he did not He claimed that he had coached a football team in New Hampshire, which he had not And, finally he claimed he had played 3 years of football, which he had not

7 7 SO3,NFE: Examples, cont. My experience at Port Authority when I was working in the Personnel Department, Management Division We hired a woman as a human resources representative who claimed to have a very strong background as a personnel administrator She was a disaster About 6-8 months after she was hired, one of my colleagues took it upon himself to check out her references Every single one of them was false My colleague brought this to the attention of our manager, who at the time was an interim manager (who wanted to be the permanent manager) He buried the whole thing and kept her on

8 8 SO3,NFE: One more example WMU, Hamman, 2010 Hired in 2004, left in February, 2010, age 58 Co-directed WMU’s Center of Excellence for Simulation Research, College of Aviation, medical simulation work He was a United Airlines pilot, hired directly by the Dean of the College of Aviation, who had also been a UA pilot and who bypassed WMU’s regular hiring process The co-director, Bill Rutherford, was a physician and also had been a pilot and executive at UA Hamman claimed to have a Ph.D. and a medical degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison The Center brought in over $4.2 million dollars in grant funding He left to join William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak In June, Beaumont discovered he did not have either a Ph.D. or a medical degree! (article at the end of the sos)

9 9 SO3: Falsification of information on the application form (this slide, also NFE) The moral of the story: Even for high profile positions, some applicants falsify information, so check references!!

10 10 SO4: Wording to reduce falsification on applications Every application form should have the following wording on it: Deliberate attempts to falsify information can be detected and may be grounds for either not hiring you or for terminating you after you begin work And, the following to obtain certification by the applicant: By signing this application, I declare that the information provided by me is complete and true to the best of my knowledge. I understand that any misrepresentation or omission on this application may preclude an offer of employment, or may result in a withdrawal of an employment offer, or may result in my discharge from employment if I am already employed at the time the misrepresentation or omission is discovered. It is much easier to fire a person because he/she lied on the application than it is to fire a person for false or incomplete information on the application! SO4, FE: This type of wording has been shown to reduce falsification by almost 50%!

11 11 SO5: Application blanks The “more the better” danger Some employers think it is desirable to obtain as much information as possible on the application in order to screen applicants better However, the “more the better” danger can create major problems for an employer. Why? They are covered by EEO and AA laws Those laws assume that ALL questions on the application are used to make selection decisions Under a charge of unfair discrimination, the burden of proof may be on the employer to demonstrate that ALL questions are fair, and not discriminatory

12 12 SO6 (NFE): Questions to ask about application form items - Table 9.5 Will answers to this question, if used, have adverse impact on members of a protected group? Is this information really needed to evaluate an applicant’s competence or qualifications for the job? Does the question conflict with EEOC guidelines, federal or state laws, or statutes? Does the question constitute an invasion of privacy? Is information available that could be used to show that responses to a question are associated with success or failure on a specific job (five questions to ask; did anyone bring in an application form from a company they work for?)

13 13 SO7: Questions most litigated Reviews of 300 federal court cases re applications Sex and age most frequent (53% of cases) Of those, the plaintiff won over 40% NFE, but ~ 20% of the cases involved questions relating to Educational requirements Convictions Work history Experience requirements (can’t ask for dates of attendance to high school or college – age)

14 14 SO8: Fair Employment Practice Laws The Fair Employment Practice Laws of states determine the legal status of pre- employment inquiries, and thus these are the laws that employers should review first when looking at their application forms

15 15 SO9: State vs. Federal laws, which are favored by EEOC and why? EEOC favors state laws Federal laws tend to be more conservative, that is they favor the organization more than the person bringing the complaint Federal laws supersede state laws so state laws must be as “conservative” as federal laws State laws can be more liberal (favor the individual more) State laws can cover other demographic characteristics (Michigan laws cover people who are overweight and sexual orientation; California covers cross-dressers) Example in book – federal laws permit questions re criminal convictions (not arrests, but convictions), but some states, OH, for example, applicants cannot be required to disclose convictions for minor misdemeanor violations

16 16 SO10: Questions you can and cannot ask Turn to Table 9.6, page 354 Cannot ask anything about marital status, children or child care Cannot ask anything that reveals the date of birth (when did you graduate from high school) Undesirable to ask about military experience Cannot ask about arrests, only convictions

17 17 SO11: Use of technology and screening resumes Companies are increasingly: Optically scanning resumes Using keyword searches for to identify specific information that addresses minimum qualifications and credentials (SO is worded awkwardly – sorry) Lesson: When applying for jobs look for the key words in the add and include those on your resume

18 18 SO12: Two legal issues re online screening Minority applicants may not have equal access to the internet and may be overlooked during the screening process, which could result in disparate impact Privacy: third-party vendors or the web sites themselves may track sensitive data provided by applicants Should include a statement re privacy – who will have access to their data?

19 19 SO13: Training and Experience (T&E) Evaluations (this slide, NFE) These are an excellent way to document a person’s past experiences and relevant KSAs I particularly find the “behavioral consistency” method useful ( ) Many organizations have begun to use these They are an excellent first step in any applicant screening process They can be easily implemented in small organizations as well as large ones Many organizations try to collect this information during an interview, but the interview Is not long enough to collect this information Does not provide a written permanent product that others in the organization can then evaluate

20 20 SO13: Training and Experience (T&E) Evaluations (this slide, NFE) They are based on the following assumptions Job applicants should be evaluated on the basis of behaviors that show differences between superior and minimally acceptable employees These behaviors can be identified by SMEs who have observed superior and marginal performance on the job Applicants’ past accomplishments are predictive of their future behaviors (sound familiar as behaviorists?) Applicants’ past accomplishments can be reliably rated by SMEs

21 21 SO15: Briefly describe behavioral consistency T&Es Job applicants describe, in narrative form, their past accomplishments in several job-related areas (usually 5-7) that have been determined to discriminate between excellent and marginal job performance Asked to answer questions such as What are examples of your past achievements that demonstrate the necessary abilities and skills to perform these job behaviors? What was the problem on which you worked? What did you do to solve the problem, and when did you do it? What was the result of your actions? What percentage of credit do you claim for this achievement?** What are the names and contact information for individuals who can verify the achievement and the credit you claim?** Rating scales that describe job-related behaviors that distinguish between superior and marginal performance are used by raters to evaluate the applicants’ written (now usually electronic) descriptions. (**I really like these questions, by the way!; SO16 NFE: meta-analyses have shown estimated validities of.45 – high Page number for SO16 should be 370,1, not 371,1)

22 22 SO17&19: Reference checking The principal purpose of a reference check is to verify what an applicant has said on the application form and resume It serves primarily as a basis for disqualifying an applicant, not qualifying one As it turns out, data indicate that the relationship between reference checking and obtaining recommendations from references have only a low to moderate relationship with job success Many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that the applicant selects the references

23 23 SOs 20&21: Two legal issues related to reference checking that work against each other Defamation This is why organizations often refuse to give out any information about a former employee except the dates the person worked for the company Every organization should have this policy All requests for information should be forwarded to HR, who should refuse any information except the dates of employment Negligent hiring To protect itself, the hiring organization should seek reference information from the organizations with which an applicant has worked (These are very important issues; the first discourages organizations to give out information, The second encourages prospective employers to get seek it and get it)

24 24 SO20: Defamation Defamation – learn definition: A written (libel) or oral (slander) false statement made by an employer about a previous employee that damages the individual’s reputation (NFE) Text provides several case studies where the organization was found to have defamed a former employee A written letter that contained a statement that a woman had brought a charge of sexual discrimination against the company Note that the statement was true, however, the court found that the company illegally retaliated against her for exercising her rights under Title VII

25 25 SO20(NFE): Defamation School superintendent told a person conducting a reference check that The teacher was not really a good math teacher, being more concerned about living up to his contract than going the extra mile, and not being able to “turn students on” Superintendent argued those were his personal opinions and protected by his first amendment rights (free speech) Court ruled the statements were given with “reckless disregard of their truth or falsity” and therefore libel and slander were committed against the teacher Lawyers at EMU have told all of their professors never to write a bad recommendation letter for a student; rather just to say no (WMU’s request that we get students to sign a form when we provide references; one more slide on this)

26 26 SO20(NFE): Defamation These type of law suits are becoming major issues for organizations There are now firms that individuals can hire who will call their former employers, posing as potential employers (google “documented reference check”) https://references-etc.com You need to be very careful and make sure everyone else in the organization is careful too

27 27 SO21: Negligent hiring 21A Explain what it is A third party (e.g., coworker, client, customer) files suit against an employer for injuries caused by an employee The focus is that the employer knew or should have known that the employee who caused the injury was unfit for the job Thus, the employer’s negligence in hiring the individual produced the person’s injuries (note the should have known clause; relevant to Western, as it is to all universities, based on any harm done to a student - the student or the parent can file a law suit)

28 28 SO21: Negligent hiring, this slide NFE Western, for example, is concerned about this due to an event that occurred several years ago WMU hired a professor who was later accused of sexual harassment (justifiably) When they looked into his background and did some checking it turns out he had been accused of sexual harassment at two prior universities where he had worked But both universities had agreed to a legal settlement with him wherein he would leave, but the charges (never legally proven) would not ever be divulged (not uncommon; in a very rare incident in our dept., a doctoral student was shown to have published fake data. Beyond a doubt. Agreement was reached that he would leave the program but we could not divulge the information to others, another slide)

29 29 SO21: Negligent hiring, this slide NFE Consider the situation that has just been set up If the prior universities had divulged the information to WMU, they could have been sued for violation of the legal settlement, and also for defamation of character since the charges were never proven On the other hand, WMU was subject to a negligent hiring law suit because “we” accepted the recommendations that were given - that is, we did not conduct telephone reference checks So guess what? We now do in-depth telephone reference checks for our faculty candidates When applying they sign a form that permits us to contact people other than those they list as references

30 30 SO21: Negligent hiring, this slide NFE Students from my Advanced Systems Analysis class developed the form that is still used today that gets permission from candidates to conduct those telephone references I found myself in a very strange situation at the time (I was chairing quite a few faculty searches in those days) For some reason, our then Provost, told us we had to send out the forms, but forbade us to send out the forms until after we had done the reference checks! The Director of Employment, VP of Institutional Equity and I all objected, to no avail I sent a very long to our Dean, telling the Dean that as a selection specialist, I had to get the applicants’ permission before we conducted the reference checks, or I would be violating professional standards We did that (undercover) in our department for about two or three years, until they changed the official procedure to the correct procedure

31 31 SO21: Negligent hiring (FE) 21B. Explain the Catch 22 situation that organizations can find themselves in with regard to reference checks As a prospective employer, you want to seek information that would prevent negligent hiring, but past employers won’t provide that information for fear of a defamation of character law suit (Catch 22? Novel; crazy leave military; so how do you get out of the Catch 22 - next slide)

32 32 SO21: Negligent hiring (FE) 21C. How can an organization get out of this Catch 22? If you can prove through written documentation that you attempted to collect background information, even if the previous employer refused to give it, then you are OK. Why does this procedure protect an organization? As the text states, the legal question becomes: “ Did the employer take reasonable steps and precautions to identify a problem employee, given the risks inherent in the tasks performed on the job?” Thus, if you attempt to get the information and document your attempts, courts will generally conclude that you have taken “reasonable steps and precautions” (The steps a potential employer should take – with documentation – are provided in the text)

33 Intro: Selection Interviews (NFE) Researchers have studied selection interviews for over 80 years Until recently, validity data were not good Inappropriate questions and irrelevant factors influenced selection recommendations Also, many resulted in adverse impact New improved interviews, validity coefficients: Structured interviews -.44,.57,.62 Unstructured interviews -.20,.31,.33 33

34 SO24: What should and should not be covered in interviews Most interviews try to do too much There are three types of characteristics that are best evaluated in an interview due to the fact that it is a social situation: Applied social skills, such as interpersonal and communication skills Personality and habits, such as conscientiousness, emotional stability and extraversion Fit with the job and organization (values, goals, norms, and “attitudes”) 34

35 SO25A: How useful are unstructured, get acquainted interviews? Explain. They are not very useful Interviewer tends to form subjective, global ratings that are not useful, although the interviewer believes they are (and therein lies the problem) They are confident in their own ability to evaluate an applicant, even though their decisions are being influenced by irrelevant factors such as physical attractiveness, the strength of the handshake, eye contact, etc. 35

36 SO25B: Rapport building in interviews, intro to study by Barrick, Stewart et al. Does rapport building at the beginning of an interview help or hurt the validity of interviews? Building rapport sets the applicant “at ease” and thus could enhance validity (you see more of the person’s actual repertoire) On the other hand, if greater rapport results in the interview becoming more biased, then it could decrease validity 36

37 37 SO25B: Rapport and first impressions First impressions do matter! 1958 results – on average interviewers made a decision in four minutes Barrick et al. confirmed the importance of first impressions in a series of recent studies Evaluations made after a brief introduction and “getting to know you” phase and before any substantive questions correlated highly with hiring recommendations Implications: First impressions formed early in interviews have a substantial effect on whether an interviewer recommends hiring the person

38 38 SO25 (NFE): Interviews and applicant’s physical appearance, first impressions An applicant’s physical appearance has repeatedly been demonstrated to affect the evaluations of interviewers Eye contact, smiling, posture, hand movements, self- promotion, ingratiation (latter two are double-edged swords) In a number of studies, attractive individuals, especially women, were rated higher than unattractive individuals In another, grooming (style of hair, clothing, makeup, and jewelry) was related to evaluations of female applicants Clothing for women! Female applicants receive more favorable ratings if they wear masculine type clothing, i.e., a tailored navy blue suit, rather than a dress No stiletto heals No low cut (let alone see through) blouses No tight blouses, tight sweaters, or tight suit jackets No dangly earrings (same is true for men these days!) (dress is very important – females must dress conservatively)

39 39 SO27: Two ways to reduce effects due to age, race, sex, and other demographics Use highly structured interviews Use experienced interviewers *Legal issues: In a review of 158 federal court cases 57% of cases involved the use of an unstructured interview Only 6% involved the use of a structured interview In 41% of the cases, the unstructured interview was found to be the cause of the unfair discrimination In 0% of the cases, the structured interview was found to be the cause of the unfair discrimination *Not for exam

40 40 SO29: Interviewers give more weight to negative than to positive information. Why? Even experienced interviewers give more weight to negative information than to positive information In one study, unfavorable ratings on only one of several characteristics resulted in the rejection of the applicant in over 90% of the cases Interviewers can usually specify why a rejected applicant would not be a good employee, but can not specify why acceptable candidates would be satisfactory Implies clearer use of negative information (the authors give a very nice environmental explanation for this; reasons on next slide)

41 41 SO29: Interviewers give more weight to negative than to positive information. Why? Relative costs (consequences) to the interviewer and the organization The greatest cost to the interviewer is making the mistake of selecting an applicant who fails on the job His/her professional reputation suffers Organization suffers loss of productivity Rejecting an applicant who would, in fact, be a successful performer, has no real costs Who would know since the person was not hired? Thus, cost is lowered by rejecting marginal or doubtful candidates (all points FE)

42 42 SO33: Validity of an individual interviewer vs. an interview panel There is a common belief that a panel of interviewers will produce more reliable, valid evaluations than an individual interviewer The data just do not support that (NFE) There are at least three reasons for why a panel may not produce more reliable and valid ratings Panel interviews tend to be more unstructured than individual interviews Facing a group of interviewers is more intimidating (and can be very intimidating) than facing an individual interviewer, and that may inhibit the answers from an applicant The social interaction between and among the members of the panel affect the ultimate rating (which may not be a good thing, particularly if you have a member of the panel who is a “domineering” person)

43 43 SO33: Validity of an individual interviewer vs. an interview panel (this slide, NFE) Have any of you ever had a panel interview? My own experience as an applicant has always been bad when I have been interviewed by a panel I had a panel interview with the then Upjohn at the newly built “Taj Mahal” I had worked as an intern for two years in one of the departments and the manager wanted to hire me full-time There were nine members on the panel, all white, all male, all at least 15 years older than I was One of the first things that happened - I walked into the room, sat down at the conference table, and without anyone moving or saying anything, the door to the conference room swung shut “by itself” and locked - you could easily hear the locking mechanism

44 44 SO33: Validity of an individual interviewer vs. an interview panel (this slide, NFE) I was doing OK until one member of the panel, who was one of the head trainers, asked me what I thought about a training program they had implemented with engineers to improve the functioning of their “right brains” (or left?? - whatever the creative side is supposed to be) The training program consisted of bringing in engineers and having them finger paint I admit I paused while I ran through a number of possible things I could say, one of which would clearly have resulted in my rejection I also decided that I didn’t want to argue “theory” After a brief pause, I commented that the data with respect to whether training improved performance should drive the training program, and then asked him one question: How are you evaluating the effectiveness/success of that training? What do you think? Good or bad response/question on my part?

45 45 SO33: Validity of an individual interviewer vs. an interview panel (this slide, NFE) As it turns out, bad! He said he evaluated the results based on how well the engineers liked it, and then launched into a diatribe about the practical realities of organizations vs. school-book knowledge I was not offered the job (even though the manager for whom I worked with for 2 years wanted to hire me)

46 SO34: Consumer reports More and more employers are using consumer reports to screen applicants In April 2012, the EEOC issued new guidelines re the use of consumer reports in selection/screening Consumer reports include Credit checks, criminal background checks, motor vehicle record checks, among others Credit checks and criminal background checks have been found to have adverse impact The use of consumer reports is regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (even though it covers more than credit checks) 46

47 SO34: Consumer reports Before an employer can obtain a consumer report: Employers must notify applicants/employees that they are obtaining or may obtain a consumer report in writing Employers must obtain a written consent from applicants/employees 47

48 SO35: Consumer reports Before an employer can take any adverse action (i.e., denying employment) the employer must notify the person in advance After an employer takes an adverse action, the employer must provide the person with additional notice That notice must include the name, address, and toll-free number of the vendor that conducted the background check 48

49 SO44: Social Network Media In a survey of 300 hiring managers, 90% of recruiters reported that they visited an applicant’s social media web site 69% reported that they have rejected an applicant based on the web site 68% also reported that they have hired an applicant based on the web site 49 (I am going to skip to SO44; these are stats that you really need to know)

50 SO44: Social Network Media Leading reasons for rejection (other surveys have found the same thing): References to drinking or drug use Provocative photos Bad mouthing previous employers Discriminatory comments related to race/ethnic background, sex, religion, etc. Poor writing/communication skills Lying about qualifications 50 (I am going to skip to SO44; these are stats that you really need to know)

51 SO44: Social Network Media Leading reasons for hiring an applicant General personality Professional image Background information matched the resume Great communication skills Creativity Well-rounded interests 51 (Watch your social networking sites – privacy options!!)

52 SO45: First and foremost risk for using social media web sites Run afoul of the discrimination laws Web sites can reveal information about protected status/demographics There haven’t been any major law suits yet, but the courts could rule, as they have for application blanks, any information obtained is assumed to be used to make selection decisions 52

53 SO46 NFE: Social media passwords Yes! Some employers are requiring that applicants give them their social media passwords! I have to admit I am astonished at this No federal law exists yet to prohibit this but 12 states, including Michigan, have adopted prohibitive laws No employer should do this, enough said 53

54 SO47 NFE: Genetic Information Act Another very interesting issue: When a company requires a medical examination, post-offer, the common practice of physicians asking about family medical history is a liability even if the information obtained is never provided to the prospective employer I have no clue where this one is going The article calls it a “sleeper” Only 333 cases were filed last year with the EECO re genetic discrimination In 2013, the EEOC filed two law suits citing GINA and ADA, both involving only one individual The article states that these cases alert employers to expect aggressive enforcement in the future (this is another stayed tuned issue) 54

55 SO48 NFE: Protection of unemployed Yet another very interesting issue In 2011, the EEOC met to consider whether employers were unfairly screening out the unemployed and the increasing prevalence of job ads that discourage the unemployed from applying Again, there is no federal legislation and proposed laws in most states and municipalities have failed, but two states and the DC have enacted laws (as well as a few large cities), and nine states proposed bills in 2013 States that have enacted laws: New Jersey & Oregon States that have proposed laws: FL, IA, ME, MA, MN, NH, NY, PA, VA 55 (again, another stay tuned selection/recruitment issue; last slide)

56 56 The End Questions and Comments?

57 57 NFE: Facebook and social media April 20, 2012 survey of 2,000 hiring managers and human resource personnel 37% of employers use social networking sites to pre-screen applicants (most use Facebook) 11% said they planned to start 34% said they had come across something that caused them not to hire the person Provocative photo References to drinking or drug use Other red flags: speaking badly about a former employer, making discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, etc., lying about qualifications, not writing well (study conducted by Harris Interactive; commissioned by the website Career Builder; privacy settings; Some employers have even asked applicants to give them their username and password ; hand out article )

58 58 NFE: Facebook and social media Legal status In 2012, Delaware, Maryland, & Washington passed legislation prohibiting employers from requesting/requiring usernames and passwords Michigan passed similar legislation on 12/28/12 Similar laws are pending in other states CA, IL, MA, NY, OH, SC A bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives But, remember, the bills do not prohibit companies from looking at your social networking sites; they only ban asking applicants for usernames and passwords. So….be careful what you put online!


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