forecastingprinciples.com Reviews of Important Papers on Forecasting
Before 1985 Reviews
Review of:

Richard R. Reilly and Georgia T. Chao (1982), "Validity and fairness of some alternative employee selection procedures," Personnel Psychology, 35, 1-62.


This is a systematic and impressive review of the literature. It includes 41 unpublished papers and 107 published papers. It is well written; but given the immense material that is covered, be well-rested before you read it.

The paper examines 8 alternatives to standardized tests for predicting which job applicants will be successful. The alternatives are biographical data, peer evaluation, interviews, self-assessments, reference checks, academic achievement, expert judgment and projective techniques. (Which ones would you predict to be most valid?) Of these methods, only the biographical data and peer evaluations had validities comparable to those from standardized tests; the other methods had little validity–and some involved high costs.

Three new methods appear promising, although the evidence is limited. One method is the 'Miniaturized Training Test,' applicable for people without prior experience. The applicant is rated on ability to learn key components on the job in a short training exercise. Second is a structured 'situational interview' where job candidates are asked how they would behave in given situations. Third, in 'unassembled examinations,' job candidates use structured guidelines to assemble a portfolio of verifiable past accomplishments relevant to the job at hand.

As implied by the title, Reilly and Chao also examine the fairness of each method. That is, does it avoid prejudice?