UNDERSTANDING THE DETERMINANTS OF EMPLOYER USE OF SELECTION METHODS

Authors

  • STEFFANIE L. WILK,

    Corresponding author
    1. Management Department Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
      and requests for reprints should be addressed to Steffanie L. Wilk, Management Department, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 3620 Locust Walk, 2000 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370; wilk@wharton.upenn.edu.
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  • PETER CAPPELLI

    1. Management Department Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
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  • We thank Nancy Rothbard and Paul Sackett for their helpful comments and suggestions. The data used in these analyses were collected with the support from the Education Research and Development Center program, agreement number R117Q00011-91, CFDA 84.117Q, as administered by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. The findings and opinions expressed here do not reflect the positions, policies of OERI, the U.S. Department of Education, or the Bureau of the Census.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Steffanie L. Wilk, Management Department, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 3620 Locust Walk, 2000 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370; wilk@wharton.upenn.edu.

Abstract

This study uses national probability data from over 3,000 employers to examine why employers differ in their use of employee selection methods. Although the research on employee selection is voluminous, there have been only a handful of studies that look at the employers' selection decisions. In contrast to those other studies, we focus on characteristics of work as predictors of firms' decisions regarding selection practices. Beyond the relationship to the overall extent of selection methods used, we argue that specific work characteristics will affect the use of specific types of selection methods. We find, for example, that the greater the skill requirements of a position, the more likely that the establishment will use those types of selection methods that tap into the ability and skills of the applicants, namely, academic achievement and test performance. Discussion and suggestions for future research are offered.

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