The Hidden Importance of Face Validity in Selection

There are many visible benefits to using a validated selection system at your organization such as higher work performance. However, the less obvious benefits of using valid selection systems may save your HR department avoidable headaches and drive better employees to your organization.

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On the surface, selection systems are important to choose the best employees from the organization’s perspective. If we put ourselves in the shoes of the candidates, what matters to us in the selection process? Is this selection process fair? Does this selection process actually predict how I will perform in the job? How seriously does this organization take hiring new employees? There are many reasons why candidate reactions are crucial in the selection process, but here’s what I think are the top five:

  1. Negative reactions towards the selection process can lead top scoring candidates to accept offers with competitors. Maintaining a positive image through the selection process while being highly predictive of work performance is a difficult balance. The costs associated with losing top candidates means that it is critical to employ a selection system demonstrating how seriously your organization takes the hiring process.
  2. Candidates who view the selection process negatively may dissuade other potential applicants from pursuing employment with your organization. This has detrimental effects for organizations because a large applicant pool is key to selecting the best candidates. Secondly, maintaining a legally defensible selection system is only negatively affected by a shrinking candidate pool due to poor perceptions of hiring processes.
  3. Negative reactions to selection processes may influence subsequent work performance, attitude on the job, and work behavior once they are hired. Because many organizations use the same selection system for promotion, these negative reactions may have an immediate effect for existing employees.
  4. Applicants who view the selection process as unfair or not a valid predictor of work performance are more likely to file legal complaints and court challenges.
  5. Last, if applicants feel they have been mistreated in the selection process, they are less likely to reapply, buy your products in the future, and can be damage a firm’s reputation.

At MPS, we’ve worked with organizations for over 35 years implementing selection processes that are both respected by job candidates and highly predictive of work performance. After candidates experience the assessment center process, they walk away knowing they received a fair evaluation from the organization and secondly, that the organization cares immensely about who they choose to make part of their team.


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