Employers increasingly use psychological tests as part of the hiring process. Whether these tests predict job performance, however, remains contested, as does the effect of these tests on different groups of workers. Many studies have examined the relation between personality and performance, but virtually all have been conducted on relatively small samples. Analyses using meta-analytic methods have examined groups of studies, but their results are confounded by differences between studies in personality measures, job classifications, and outcome variables. Perhaps for this reason, meta-analyses have yielded somewhat inconsistent results. In addition, no meta-analytic study has been able to examine the relation between personality measures and traditional resume criteria such as employment history and education: how, if at all, do personality tests change the hiring choices that would be made using traditional measures only? As a corollary, these studies have been unable to examine the impact of personality tests on workers with unstable job histories, criminal records, or low educational levels (“at-risk workers”). We propose to examine the predictive value of personality tests with a data set vastly superior to those used in previous studies. This data would allow us to consider whether the use of these tests by employers would improve or harm the employment prospects of at-risk workers; the productivity loss if employers were, voluntarily or by law, to cut back on the use of these tests; and potential policy responses to these results. Our findings will be disseminated to businesses and policymakers by travel to present findings to individual organizations, and by a roundtable, possibly in Washington, D.C., involving a broad spectrum of participants.
|Effective start/end date
|9/1/15 → 8/31/17
- Joyce Foundation (Grant ID 15-36660)
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