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This document contains Chapters 5 to 6 CHAPTER 5 – CHAPTER EXERCISES Chapter Exercise 5.1 A Turnover Problem at the Fort Lauderdale Herald Renee Fitzgerald Objectives . The purpose of Exercise 5.1 is to give the student an opportunity to analyze data and consider those data in the context of a real organizational problem, i.e. turnover. Much like the discussion in the text, the emphasis here is that the data can be helpful in planning and problem solving and that an empirical approach to problem solving is usually superior to a non-empirical approach. The exercise also requires the student to integrate material from Chapter 3 (EEO). Description. This exercise requires about one hour of out of class preparation in addition to reading the chapter. The student is asked to calculate yield ratios. Table 5.1.1 presents recommended answers to Form 5.1.1. Table 5.1.1 Answers to Form 5.1.1 What are the yield ratios for each step in the recruitment and selection process? What are the implications of these ratios for future hiring? The yield ratios for each step are as follows: Potentially Qualified: 149/633=0.23 Interviewed: 105/149 =0.70 Qualified and Offered job: 89/105=0.85 Accepted job: 78/89=0.87 Six-month survival: 38/78=0.49. Implications: The yield ratios can help determine the basis for planning future recruitment efforts. By going backwards you can determine how many applicants will be necessary in order to fill a certain number of positions. Yield ratios can also be calculated for each step and recruitment source to determine relative effectiveness. Should also look at yield ratios by recruited source and relative cost per six-month survivor. For example, you have two open positions. 2 ÷ 0.49 = 4 (round to nearest integer) 4 ÷ 0.87 = 5 5 ÷ 0.85 = 6 6 ÷ 0.70 = 9 9 ÷0.23 = 39 You will need a minimum 39 resumes to fill the two open positions. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of the various recruiting methods used by the Fort Lauderdale Herald? (Use the data in Exhibit 5.1.1 and Chapter 5 discussion.) Where should they focus their recruitment efforts in the future?
Method Advantage Disadvantage
Website/Job Board - Least expensive method (total) Quick response (reducing time lapse data) Increases candidate pool Easy to add/edit job posting Depending on website, can prescreen candidates based on preliminary questions or resume Candidates can research firm prior to applying for position - Software can eliminate potential candidates due to poorly designed software Can receive a tremendous number of resumes, overburdening the receiver Limited evidence empirical evidence showing web recruiting Large pool of unqualified candidates Low rate for interview
Newspaper ads  Short deadlines Ad size flexibility Circulation concentration Well organized classified sections Produced the largest number of applicants Had the highest six-month survival rate Can reach a large audience Incurred low costs to the Herald (lowest cost per employed person)  Easy for prospects to ignore Competitive clutter Unspecialized circulation Declining circulation Younger people less likely To read it Poor printing quality
Walk-in applicants - Inexpensive (Less expensive than the newspaper in total recruitment costs) Effective for entry-level & unskilled positions Relies on company reputations (A & D) Increases probability of hiring the very best employees due to large # resumes Relies on company reputations (A & D) Produced less qualified applicants Low six-month survival rate
Public employment agency - Inexpensive method Candidates are prescreened Increases pool of candidates More than half who accepted the job were still employed six months later Recruiter maybe rewarded on quantity of candidates submitted not the quality
Assuming they still publish a paper (things are not good for newspapers these days), the newspaper ads provide the best ratio of applicants to potentially qualified individuals. The Herald should focus its recruitment on newspaper ads and public employment agencies for the best ratios of applicants to job offers given. Recommend at least three HR planning/recruitment/selection strategies designed to do any of the following: (1) improve customer satisfaction, (2) increase the efficiency of the customer service function, (Ms. Saline encourages you to be as creative in your thinking as possible), and (3) increase the tenure of the customer service reps. (or decrease the need for them). CRITICAL: Focus on BIG PICTURE. Why are there so many complaints? Focus on customer satisfaction; diagnose problems that have the most to do with customers. Evaluate (fire? replace?) independent contractors? A job analysis should be conducted to determine the specific tasks that are actually required of a CSR; organization should also consider administration of the Job Diagnostic Survey (Hackman & Oldham) that is discussed in Chapter 4. The JDS could lead to changes designed to reduce turnover. From the job analysis, an accurate job description should be written. This information should be reflected in all advertisements. Expand the number of recruitment sources which are used, e.g. other websites, junior colleges, senior citizen centers/newspapers the hours may be convenient for students or retirees because the job is structured in such a way that it is perceived as temporary (no benefits, 30-hour work week, no career track), the Herald should recruit in markets where temporary work is sought. Do a feasibility study of work-from-home CSR design to determine if the centralized operation could be closed.(telecommuting quite effective) Evaluate the possibility of outsourcing the whole operation to save money. Use realistic job previews. Consider using a selection instrument such as the Job Compatibility Questionnaire. Point out that if an RJP and the JCQ are used, the number of applicants must be increased (these methods are screening devices and more effective when used with a larger pool of candidates) 4. What additional studies or data are necessary given the data presented in Exhibit 5.1.1? (Ms. Saline is very interested in potential legal issues). Data on racial composition should be analyzed in order to determine whether statistically defined adverse impact (See Exhibit 2) has resulted in recruitment/selection processes. The number of applicants and the sources for applicants should also be analyzed by racial composition and by the external racial composition of the surrounding workforce area (e.g., standard metropolitan area). The racial composition of those whom were interviewed should also be ascertained.
Exhibit 2: Disparate Impact
All sources Total # applicants % Potentially Qualified % Qualified & Offered Job %
Whites 341 54% 91 61% 64 71%
African Americans 177 28% 43 29% 20 22%
Hispanics 115 18% 15 10% 5 6%
Totals 633 149 90

Total Applicants
Four-fifths rule/ 80% rule Whites: 0.54 × 0.8 = 0.424
The advertising method does not appear to be reaching the minority races of Blacks, Hispanics, and others. Each group application rate is less than 42.4% applicant rate for Whites, the advertising methods has an adverse impact on the individual ethic groups of African Americans and Hispanics.

Potentially Qualified
Four-fifths rule/ 80% rule Whites: 0.61 × 0.8 = 0.488
Since 39% qualified rate for African Americans, Hispanics, and Others is less than 48.8% pass rate for whites, the potentially qualified procedure has an adverse impact on African Americans, Hispanics and Others.

Qualified & Offered Job
Four-fifths rule/ 80% rule Whites: 0.71 × 0.8 = 0.568
Since 28% hire rate for African Americans, Hispanics, and Others is less than 56.8% hire rate for whites, the hiring practices has an adverse impact on African Americans, Hispanics and Others.
The data indication a violation of the four fifths rule and could establish prima facie evidence of discrimination and one definition of disparate impact. Researchers should look carefully at the interview process in terms of validity and discriminatory practices. Chapter Exercise 5.2 Permalco’s Recruiting Challenge Objectives . This exercise will give the students an opportunity to do a SWOT analysis for the recruiting function of HRM. Students should also be able to apply the analysis to workable solutions for the organization. The importance of involving line management in the recruiting function is a critical element in this exercise. Students will be able to identify the best sources and methods of recruiting for a particular situation. Description . Students should work individually for about one hour of out-of-class preparation to read the case and answer the questions on Form 5.2.1. Following this, in class in small groups (about 4-6) students should review each other’s responses to Form 5.2.1. They should develop a recruiting plan for Permalco which includes short and long term strategies, measures of success, sources of candidates, recruiting techniques to use, and recommendations for changes to be made to other HR systems in the firm. This should take teams about 30 minutes. The professor can lead a class discussion on each team's findings (about 20 minutes). Table 5.2.1 Answers to Form 5.2.1 1. Identify the SWOT at Permalco as related to recruiting production leaders. Strengths - modernized facilities, high tech equipment, many highly trained employees (newer ones), apparently good salary and benefits Weaknesses - plant conditions ( plant temperature), lack of career opportunities, dissatisfaction of current employees, potentially hostile environment via sexual harassment, high turnover, isolated location, no job postings, uncertainty of status. Opportunities - hiring new employees or managers to put into place more effective leadership, needs for future career development and succession planning. Threats - layoffs due to declining business, loss of personnel with history of the facility. 2. What information must the team gather before it can formulate a recruiting strategy? More information about the details about how many can be hired. Information on the effectiveness of various recruiting strategies has been for the firm (i.e., how effective have referrals, campus visits, etc., been in hiring qualified applicants). New options, such as the Internet and recruiters for this level must also be assessed. Data on the causes of voluntary terminations should also be obtained (if possible). The team needs to do human resource planning in the context of business objectives. They also need job description(s). Other than "leadership," even the basic KASOCs are still unknown. For example, is an undergraduate degree in engineering required for these positions? (If so, achieving AA goals is more difficult). What of the internal talent? Flow analysis of personnel would be helpful in order to determine needs in the context of objectives. Is the plant manager just assuming that there are no possibilities of internal promotions? 3. How might the short-term and long-term recruiting strategies differ? For the short-term, they need to hire the two people so they may want to get them in place as quickly as possible, depending on how soon they are needed. In the long term, however, they need to rethink the current recruiting system and other HR systems in order to bring in the right people for moving up into leadership positions. Another long-term strategy is to consider some of the root causes of high turnover (e.g., working conditions, promotional opportunities). 4. What sources of candidates should the team consider? They need to establish the minimum qualifications for the positions, and hire those meeting the qualifications. If they need to hire women or minorities for some reason (e.g., court order), they need to consider this factor in their selection. If a job specification is a degree in engineering, some thought should be given to an Internet recruiting source that specializes in engineers. In general, relative to other college degrees, recruiting on the Internet has been more successful. Also analyzing the historical recruiting data should determine the best recruiting method for the cost, which should be a factor in determining from where to select the candidates. 5. What recruiting strategy has the highest probability of paying off for the team? Unless there have been significant changes in the variables most related to the company's recruiting history, the strategy with the lowest selection ratio, highest yield ratios, and lowest associated costs will be the one with the highest probability of success and the one(s) to use. Newspapers and magazines may be useful, if they target the right ones. Word-of-mouth (referrals) by the current women and minorities may also be useful to ensure that women and minorities apply. If the company has a successful history of recruiting at certain college campuses, strong consideration should be given to returning to these campuses. Campus visits, especially at women's colleges, black colleges, and others populated by other minorities might provide more applicants who are women and minorities. Realistic previews should be part of the recruiting strategy, and current employees can be used in interviews with potential applicants to educate them on the nature of the work and of the firm. 6. When planning the recruiting strategy, what other HR systems must the team consider? This organization needs to conduct some training for all employees and managers on issues of workforce diversity and sexual harassment in order to make the organization a more comfortable place (and less hostile) for women. They also need to provide career coaching to employees, which means that managers may need to be trained in how to conduct these sessions with employees (since currently employees are not even informed about career possibilities in other parts of the organization). Job posting could also be considered across businesses. They may also need to examine their promotion practices as well as implementing a dual-career ladder (see chapter 8 for more information) since it appears that they may have talent within their firm that they are not fully developing and grooming to move up into higher-level positions. Another obvious HR system relates to the working conditions. The case indicates that the extreme heat in the plant may be related to the turnover problem. 7. What challenges face the recruiting team because of the focus on females and minorities? Currently, they face considerable challenges since they have few women and minorities in their workplace and it does not seem like the environment is very tolerant of diversity. Hence, they will have trouble with potential applicants learning from current employees that opportunities are not that great for diverse employees. Also, highly qualified minorities and women will have many career opportunities facing them, and will be difficult to recruit in a firm with an uncomfortable working environment (physical attributes) and few career opportunities. Many good women and minorities will take jobs elsewhere so Permalco will need to change some of their HR systems (career, training, promotion, flexible work place) in order to have a chance at getting some of the best women and minorities. They may need to research a variety of places to recruit women and minorities, using magazines (Working Women, Black Enterprise, etc) as well as visit women's colleges or black colleges, as well as schools attended by other minorities. They will probably not be able to simply rely on college campuses to recruit. The focus on females and minorities could create special problems if the job description includes KASOCs that are rare to these groups. The costs of recruiting and the times required to fill positions will probably be affected by this focus as well. Also, whenever a "focus" is placed on a protected class, there is the possibility of discriminating against those who are not the focus. Chapter Exercise 5.3 Recruiting at Julia Richter’s “Dressed for Success” * Contributed by Renee Bartlett Develop a recruitment plan for both the Store Manager and Sales Associate positions. Provide a specific chronology of events. Address the following: (1) What three recruiting/ advertising methods do you recommend for Dressed for Success? Ms. Richter specifically requests information about the costs and benefits of online recruiting and/or the use of a “headhunter” for the Store Manager job. She requests that you do research on this issue and take a firm position. Does the Internet provide any information about the compensation being considered for these jobs? (2) Ms. Richter is also concerned about diversity. What recruitment methods should be implemented to help increase diversity in the organization? (3) Ms. Richter wants your opinion of the salary levels she has set. Conduct Internet research to determine if what she is recommending is appropriate. She also wants to know if formal job descriptions should be written for the store manager job and the human resources manager. Write Ms. Richter a memo that addresses these issues. Each position will require the following analysis of past data: Step 1: Job Analysis The owner has identified what she believes are the essential KASOC’s for each position. It is HR’s responsibility to ensure these KASOC’s are predictors of job performance. The company has been in operation for 15 years; therefore a job analysis must be conducted using the company’s historical internal data. This internal analysis will give the company the predictors of job performance. For example, the owner has a 4-year college degree requirement for Store Manager – is there any historical evidence that clearly shows sales managers with a 4-year college degree out perform sales managers with a 2-year college degree or even high school? Step 2: Time Lapse Data This data will provide the average time that elapses between points of decision making in recruiting. Each firm has differing time-lapse data. It is therefore critical to understand the internal recruitment process. For example, it may take 30 days to obtain resumes, 20 days to qualify candidates, 20 days of interviewing, 10 days for hiring decision, 5 days for paperwork, and 14 days before employees can start a position. If this was the case, you will require 99 days to complete the recruiting process. In addition, analyzing this historical data can also be an opportunity to reduce costs or redundancies in the system. It is also an opportunity to improve your recruitment process, thereby reducing recruitment costs. Step 3: Yield Ratios This stage will identify how many candidates are available at each step in the recruitment process. It is especially useful since you can use this historical data to determine how many applicants will be required to fill the position. What three recruiting/advertising methods do you recommend to Dressed for Success? Ms. Richter specifically requests information about the costs and benefits of on-line recruiting and/or the use of a “headhunter” for the store manager job. She requests that you do research on this issue and take a firm position. Internal Sources: Transfer current employees to the new store. Disadvantage: Create vacancies in the current stores. Stifles diversity Insufficient supply of candidates Advantage: If promoting a successful sales associate to store manager, creates a career path Reduces training time Faster and cheaper More valid information about candidates External Sources:
Sales Associates Store Manager
Walk-in/Unsolicited Applicant files Walk-in/Unsolicited Applicant files
Referrals Referrals
Local campus radio Employment Agencies
Campus Visits Search Firms
Internet Internet
Public employment agency
Each method has advantages and disadvantages as outlined in Chapter 5. Be sure to see if students had creative suggestions. Does the internet provide any information about the compensation being considered for these jobs? Salary calculators Review sampling of job postings Discussion Boards Blogs Cost of Living Comparison calculators Ms. Richter is also concerned about diversity. What recruitment methods should be implemented to help increase diversity in the organization? Referrals can be used but be careful: EEOC v. Detroit Edison: “the practice of relying on referrals by a predominately white workforce rather than seeking new employees in the marketplace for jobs was discriminatory. Referrals must be combined with other recruiting methods to alleviate disparate impact.” Advertising: Be sure your advertisement contains no EEOC protected information, such as referring to “young” or “females.” The job advertisement can include the statement, “Dressed for Success is an Equal Opportunity Employer encouraging diversity in the workplace.” You should also consider if your advertising method is actually reaching diversity candidates. Online Most likely to attract young, computer literate, and well educated individuals People still prefer newspaper to online recruitment (Gueutal & Stone, 2005). White candidates more likely to use online recruitment Some research shows African Americans maybe more inclined to use e-recruiting that personal sources Hispanics less likely to use e-recruitment (poverty, digital divide, and cultural) Applicants from low socioeconomic status backgrounds (i.e. inner cities) often have less access to computers (aka digital divide). Reference: The Brave New World of eHR: Human Resources Management in the Digital Age (2005). Ed. Gueutal, Hal G. and Stone, Dianna L. John-Wiley and Sons, Inc. ISBN #0-7879-7338-6 Does the advertising source (i.e. newspaper) have demographic information on readers? Ads in movie theaters in ethnic communities You must be creative and consciously recruit diversity candidates. Track if your past ads actually attract diversity candidates Employment Agencies & Search Firms: These firms can help pre-screen qualified diversity candidates before he or she even reaches your organization. Campus Visits: These visits are a great opportunity to recruit new employees and actively increase diversity. Professional Associations Many Women and Minority Associations have job boards that allow you to post open positions. For example, the NAACP in association with allows candidates to search for jobs by organizations committed to diversity. Computerized Services: Many online job boards and internal recruiting systems allow you to track diversity candidates. boasts that 18% of its job seekers are diversity. All diversity recruiting must be conducted within the EEOC guidelines discussed in earlier chapters. Ms. Richter wants your opinion of the salaries levels she has set. Conduct internet research to determine if what she is recommending is appropriate. Annual Salary per position:
Search Criteria Sales Associates Store Manager
Retail Sales Person + Florida First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Retail Sales Workers + Florida Median $22,100 Median $37,600
Zip code 33130 Retail Sales Staff (FT) Retail Store Manager $22,282 $48,220
Zip Code 33130 Retail Sales Clerk Retail Store Manager $23,147 $56,757
Average salary $22,209 $47,325
Students could also search job boards for positions in the local area. She also wants to know if formal job descriptions should be written for the store manager job and the human resource manager. Write Ms. Richter a memo in which these items are covered. Students should address the need for formal job descriptions and specifications as a realistic job preview tool. Also may use these tools to help recruiter. Chapter Exercise 5.4 HR Planning at COMPTECH David Herst Objectives. This exercise will help students understand how a company plans for and responds to its human resource needs. Internal and external strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will be identified through the use of an environmental scan. In addition labor supply forecasting, demand forecasting, gap analysis, and HR planning evaluation will be conducting using the COMPTECH scenario presented in the exercise. Finally, students will learn to tie all aspects of the HR plan back to COMPTECH’s strategic business plan. Description. Prior to class students should spend between 1 and 2 hours reading the background information and answering the questions on Form 5.4.1. During class time the students should break into small groups (4-6 individuals) and formulate an HR plan for COMPTECH. Each group should take one of the five steps in HR planning (environmental scanning, labor demand forecasting, labor supply forecasting, gap analysis, and action planning) and determine issues and strategies for facing the issues relevant to that area. Finally, groups will come together to determine and HR plan for COMPTECH. Table 5.4.1 Answers to Form 5.4.1 What are the major SWOTs at COMPTECH? Use information from the chapter to determine the internal issues that will need attention. Review recent business trends in the retail computer sales sector and in the labor market in general (both domestic and foreign) to help you complete the environmental scan. COMPTECH’s strengths are many. To begin with, its business model of one-stop shopping combined with outstanding customer service can differentiate it from other one-stop-shop outlets. Next, COMPTECH’s service offerings give it additional revenue streams outside of pure product sales. Third, having actual retail stores gives COMPTECH a uniform, visible footprint and a wide assortment of products that on-line properties and small chains lack. Fourth, COMPTECH’s own on-line property provides an additional outlet for sales. Fifth, the company continues to use innovative sales programs, such as their Newcomer’s package and trade-in program. Finally, COMPTECH’s human resource practices emphasizing employee training, incentive pay, and development help to reduce turnover and save on recruitment expenses. Weaknesses include shrinking hardware margins and the company’s high overhead costs compared to on-line only competitors such as Dell Computers. Personal computer sales have leveled off in North America, reducing or eliminating growth from this sector. PC sales in general are based on replacement cycles (Perez, 2006). In addition, computer manufacturers are pushing their products through a greater number of outlets, such as catalog and direct sales. Opportunities are many at COMPTECH. To begin with is the company’s constant movement into new product areas, such as reselling broadband, selling printer cartridges, and installing wireless home networking provide it with new revenue streams. COMPTECH’s aggressive expansion into Canada and plans to expand further into Latin America, Eastern Europe, and China are rich areas for growth. Worldwide PC sales continue to climb, as evidenced in the chart below. The labor market in general is very good worldwide, with both skilled and unskilled workers costing less than North American counterparts (Rai, 2006). Finally, COMPTECH’s focus on reselling older refurbished computers alongside newer ones in these emerging markets should give it a wide range of customers, allowing them to compete more on price with online-only outlets. Table 5.4.2 Worldwide Computer Sales Growth, 2003-2004
2004 Rank Vendor 2004 Shipments Growth 2004/2003

1 Dell 31,771 23.0%
2 HP 28,063 12.0%
3 IBM 10,492 16.3%
4 Fujitsu/Fujitsu Siemens 7,182 13.6%
5 Acer 6,461 34.5%

Others 93,511 11.8%

All Vendors 177,479 14.7%
Source: IDC, January 18, 2005 Threats to COMPTECH are extensive. Threats from imitators also abound, such as BESTPRICE and other retail outlets that are expanding into the retail computer market. Dell Computer continues to be COMPTECH’s largest competitor and has an advantage with its web-only, low overhead model. Finally, as a result of all of this competition price wars have been raging in the industry since the early ‘90’s. Other threats include the need to tighten inventory levels due to price competition, and due to product changes, continuously update staff training and retraining. Finally, the company will have to maintain its high level of customer service while simultaneously tightening costs and dealing with the ever-changing technology it sells. COMPTECH may also have to deal with higher levels of turnover as competitors offer other opportunities for employees. Turnover could result in higher recruitment and training costs, as will expansion. The company must plan accordingly. Determine the external labor supply available this year in five different states by using statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Web site or some other source. Employment statistics can be found at the State and Local Employment link under the Employment and Unemployment section. HINT: After clicking on the link, scroll down until you see the link for Create Customized Tables. These will help you find the applicable statistics. Answers will vary according to the states students choose and the date the assignment was given. What type, or types, of HR planning analysis do you propose for the data presented in Table 5.4.1? How do you propose to assess the internal trends in employee movement? Indicate what positions will require more training/retention efforts and which will require greater recruitment/selection efforts. The data in Table 5.4.1 could be combined with other data or used independently to help determine labor supply and demand. For example, demand forecasting could be determined using the nominal or Delphi techniques. In these techniques the information from Table 5.4.1 may be used to indicate future need and guide district managers in their estimations of labor demand. More appropriate would be to use a quantitative method such as Trend Analysis, where business factors are combined with the data provided to determine labor demand. This would be more appropriate because of the volatility in the retail computer sales sector. By tying labor demand to productivity and business factors the business can hire according to actual business needs. Regression analysis may also be used in a similar manner. The most obvious uses of the data would be to apply Markov analysis to determine internal labor supply at COMPTECH. This is where internal trends in employee movement can be tracked. By translating the raw numbers into ratios a prediction of what will happen in the future can be made. Ratios are presented in Table 5.4.3 below. Table 5.4.3 Probabilities of Employee Movement at COMPTECH
Sales Associate Assistant Manager Associate Manager Store Manager District Manager Exit
Sales Associate .71 .01 .28
Assistant Mngr. .77 .10 .13
Associate Mngr. .02 .88 .03 .07
Store Manager .02 .91 .02 .06
District Manager .07 .83 .05
By multiplying the probabilities in the table by the number of employees that are believed to be needed, an estimation of labor supply can be made. Given the turnover statistics it appears the positions of sales associates and assistant manager will require a greater effort in recruitment and selection. In addition, greater retention efforts may help to reduce the high assistant manager turnover rate. Meanwhile the Associate manager and store manager positions will require greater training and retention efforts. How would you use gap analysis for dealing with immediate HR issues and for HR planning? At minimum gap analysis can be used to reconcile labor supply and demand forecasts. This will help COMPTECH determine if they have enough of a labor pool to adequately fill position at their stores and in management. In addition, gap analysis should be used proactively to determine contingency action plans. For example, it may be used to determine how the company should react if it decides to close underperforming stores. In this instance some employees may be offered packages to relocate to nearby stores. Such a plan could reduce the costs of training and recruitment. Another contingency is in dealing with rapid overseas expansion. The company should use gap analysis to determine whether local labor pools need additional training, or if they are more educated than other labor pools. Finally, gap analysis may be used to deal with a lack of mobility in the assistant and associate manager ranks. As it stands only 2% of associate managers become store managers, and only 2% of store managers become district managers. Given the influx of competitors, as well as the extensive training COMPTECH employees go through, a rise in turnover among management is not unlikely. Already 13% of assistant managers leave the organization every year. Gap analysis can be used to determine how best to fill these positions and plan for the future accordingly. COMPTECH executives set the goal of increasing the diversity of COMPTECH but there was no specificity to the goal. They have requested that you provide a game plan for achieving this goal. Provide a chronological outline of your strategy. Determine current levels of diversity and conduct a Markov analysis to determine what future levels should be. This includes gathering additional information where needed. Table 5.4.4 Levels of Diversity at COMPTECH
Staffing Level White (%) Black (%) Hispanic (%)
Sales Associate 10,000 N/A N/A N/A
Assistant Mngr. 1,300 N/A N/A N/A
Associate Mngr. 780 580 (74%) 110 (14%) 90 (12%)
Store Manager 450 360 (80%) 40 (9%) 50 (11%)
District Manager 42 32 (76%) 6 (14%) 4 (10%)
Table 5.4.5 Diversity Audit of Organizational Exit
Exit Level White (%) Black (%) Hispanic (%)
Sales Associate 2,780 N/A N/A N/A
Assistant Mngr. 172 N/A N/A N/A
Associate Mngr. 54 10 (19%) 32 (59%) 12 (22%)
Store Manager 26 4 (15%) 6 (11%) 16 (62%)
District Manager 2 0 (0%) 1 (50%) 1 (50%)
Determine if there are any violations of the 4/5ths rule. Conduct exit interviews to determine why more Black associate managers leave COMPTECH than Whites or Hispanics, and why more Hispanic store managers leave COMPTECH than Whites or Blacks. Make corrections where necessary to reduce minority turnover. Increase recruiting for those positions where there are large disparities. Given all of the data presented in the case, what is your chronological HR action plan for COMPTECH, INC? Answers will vary according to level of importance a student places on each of the SWOTs. For internal programming, students should focus on policies and procedures that reduce turnover, particularly among minority hires. The company may need to redesign some positions to achieve this. The focus should also be on designing jobs for new overseas markets that COMPTECH plans on exploring. For external programming, students should again focus on the environment they are dealing with in the computer retail sales industry. This includes potential unionization, government regulations such as minimum wage laws, and reacting to business pressures to reduce costs. The process will have to be repeated if or when COMPTECH enters any foreign markets. References Perez, J.C. (2006). PC sales expected to slow in 2006: Mobile PCs will remain popular, but fewer users will replace their desktops, analysts say.,,aid,125039,00.asp. Rai, S. (2006). Dell to double India work force. The New York Times, March 21st. CHAPTER 6 – CHAPTER EXERCISES Chapter Exercise 6.1 Should Tenneco Use the Wonderlic Test? Objective. The purpose of Exercise 6.1 is to have students consider one of the most difficult problems confronting organizational staffing specialists, the use of a mental or cognitive ability test that makes valid assessments but has the potential of facilitating adverse impact. The data presented are representative of data that result from the use of cognitive ability tests such as the Wonderlic. Description. The individual component of the exercise should take the student no more than one hour to complete out of class. About 40 minutes should be allotted for group discussion and another 15 minutes should be set aside for group presentations. The text makes the argument that the cognitive ability tests are valid for virtually all jobs and Tenneco proposes to use one as one source of information about candidates. A review of disparate impact theory and the major provisions of the 1991 Civil Rights Act will be useful here as they clearly apply to this case. Table 6.1.1 presents recommended answers to Form 6.1.1. Table 6.1.1 Answers to Form 6.1.1 Is there evidence of adverse impact against minorities if the Wonderlic Personnel Test is used as the sole basis for entry into the training? Explain your answer. A passing rate of 60% (scores of 24 or higher) was required for minorities so as not to violate the 80% rule. Thus, adverse impact would be found against Blacks (51% pass rate) and Hispanics (58% pass rate) and a class of minorities could then challenge the initial cut-off decision (Recall Connecticut v. Teal, see page 208). In addition, the method of selecting the 40 individuals would be critical. If the method was “top-down” selection, there would be adverse impact against minorities. 2. Given your response to question 1, what are the policy options for this situation? What policy do you recommend that Tenneco adopt for the use of the Wonderlic? Defend your response by considering the job situation, the need for further research, legal and social implications, and alternative methods of selection. Provide a detailed recommendation and a rationale for action. If you take a position to drop the use of the Wonderlic, how do you propose to identify the 40 candidates? See page 183. Of course, one option is to drop the use of the test altogether. However, the validity evidence on cognitive ability tests like the Wonderlic is quite strong (.51; see Figure 6-2)) and replacement with some other method (e.g., assessment centers) is much more expensive (particularly for 400 people; the Wonderlic may cost about $15 to use while assessment centers average over $300 per person). Another option is to develop a more job-related test. However, there is no consistent evidence that more job related tests of cognitive ability will result in less adverse impact. See Figure 6-4 (page 185) for some other approaches for reducing adverse impact (i.e., a selection system that focuses on all aspects of performance, accomplishment records, work samples). Another option is to set a low passing score so as to get an ample pool of candidates from all ethnic groups and then to adopt some other means of assessment. For example, since all 400 people work for the company, are not performance appraisals relevant? Another option is “banding” the scores although “this method is controversial and may be illegal” (p. 183). For instance, if all outstanding employees scored between 60-70 on the test then the first band or the highest scores would be 60-70. Someone achieving a 62 would be considered the same as someone achieving a 70. The company should use several sources of information about job candidates and should avoid using the Wonderlic (or any other single method) as the definitive source of data for the decision, even as the definitive hurdle prior to another step in the process (e.g., assessment centers, work samples). Higher validity can be achieved by using the Wonderlic with other valid approaches (e.g., scores on the Big 5 - conscientiousness, emotional stability and extroversion). Figure 6-4 presents several other options. 3. What if you conducted a PAQ analysis that indicated that the Wonderlic was a valid test for this job? Do you believe that this result establishes the legality of the Wonderlic? Given that the Wonderlic consultant recommended a particular passing score, is Tenneco on safe legal ground if candidates are selected based on that Wonderlic passing score? One (and only one) fully litigated case, discussed in chapter 4 (James River) did establish the ”job relatedness” of a cognitive ability test based strictly on the PAQ results that recommended that such a test was indeed valid (and the most valid of the tests in the database). However, this was a single case decided by the conservative 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The passing score could come under close scrutiny in terms of the “alternative measure” argument. The organization should be able to justify a particular passing score since lowering that score would probably reduce the level of adverse impact. 4. Could Tenneco convert the raw score on the Wonderlic to a percentile based on the ethnicity of the test taker? How might such a policy affect adverse impact? While such a conversion based on the ethnicity of the test taker could reduce or eliminate adverse impact, the practice of race (or sex) norming is illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Prior to 1991, some companies and many public organizations were using cognitive ability test scores that were converted to percentile scores within ethnic classification. The use of this conversion (also known as "race norming") at Tenneco would have eliminated the adverse impact from the Wonderlic while still retaining most of the utility of the test. The practice of race (and sex norming) is now explicitly illegal based on the Civil Rights Act of 1991. 5. Tenneco is also considering an interviewing process as the final hurdle for selecting trainees. What is your view of this option? If interviews are to be conducted, are there any recommendations for the interview ? Structured interviews, which represent a standardized approach to systematically collecting and rating applicant information, have yielded higher reliability and validity results than unstructured interviews (.43 versus .31; see Figure 6-2, page 175). Research findings also suggest that the effectiveness of interview decisions can be improved by carefully defining what information is to be evaluated, by systematically evaluating that information using consistent rating standards, and by focusing the interview (and interview questions) on past behaviors and accomplishments in job related situations. Behavioral interviews ask candidates to describe actual experiences they have had in dealing with specific, job-related issues or challenges. Behavioral interviewing may involve probing beyond the initial answer. At GM’s Saturn plant, employees are first asked to describe a project in which they participated as group or team members. Probing may involve work assignments, examples of good and bad teamwork, difficulties in completing the project, and other related projects. While situational interviews are valid, the behavioral interviewing approach where candidates describe actual experiences or accomplishments with important job-related situations has been shown to be reliably more valid, particularly when reported achievements or accomplishments are verified or validated. So, a “high validity” interview should be structured with behavioral questions derived from a job analysis and involving more than one trained interviewer using a structured interview rating form. If this cannot be done, the use of three and preferably more independent interviewers will probably get you comparable validity to the “high validity” just described. Interview data should not be overemphasized but appropriately weighed with other valid information. When done as recommended, interviews can contribute to the prediction of job performance over and above tests of cognitive abilities and other personal characteristics and accomplishments. 6. Another suggestion is to review the Wonderlic test and to remove all culturally biased questions to eliminate the adverse impact. Do you agree with this suggestion? Explain your answer. No; Research does not support this recommendation. See Figure 6-4 (p. 185) for more detail Chapter Exercise 6.2 Hiring a Plant Manager at Dynamo Industries James A. Breaugh Objective. The purpose of Exercise 6.2 is to give the student a feel for a typical situation involved in a selection decision. Considerable information may be available on each candidate, some of which is valid and some of which is not. The problem of missing data will need attention and improved methods should be considered. Description. This is a challenging exercise that requires at least two hours of out of class preparation for the Individual Analysis and the Group Analysis should provoke spirited discussion as students attempt to reach consensus. While it is recommended that students be paired off as observers and discussants, the instructor may use the peer assessment approach as an alternative and forgo the pairing process. Because the "Written Communication" assessment is critical in this exercise, allow at least 15 minutes for this assessment prior to the start of group discussion. Please note that the first group of "discussants" should attempt to reach consensus on the rank ordering of the candidates and the rationale for the choices. After 15 minutes, the "observer" groups become the "discussants" charged with reaching consensus on a priority list of three changes to be made in the hiring practices at Dynamo. There is no one best answer for the exercise. However, there are a number of criteria to be used in the assessment, which can be shared with the students prior to assessment or discussion. For example, did the students discuss everything? Were the pros and cons of the various choices discussed? Was the response: Scientifically grounded? Legally defensible? Cogently argued? Professionally done? With regard to the written report, certainly spelling, grammar, and the quality of the executive summary should be heavily weighted in the assessment of "Written Communication." Table 6.2.1 presents a summary of issues that should have been considered in arriving at the recommendations. Table 6.2.2 presents some recommendations for further information and/or changes for future hiring at Dynamo. Table 6.2.1 Issues to Consider at Dynamo PHILOSOPHY IN APPROACHING THIS CASE: There is no one best answer for this case. Rather, the key is whether a student discusses all of the various factors that should be considered (e.g., selection device validity and utility). Fundamentally, students should be evaluated in terms of whether their analyses were scientifically grounded, legally defensible, and cogently argued. EXPECTED VALIDITY OF THE SELECTION DEVICES: 1. Interviews: Given that the interviews were semi-structured and that the interviewers were familiar with the plant manager job and were trained how to interview, considerable weight should be given to the interview ratings in making a selection decision. Conceivably, the ratings given by the VP of Production should be weighted more heavily than those of the other interviewers. Because the Atlanta PM (plant manager) has a subordinate involved (Davis) and his ratings do not agree with those of the others, students may suggest that the Atlanta PM's ratings not be considered. However, a good answer should suggest steps to make the interview more compatible with the “bottom-line” on interview validity (page 207). 2. Work Sample Ratings: Given that the work sample appears to assess key aspects of the PM's job, it should be heavily weighted in making a decision. See Figure 6-2, page 175). 3. Performance and Promotability Ratings: Although there is less evidence supporting the validity of these ratings for making selection decisions, nevertheless, a supervisor's judgment of performance and promotability should not be ignored, especially given these ratings. Students should be aware that this is a lateral transfer for Joyce. Thus, her promotability rating is irrelevant but her current performance as a plant manager is highly relevant. Students should also consider that the Atlanta PM has only supervised Davis for one year. If a student uses performance and promotability information, he or she must deal with the fact that this information is not available for external candidates. See page 179- “when selecting a manager from a pool of current or former managers, a candidate’s past performance as a manager is important. Performance appraisals or promotability ratings, particularly those provided by peers, are a valid source of information about job candidates. However, promotability ratings made by managers are not as valid as other potential sources of information about candidates, such as performance tests and assessment centers.” 4. Intelligence Test: Although intelligence tests are highly valid (.51), students might consider whether an intelligence or cognitive ability test adds unique information beyond what is available from the other selection devices. Some deference should be given to these scores. 5. Education: A person's level of education should not be weighted heavily (e.g., people over 50 generally don't have advanced degrees). However, given that Martin lacks experience in a unionized plant, his master's degree may be relevant. 6. Work Experience: In evaluating a job candidate's work experience, students should consider whether (1) the person has been a plant manager; (2) whether he or she has experience with unionized employees; and (3) there are differences between internal and external candidates. 7. Other Devices/Consideration: a. Personality Profiles: The personality information should be given modest weight in making a selection decision. A good student may research the 16PF and the TAT (page 187) in a test reference manual. The 16PF does provide so-called “Big Five” scores (see page 188). The limited research with the TAT indicates some validity as a predictor of managerial and entrepreneurial success. b. Handwriting Analysis: Should be given no weight. c. Internal vs. External Candidates: For a variety of reasons (less transition time, more data on typical performance), most students give preference to internal candidates. Recall that promoting people from within is a “high performance work system” characteristic. Student should consider that an internal selection will create a vacancy. A ready replacement is an important issue. d. Lateral Transfers: Given the needs of today's dual career couples, a good case can be made for allowing Joyce to transfer. However, students should also address the downside of allowing such transfers. A critical question might be the availability of a replacement in Little Rock. OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER : Some of the other factors that a student should raise in his or her analysis are: Why was Fein let go if he was so good? Is Jackson perceived as part of the problem in Pittsburgh? Is Jackson too young? If we let Joyce transfer, can we put our second choice in Little Rock? Given Doyle's failure in Little Rock, is Pittsburgh too tough of a next assignment? How was the information used (compensatory vs. noncompensatory selection system)? RANKING THE CANDIDATES : Although there is no one best ranking, certain people can be easily eliminated. For example, based upon work sample scores, interview scores, performance and promotability ratings, etc, Fein, Jackson, Cacioppo and Doyle cannot be rated in the top four. If one eliminates the influence of the Atlanta PM (thus lowering Davis' ranking) a persuasive case can be made for the remaining three. However, given Joyce has been a successful plant manager in a plant that was formally a trouble spot and that she may quit if not allowed to transfer, she appears to be the best candidate. Her associate plant manager in Little Rock is also very capable. If a student thinks that new ideas from outside the company are important, Martin is a strong candidate. Table 6.2.2 Recommended Changes and Information Needed for Future Hiring at Dynamo 1. Develop a policy on internal and external hiring/transfers -- use replacement charts. 2. Conduct a job analysis to support use of certain procedures and weight certain information in the context of Dynamo's competitive strategy; need a more carefully developed job description. 3. Conduct research to determine the relative validity of methods and/or derive an actuarial weighting system for information (actuarial prediction superior to clinical judgment). Reduce the number of tests (eliminate graphology), and weight personality factors based on job analysis (results in greater validity) or past research (e.g., see FFM research predicting managerial success). Consider an assessment center for finalists. Page 189- “The latest reviews of the FFM found that Conscientiousness and Emotional Stability had useful predictive validity across all jobs but that Conscientiousness had the highest validity (.31). Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Openness to Experience had useful predictive validity but for only certain types of jobs. For example, extraverted workers are more effective in jobs with a strong social component, such as sales and management.” 5. Adopt more job related approach to references and judgments of promotability. (Little information was given regarding references from outside sources for any of the candidates.) Consider performance-based letters of reference for external candidates. 6. Critique the interview for job relatedness/validity. What information did the oral interviews actually yield? There was also little information given on the behavior description interviews held by the personnel department. What are the company's primary objectives? Their competitive philosophies? Their HR goals? Could these candidates fulfill them? Also, make sure all interviewers participate, and do not allow a PM to be an interviewer if he or she has a subordinate as a candidate. Develop a behavioral interview and/or use multiple interviewers 7. Use of an assessment center is ideal when there are internal and external candidates (see page 200- “When you have external candidates competing against internal candidates for managerial positions, assessment centers create a “level playing field” of valid sources of information about the candidates.” Chapter Exercise 6.3 What Questions Can You Ask in an Interview? Adapted from an exercise written by Robert W. Eder and M. Ronald Buckley Case law has established the potential legal liability inherent in the employment interview. Given the subjective nature of the process and the discretion interviewers typically exercise in employment interviews, there is great opportunity for biases that could be interpreted as violations of any number of state, federal, or local laws on equal opportunity. Take note that the Supreme Court ruled in Watson v. Fort Worth Bank & Trust, 487 U.S. 977 (1988), that "disparate impact" theory may be used in Civil Rights Act (CRA) cases involving "subjective employment practices" such as interviews and performance appraisals. The Supreme Court ruling in Smith v. City of Jackson (03-1160) 544 U.S. 228 (2005), also affirmed the use of "impact" theory for age discrimination cases. Research also has established that there are optimal approaches to conducting the employment interview. Employment interviews can have high validity if certain guidelines are followed. This exercise explores the potential legal implications of a number of questions often posed by interviewers. In addition, interview questions will be examined to determine their potential for contributing to a valid interview. Learning Objectives After completing this exercise, students should be able to 1. Identify those interview questions that are of questionable legality. 2. Know the major laws that may affect the interview process. 3. Know the recommended approaches to conducting interviews. In this exercise, students consider a set of interview questions and determine whether they regard questions as lawful or potentially unlawful or whether they believe questions are good interview questions in terms of potential validity. Students will receive a score and feedback report after answering all questions. The feedback report is as follows: Question #1: Would you mind if I called you by your first name? Correct answer: Lawful. This may be preferable to stumbling over how to address a female applicant as Miss, Mrs., or Ms. Question #2: Are you a U.S. citizen? Correct answer: Lawful: A better way to ask the question is "Are you authorized to work in the United States?" People who are not U.S. citizens can be covered by the Civil Rights Act if they are eligible to work. If you do hire aliens, then you must inquire as to work visa. The Immigration Reform Act requires that all employees prove they have U.S. Citizenship or permission to work. Many states now have additional requirements. You may ask if the individual can, "upon hire," provide proof of legal right to work in the United States. You may ask about language fluency if it is relevant to job performance. It is illegal to discriminate against an individual because of birthplace, ancestry, culture, or linguistic characteristics common to a specific ethnic group. A rule requiring that employees speak only English on the job may violate Title VII unless an employer shows that the requirement is necessary for conducting business. If the employer believes such a rule is necessary, employees must be informed when English is required and the consequences for violating the rule. The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 requires employers to assure that employees hired are legally authorized to work in the U.S. However, an employer who requests employment verification only for individuals of a particular national origin, or individuals who appear to be or sound foreign, may violate both Title VII and IRCA; verification must be obtained from all applicants and employees. Employers who impose citizenship requirements or give preferences to U.S. citizens in hiring or employment opportunities also may violate IRCA. IRCA also makes it illegal for employers to discriminate with respect to hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, based upon an individual's citizenship or immigration status. For example, the law prohibits employers from hiring only U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents unless required to do so by law, regulation or government contract; it also prohibits employers from preferring to hire temporary visa holders or undocumented workers over qualified U.S. citizens or other protected individuals, such as refugees or individuals granted asylum. The IRCA requires employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all employees hired after November 6, 1986, by completing the Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) Form, and reviewing documents showing the employee's identity and employment authorization. The law prohibits employers from rejecting valid documents or insisting on additional documents beyond what is legally required for employment eligibility verification (or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9), based on an employee's citizenship status or national origin. For example, e.g., an employer cannot require only individuals the employer perceives as "foreign" to verify their employment eligibility or produce specific documents, such as Permanent Resident ("green") cards or Employment Authorization Documents. It is the employee's choice which of the permitted documents to show for employment eligibility verification. As long as the document appears reasonably genuine on its face, and relates to the employee, it should be accepted. Because of potential claims of illegal discrimination, employment eligibility verification should be conducted after an offer to hire has been made. Applicants may be informed of these requirements in the pre-employment setting by adding the following statement on the employment application: "In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire." The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) also prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin by smaller employers (with 4 to 14 employees). IRCA prohibits retaliation against individuals for asserting their rights under the Act, or for filing a charge or assisting in an investigation or proceeding under IRCA. Discrimination charges under IRCA are processed by the Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel (OSC) for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices. Question #3: Are you married or do you live with someone? Correct answer: Unlawful Questions about marital status and number and ages of children are frequently used to discriminate against women and may violate Title VII if used to deny or limit employment opportunities. It is clearly discriminatory to ask such questions only of women and not men (or vice-versa). Even if asked of both men and women, such questions may be seen as evidence of intent to discriminate against, for example, women with children. Generally, employers should not use non job-related questions involving marital status, number and/or ages of children or dependents, or names of spouses or children of the applicant. Such inquiries may be asked after an employment offer has been made and accepted if needed for insurance or other legitimate business purposes. The following pre-employment inquiries may be regarded as evidence of intent to discriminate when asked in the pre-employment context: - Whether applicant is pregnant. - Marital status of applicant or whether applicant plans to marry. - Number and age of children or future child bearing plans. - Child care arrangements. - Employment status of spouse. - Name of spouse. Question #4: Have you ever been arrested? Correct answer: There is no Federal law that clearly prohibits an employer from asking about arrest and conviction records. However, using such records as an absolute bar to employment disproportionately limits the employment opportunities of some protected groups, such as Blacks and Hispanics, and may be a violation of Title VII which the EEOC enforces. Having an arrest record should not be used as a blanket exclusion from employment. An arrest alone does not necessarily mean that an applicant has committed a crime. Thus, the employer should not assume that the applicant committed the offense but should allow him or her a meaningful opportunity to explain the circumstances of the arrest(s) and should make a reasonable effort to determine whether the explanation is credible. Even if the employer believes that the applicant did engage in the conduct for which he was arrested that information should bar employment only to the extent that it is evidence that the applicant cannot be trusted to perform the duties of the position, considering the nature of the job, the nature and seriousness of the offense, and the length of time since it occurred. A conviction, too, should bar employment only in light of the nature of the job at issue, the nature and seriousness of the offense, and the length of time since it occurred. Several state laws limit the use of arrest and conviction records by prospective employers. See, e.g., These range from laws and rules prohibiting the employer from asking the applicant any questions about arrest records to those restricting the employer's use of conviction data in making an employment decision. In some states, while there is no restriction placed on the employer, there are protections provided to the applicant with regard to what information they are required to report. Question #5: What professional societies do you belong to? Correct answer: Lawful. Should be relevant to determining interest and preparation for job and not to identify a person's protected class characteristics. Question #6: What kinds of people do you enjoy working with the most? Correct answer: Lawful. Provided you do not specify certain groups (e.g., blacks, women). Question #7: Are you planning to start a family soon? Correct answer: Usually works against women. Again, human rights commissions advise no. See the answer to #3. Question #8: How long do you expect your husband will remain here before changing jobs? Correct answer: . Usually works against women. Again, human rights commissions advise no. See the answer to #3. Question #9: How old are you? So, when did you graduate from Tech? Correct answer: Pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the EEOC recommends that the question be asked as follows: Are you 18 years of age (or older)? Asking for the date of birth or other questions which may reveal an applicant's age (e.g. date of graduation from high school) does not, by itself, violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. However, because such questions may tend to deter older applicants or otherwise discriminate based on age, they will be closely scrutinized to assure that the request is for a permissible purpose. In general, it is unlawful to establish age preferences, limitations, or specifications for specific jobs. There are a few exceptions to that general rule. For example, state and local governments are permitted to maintain age limits for police and firefighters. If the employer is legally allowed to use age as a basis for hiring for particular jobs, asking the age of applicants for those jobs would be for a permissible purpose. Where age is not a legitimate job requirement but a person's date of birth is needed for a legitimate business related reason, such as providing health or life insurance, the necessary information may be obtained after hiring. Question #10: We're looking for someone who can relate effectively with college students; you're 52? Correct answer: Age discrimination may be indicated with this question. Age statements or specifications in job notices or advertisements of age preference and limitations may violate the ADEA. An age limit may only be specified in the rare circumstance where age has been proven to be a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ); discrimination on the basis of age by apprenticeship programs, including joint labor-management apprenticeship programs. See also the answer to #9. Question #11: Have you ever been convicted of a crime (beyond traffic violations)? Correct answer: Lawful. Questions regarding convictions could cause problems but must be asked for job related offenses because of the possibility of negligent hiring lawsuits. However, it is recommended that only recent convictions should be considered (e.g., within the last 7 years) or convictions of certain offenses (e.g., child abuse conviction 20 years ago for someone applying to be a day care aid) may be appropriate. See the answer to # 4. Question #12: Will your family or personal obligations interfere with your ability to keep the hours of this job? Correct answer: Lawful. This is an acceptable way to ask the question of both women and men. But see the detailed answer for #3. Question #13: How does your military experience relate to this job? Correct answer: Lawful. Discharge status is not appropriate, however. Question #14: What are your religious beliefs? Correct answer: . Possible violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Questions about an applicant's religious affiliation or beliefs (unless the religion is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ)), are generally viewed as non-job related and problematic under federal law. Federal law exempts from coverage a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work. In other words, an employer whose purpose and character is primarily religious is permitted to prefer to employ persons of the same religion. This exception relieves religious organizations only from the ban on employment discrimination based on religion. It does not exempt such organizations from other prohibitions on the other bases (race, gender, national origin, disability, color, and age). Other employers should avoid questions about an applicant's religious affiliation, such as place of worship, days of worship, and religious holidays and should not ask for references from religious leaders, e.g., minister, rabbi, priest, imam, or pastor. Question #15: Would you mind if I checked your credit rating score? Correct answer: Employers sometimes ask about an applicant's current or past assets, liabilities, or credit rating, including bankruptcy or wage garnishment, refusal or cancellation of bonding, car ownership, rental or ownership of a house, length of residence at an address, charge accounts, furniture ownership, or bank accounts. However, such questions should be avoided unless they are related to the particular job in question, because using such criteria in making selection decisions tends to disproportionately exclude minorities and females. The Fair Credit in Reporting Act (FCRA), amended in 2005, and state law both have restrictions on what makes an "investigative consumer report" legal: 1. Notice in writing to job candidate being investigated; 2.Summary of rights under federal law to job candidate; 3. Certify to investigating company that you will comply with federal and state law; and, 4. Copy of the report in a letter to the person being investigated. Question #16: Would you be willing to work on Yom Kippur? Correct answer: Specifies a particular religious holiday -- Jewish. Rather, one should ask if the applicant can work on the days scheduled. If not, reasonable accommodation is expected for religious observances. If Saturday or Sunday is a required work day, you may ask candidates if they will have a problem working on those days. Unless it would be an undue hardship on the employer's operation of its business, an employer must reasonably accommodate an employee's religious beliefs or practices. This applies not only to schedule changes or leave for religious observances, but also to such things as dress or grooming practices that an employee has for religious reasons. These might include, for example, wearing particular head coverings or other religious dress (such as a Jewish yarmulke or a Muslim headscarf), or wearing certain hairstyles or facial hair (such as Rastafarian dreadlocks or Sikh uncut hair and beard). It also includes an employee's observance of a religious prohibition against wearing certain garments (such as pants or miniskirts). When an employee or applicant needs a dress or grooming accommodation for religious reasons, s/he should notify the employer that such an accommodation for religious reasons is needed. If the employer reasonably needs more information, the employer and the employee should engage in an interactive process to discuss the request. If it would not pose an undue hardship, the employer must grant the accommodation. Question #17: How long have you lived around here? Correct answer: Lawful. Though not job relevant in most cases, discrimination based on geographical preference or where one resides is not illegal. Question #18: Are you a smoker or a nonsmoker? Correct answer: Discrimination against smokers is not illegal in most states but some states do have "smokers' rights" laws. Question #19: Are you a homosexual? Correct answer: Unlawful in some states, cities and counties. While discrimination based on sexual orientation is not illegal at the federal level (as of 2008), many states and cities have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation. Federal government workers are protected from such discrimination. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009, prohibits employers from discriminating against any employee with respect to the conditions and privileges of employment based on the employee's actual or perceived sexual orientation. Be sure to check to see if this legislation has now become law. Many states, counties, cities, and towns which have laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Sixteen states have laws that prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in both private and public jobs: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. The District of Columbia also prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in both the public and private sectors. In addition, Oregon courts have found that sexual orientation discrimination is prohibited in public and private employment in Oregon. Seven states have laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in public workplaces only: Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Pennsylvania, and Washington. To learn more about your state and local laws, contact your state department of labor or your state fair employment agency. (See On the left side of each field office page, near the bottom is a link to the state and local agencies.) Question #20: What plans do you have for taking care of the children if you get this job? Correct answer: . A legal question would be: Would you be willing to relocate if necessary? Another legal question is: Travel is an important part of the job. Would you be willing to travel as needed by the job? (This question is acceptable providing all applicants for the job are asked.) See also the answer to #3. Question #21: Do you consider yourself handicapped in any way? Correct answer: Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), questions regarding disabilities cannot be asked until after a job offer has been conveyed and only then in the context of the "essential functions" of the job. Under the ADA, employers generally cannot ask disability-related questions or require medical examinations until after an applicant has been given a conditional job offer. This is because, in the past, this information was frequently used to exclude applicants with disabilities before their ability to perform a job was evaluated. Employers are permitted to ask limited questions about reasonable accommodation if they reasonably believe that the applicant may need accommodation because of an obvious or voluntarily disclosed disability, or where the applicant has disclosed a need for accommodation. Employers may ask if the applicant will need an accommodation to perform a specific job duty, and if the answer is yes, the employer may then ask what the accommodation would be. The employer may not ask any questions about the nature or severity of the disability. The need for accommodation cannot be used as a reason for not hiring the applicant unless the employer can demonstrate that providing the accommodation would impose "undue hardship" upon the employer. See Question #22: Is there any history of chronic illness or disease in your family? Correct answer: Questions regarding family health problems are also illegal under the ADA. The ADA limits the kinds of medical information that an employer can seek from a job applicant. An employer may not require a job applicant to take a medical examination or ask about a person's disability before making a job offer nor can inquiries be made about family history. However, the employer can ask an applicant questions about his/her ability to perform job-related functions, as long as the questions are not phrased in terms of a disability. An employer may not ask the following questions: 1. whether or to what extent a person has an intellectual disability; 2. whether the applicant has ever filed for workers' compensation; 3. whether the applicant takes medication; 4. whether the applicant has been hospitalized in an institution; or 5. whether the applicant is receiving psychiatric treatment. Question #23: One of your references mentioned that you have a history of depression. Is this still a problem? Correct answer: Unlawful. Questions regarding mental health are probably illegal under ADA and many state laws. See also the answer to #22. Question #24: Would you mind completing this medical questionnaire? Correct answer: An employer may not require a job applicant to take a medical examination or ask about a person's disability before making a job offer A legal question would be: Are you able to perform the essential functions of this job with or without reasonable accommodations? Before making an offer of employment, an employer may not ask job applicants about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. Applicants may be asked about their ability to perform job functions. A job offer may be conditioned on the results of a medical examination, but only if the examination is required for all entering employees in the same job category. Medical examinations of employees must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. Question #25: Do you think marijuana should be legalized? Correct answer: Unlawful in some locations. This question may be illegal in some states where "political" questions cannot be asked. Many states, counties, cities, and towns which have laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of political proclivities. Civil service procedures often proscribe the consideration of political orientation. Question #26: Do you believe that corporate management has too much political power? Correct answer: Unlawful in some locations. This question may be illegal in some states where "political" questions cannot be asked. Many states, counties, cities, and towns which have laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of political proclivities. Civil service procedures often proscribe the consideration of political orientation. Question #27: Do you support gay marriage? Correct answer: Unlawful in some locations. See the answer for #s 25 and 26. Question #28: Have you ever belonged to a labor union? Correct answer: . It is illegal under the National Labor Relations Act to penalize applicants for labor union sentiments or affiliations. Question #29: Do you have any family members (parents, siblings) who belong (or have belonged) to labor unions? Correct answer: . It is illegal under the National Labor Relations Act to penalize applicants for labor union sentiments or affiliations. Question #30: Are you willing to work without your hijab (head scarf)? It might offend our customers. Correct answer: . Customer preference is not a valid reason to discriminate. See the answer to #16. Question #31: What church do you attend in town? Correct answer: . Possible Title VII violation and state human rights violation. See the answer to #14. Question #32: Are you available for overtime? Correct answer: Lawful. Job-related. All applicants for the job should be asked this question if it's asked of any. Question #33: Are you willing to travel? Correct answer: Lawful. Job-related. All applicants for the job should be asked. Question #34: What education do you have? Correct answer: Lawful. Job-related. Question #35: Have you ever filed a workers' compensation claim? Correct answer: . Illegal as part of most state worker's compensation laws and could be a violation of the ADA. Question #36: Determine whether you think this question is good or to ask when interviewing a candidate for a supervisory or managerial position: How would you go about motivating people? Correct answer: . A behavioral question like "Describe a situation when you were able to have a positive influence on the actions of others" is better. Or, "Give an example of your ability to build motivation in your co-workers, classmates or a volunteer committee." Question #37: Determine whether you think this question is good or to ask when interviewing a candidate for a supervisory or managerial position: Do you consider yourself organized? Correct answer: . A behavioral question is preferable such as "Describe a time when you had many projects due at the same time. What steps did you take to get them all done?" Question #38: Determine whether you think this question is good or to ask when interviewing a candidate for a supervisory or managerial position: How do you handle conflict? Correct answer: . How about a behavioral question such as: "Describe a situation where your colleagues disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?" Question #39: Determine whether you think this question is good or to ask when interviewing a candidate for a supervisory or managerial position: Tell me about a recent situation in which you had to deal with a very upset customer or co-worker. Correct answer: Good. Good behavioral question (assuming the job involves customer interaction). Question #40: Determine whether you think this question is good or to ask when interviewing a candidate for a supervisory or managerial position: Tell me about a time you were able to successfully deal with another person even when that individual may not have personally liked you (or vice versa). Correct answer: Good. Good behavioral question. Question #41: Have you smoked marijuana in the last month? Correct answer: Lawful. Employees and applicants currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs are not protected by the ADA when an employer acts on the basis of such use. Tests for illegal use of drugs are not considered medical examinations and, therefore, are not subject to the ADA's restrictions on medical examinations. Employers may hold individuals who are illegally using drugs and individuals with alcoholism to the same standards of performance as other employees. Question #42: The parent of a child with an intellectual disability applies for a position as an attorney at a law firm and mentions during a discussion with one of her interviewers that she has a child with an intellectual disability. She is denied employment because the employer believes the child's disability will cause her to be absent from work and will affect her productivity. This decision is lawful because the applicant is not protected by the ADA. Correct answer: Unlawful. The parent is protected under the ADA. Question #43: An employer requires an applicant from Yemen to undergo a background check before making a job offer. The employer had no such requirement for other applicants. The background check was: Correct answer: . While an employer may require members of religious or ethnic groups to undergo the same pre-employment investigations, as with other employment practices, the employer may not subject only particular religious or ethnic groups, such as Muslims or Arabs, to heightened security checks. Some employers, such as defense contractors, may require a security clearance for certain jobs pursuant to a federal statute or Executive Order. Clearance determinations must generally be processed and made without regard to race, religion, or national origin. However, security clearance determinations for positions subject to national security requirements under a federal statute or an Executive Order are not generally subject to review under the equal employment opportunity statutes. Exercise 6.3 Assessment Questions 1. How would you design a training program so that future interviewers would understand what can and cannot be asked in an employment interview? A quiz such as the one the students just took could serve as the assessment tool to determine who needs training and why. Certainly knowledge of EEO, ADEA, and ADA is a necessary condition in order to fully understand the implications of interview questions. Cases such as those in Chapter 3, which describe employment interview formats, would be appropriate. 2. If your organizational research had clearly determined (with data) that women with children under the age of five are much more likely to be absent from work than others, could the company then use this information to make decisions? The answer is still "no." Such questions should not be asked and the information should not be used as a basis of decisions about anyone. One insurance company had fairly convincing evidence that women with young children are absent more often and sell less insurance than others. The judge still found the company in violation of Title VII because employment interviews involve inquiries about children. 3. How would you design a structured situational or behavioral interview for an overseas assignment? Based on the evidence, is the situational or the behavioral more valid? Much like the development of a work sample, the structured behavioral interview can be designed to assist in making overseas assignments by using expatriates who can develop situations that are likely to occur on such assignments. Employees, ideally those who have had the same type of overseas assignment, should not only participate in the development of the questions, but also assist in writing suggested answers and assisting in the development of a scoring key. For this instance the situational interview may be more valid than the behavioral. While the behavioral interview asks the candidates to describe situations they have actually been in, the situational interview asks them how they would deal with new, job-related conditions. It is more of a critical thinking examination than a re-telling of past behavior. Research on behavioral interviewing versus situational shows superior validity but not with regard to overseas assignments. Since such assignments often deal with new cultures and different priorities, the situational interview could be a more valid tool to assess how a candidate would fit into the position and deal with the new environment. 4. Discuss the ethical and legal implications of asking applicants about the health history of family members. Setting aside the possible legal issues, should a company take family health into consideration when evaluating an applicant? Such inquiries are now clearly illegal under the 2008 Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act and were illegal under several state statutes before the ADA was passed. Few students will take a pure financial perspective on the second question. Most students believe it is unethical to take family history into consideration unless it would be impossible to accommodate an employee who needed to care for an ailing person. Students also believe using probabilities of getting ill as a basis for staffing decisions is also unethical. 5. Relative to alternative methods of selection, what role should an interview play in the selection of retail assistant managers? If you use more than one method, how would you go about weighing the information? Interviews should be structured, behavioral and standardized to maximize validity and reliability. In addition, interviews should be use for the “final fit” into the organization’s culture. The interview should not ask questions that the other methods of selection, i.e. paper and pencil tests, that have more validity and reliability. To weigh the various sources of information, actuarial prediction is recommended. 6. A colleague suggests that you do not have to develop a structured, behavioral interview as long as you get at least three colleagues to do independent, unstructured interviews and then evaluate candidates. Do you agree with the colleague? Yes, one study (see page 207) research indicates at least three independent, unstructured interviews have similar validity to a single structured interview. 1. Consistency: Structured behavioral interviews involve asking all candidates a standardized set of questions, ensuring fairness and consistency in the evaluation process. Without this structure, it's difficult to compare candidates objectively and make informed hiring decisions. 2. Validity and Reliability: Structured interviews are designed to assess specific job-related competencies and behaviors, increasing the validity and reliability of the hiring process. Unstructured interviews may introduce bias and subjectivity, leading to inconsistent results. 3. Legal Compliance: Structured interviews help organizations ensure compliance with equal employment opportunity laws by focusing on job-related criteria and minimizing the risk of discrimination. Unstructured interviews may inadvertently lead to biased decision-making. 4. Depth of Assessment: Behavioral interview questions are carefully crafted to elicit detailed responses that demonstrate a candidate's past experiences and abilities relevant to the job. Without a structured approach, important areas may be overlooked, resulting in a superficial evaluation of candidates. 5. Professionalism and Perception: A structured interview process reflects professionalism and organizational rigor, enhancing the employer brand and reputation. Candidates may perceive unstructured interviews as less professional and may question the credibility of the hiring process. In summary, while gathering input from colleagues can be valuable in the hiring process, it should complement, not replace, a structured, behavioral interview approach. By combining both methods, organizations can ensure a comprehensive and fair assessment of candidates' suitability for the role. Solution Manual for Human Resource Management John H. Bernardin, Joyce E. A. Russell 9780078029165, 9780071326186

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