The Industrial/Organizational Decision-Making Method: Definition & Application

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  • 0:00 Filling a Vacancy
  • 0:44 Analyze the Job
  • 1:57 Define Criteria &…
  • 3:00 Choose Predictors
  • 3:40 Validate & Cross-Validate
  • 5:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

The industrial/organizational approach to the hiring selection process is scientific in nature. This lesson reviews the steps required for this unbiased decision-making method.

Filling a Vacancy

So an organization has a vacancy and they need to fill it. Who should get the job? Should it be someone from within the company? Should it be someone outside of the company? Should they hire the person with the most experience in that particular area or the one that will accept the lowest salary?

The industrial/organizational decision-making method focuses on an empirical method to select new employees. Empirical means statistically proven through scientific research. It removes subjective selection habits in favor of research-based objective steps.

This lesson covers the six steps of the industrial/organizational selection decision-making method in detail.

Analyze the Job

The first step is to properly analyze the position to be filled. Consider this consulting firm scenario: Sally was hired to be the receptionist for a small firm with only one other employee. As time passed, more consultants were hired, and Sally automatically took on personal assistant duties for the consultants. New phone systems were installed to link each individual to the office and an internal network was created to link the employees' calendars to the receptionist's log book. Eventually, Sally retired. The original job description for her position no longer applies. The increase in consultants and understanding of technology makes the job very different from Sally's original position.

In this scenario, it's imperative that the company conducts a thorough review of the actual tasks expected of a person filling Sally's role. Some ways to ensure a thorough analysis are:

  • Conduct incumbent interviews
  • Conduct supervisor interviews
  • Review incumbent work logs and task inventories
  • Observe the incumbent prior to vacation of the position

Starting with clear expectations of a successful applicant is imperative to a successful I/O selection process.

Define Criteria and Abilities Needed

The next two steps are to define the abilities needed and criteria for the position. Concisely list specific skills that a candidate must possess in order to be considered for the position. These criteria should prioritize skills and make it clear which are required and which will give a candidate higher standing in the selection process. Criteria lists should include both skills required and information about social requirements for the position (attitudes and/or behaviors required).

To return to our scenario with Sally's open position, the criteria might be that the successful candidate will:

  • Have five years' experience working with LAN-based scheduling systems
  • Have a working knowledge of multi-line telephone systems
  • Show excellent attention to detail in all aspects of his or her work
  • Work well in teams
  • Is self-motivated

Notice how these criteria tell the applicant exactly what's expected and give the hiring staff an unbiased rubric to compare each candidate to the needs of the company.

Choose Predictors

Predictors are tests used to predict if a candidate will be a good fit for the position. Sometimes these are actual tests, like a typing test, and sometimes these are simply reviewing resumes for presence of previously determined predictive elements, like experience. Since it's impossible to know who will best fit a position, good predictors are imperative.

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