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85 years of I/O psychology performance predictors distilled

Talent Evaluation Methods

"People trust that the complex characteristics of applicants can be best assessed by a sensitive, equally complex human being. This does not stand up to scientific scrutiny"

"The traditional unstructured interview has remained the most popular and widely used selection procedure for over 100 years(Buckley, Norris, & Wiese, 2000). This is despite the fact that, during this same period, there have been significant advancements in the development of selection decision aids"

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Much scientific research in this area concludes that Intuition and subjectivity result in very poor selection decisions. Also results in bias related to race, gender, and pedigree. Still, many leaders and hiring managers fall prey to this human condition believing they have an innate sense that supersedes data.

The Validity and Utility of Selection Methods in Personnel Psychology: Practical and Theoretical Implications of 85 Years of Research Findings Psychological Bulletin. 124. 262-274. 10.1037//0033-2909.124.2.262. This article summarizes the practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research in personnel selection. Citation (hunter #) - Schmidt and Hunter 85 years of research

On the basis of meta-analytic findings, this article presents the validity of 19 selection procedures for predicting job performance and training performance and the validity of paired combinations of general mental ability - GMA and the 18 other selection procedures. Overall, the 3 combinations with the highest multivariate validity and utility for job performance were GMA plus a work sample test (mean validity of .63), GMA plus an integrity test (mean validity of .65), and GMA plus a structured interview (mean validity of .63). A further advantage of the latter 2 combinations is that they can be used for both entry-level selection and selection of experienced employees. The practical utility implications of these summary findings are substantial. The implications of these research findings for the development of theories of job performance are discussed.

Reflecting Schmidt and Hunters work

The graph below represents predictive performance drivers in order of magnitude in context to a company and role. Note Key drivers are cognitive ability, structured interviews and knowledge. Success predictors are contextual e.g. general cognitive ability can in fact explain up to as much as 42% of job performance. In this Account Executive sales role it is less.

Existing evaluation performance methods & tools
  • The economic value of gains from improved hiring methods developed by I/O psychologists is significant as plotted below. 
  • These gains are directly proportional to the size of the increase in validity when moving from the old to the new selection methods, and
  • No other characteristic of a personnel measure is as important as predictive validity
Comparison of performance predictors

The client example below shows how compelling performance fingerprint predictors are in the CAE sales role at this technology company. 

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Performance technology brings new precision to the quality of fit by scientifically identifying the unique combination of traits and related facets that drive the top performers. Knowledge  (research on the overlap of traits and performance success) digitization, and application of convergent technologies have made bespoke, highly descriptive, predictive and prescriptive on-job performance modeling both viable and commercially available

Scientifically quantifying job fit potential opens up rich, comprehensive life cycle management possibilities not previously available. 

Why are performance fingerprints achievable now

An example fingerprint


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