HR Guide to the Internet:
Personnel Selection: Methods: Self-Assessments
- This technique involves applicants generating self-ratings on relevant performance Over time, self-assessments can be useful to clarify job performance expectations between employees and supervisors (Bassett & Meyer, 1968; Campbell & Lee, 1988), but initial discrepancies in understanding of what job requirements and performance dimensions between self- and supervisor ratings cause problems in a performance appraisal system (e.g., Ash, 1980).
- Problems with this approach:
- Self-ratings show greater leniency, less variability, more bias, and less agreement with the judgments of others (Ash, 1980; Harris & Schaubroeck, 1988; Johns, Nilsen & Campbell, 1993; Thornton, 1980; van Vliet, Kletke, & Chakraborty, 1994; Williams & Levy, 1992).
- The predictive validity of this technique is questionable (Mabe & West, 1982). The predictors related to self-assessments and supervisor's ratings may show a lack of congruence (e.g., self-efficacy related to self-ratings) (Lane & Herriot, 1990).
- Research suggests that applicants may not honestly respond to this type of technique (Love & Hughes, 1994).
- Self assessment scores tend to be inflated (Gupta & Beehr, 1982; Ash, 1980).
- Evidence suggests there is low face validity and perceived fairness associated with using this technique to promote law enforcement personnel.
- The evidence suggests low accuracy compared to objective measures (George & Smith, 1990; DeNisi & Shaw, 1977).
- Self-assessments may not correspond to ratings from other sources (e.g., peers) due to a lack of congruence on which specific job dimensions are to be assessed and the relative importance of specific job dimensions (Zalesny & Kirsch, 1989; Zammuto, London, & Rowland, 1982).
- Congruency in ratings between supervisors and employees may be affected by the decision of supervisors to agree with the self-assessments of employees to avoid potential employee relation conflicts (Farh, Werbel, & Bedeian, 1988).
- A candidate is asked to write a future autobiography stating what he/she would be doing in five years. The autobiographies are then scored by two judges for differentiation, demand, and agency. Agency is defined as the extent to which a person sees himself/herself as the prime agent in determining the course of his/her future life. Demand is defined as the extent to which an individual portrays his/her life as a long-term, continuing effort on his/her part. Differentiation is defined as the extent to which an individual has created a complex, detailed mapping of his/her
future (Tullar & Barrett, 1976).
- Problems with this technique:
- This test does not measure any of the KSA's that were identified through the job analysis.
- There is no evidence that this method would reduce adverse impact.
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