A Meta-Analysis of the Relationship Between Individual Assessments and Job Performance

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Abstract

Though individual assessments are widely used in selection settings, very little research exists to support their criterion-related validity. A random-effects meta-analysis was conducted of 39 individual assessment validation studies. For the current research, individual assessments were defined as any employee selection procedure that involved (a) multiple assessment methods, (b) administered to an individual examinee, and (c) relying on assessor judgment to integrate the information into an overall evaluation of the candidate's suitability for a job. Assessor recommendations were found to be useful predictors of job performance, although the level of validity varied considerably across studies. Validity tended to be higher for managerial than nonmanagerial occupations and for assessments that included a cognitive ability test. Validity was not moderated by the degree of standardization of the assessment content or by use of multiple assessors for each candidate. However, higher validities were found when the same assessor was used across all candidates than when different assessors evaluated different candidates. These results should be interpreted with caution, given a small number of studies for many of the moderator subgroups as well as considerable evidence of publication bias. These limitations of the available research base highlight the need for additional empirical work to inform individual assessment practices.

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