A Study on Applicant Perceptions of Selection Procedures
FrontLine National Case Study
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Including Past Performance in the Promotional Process
The use of past performance as an indicator of future success is on the rise. Increasingly, organizations are trying to identify valid ways to use good or poor past performance in the selection process. Why shouldn't an employee that comes in late every day or has problem interacting with other team members have that count when it comes to promotions?
In the public sector, this is not so common, because of the strong reliance on testing procedures and the argument that it not possible to objectively evaluate this type of performance. There are a number of questions and concerns that always come up when evaluating performance as part of a selection process:
We don't have performance evaluations or we don't think they are really accurate?
Current performance evaluation systems should not be part of this process. These systems are meant for development and selection. Rather, independent evaluations and performance indicators should be used for the promotional process. The two evaluations may be related, but the two processes need to serve different purposes.
Who gets to evaluate the candidates' performance?
The short answer is that those people that supervise the candidates should evaluate performance. However, it is clear that independent ratings from different raters can be subject to rating biases and games. When possible, it is best to convene a high level (Management Team) group to make ratings in a facilitated consensus process. This can eliminate bias and create fair and highly accurate rating processes.
How do you quantify performance?
Candidates should be compared against one another in their performance. In promotions, the comparison pool is limited only to those that apply for the job.
These are valid questions. It is critical that candidates feel that quality decisions are made about their performance and that there are no biases or unfair games. Most candidates welcome this as part of the process. Candidates want to be rewarded for working hard each day, coming to work on time and doing the tasks assigned. Why shouldn't all of this lead to promotions? And what about the fact that research has consistently found that the best predictor of future performance is past performance. How can we ignore something so critical?