Module 6, Assignment 1: Measuring an Applicant’s Characteristics

This case study focuses on the challenges of effectively measuring applicant knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics. The case specifically considers the quality of measures used.

The majority of Ironton Incorporated’s hiring is focused on finding new employees to fill the position of customer service representative level 1 (CSR1).

The primary job competencies and desired employee characteristics include:

• fluency in English (reading, writing and speaking)
• good attendance
• availability for either morning or evening shift
• ability to manage conversations with demanding customers
• basic computer keyboarding skills
• accurate data entry

Historically, the company’s HR department has used the following assessment method to develop a pool of candidates.

Assessment Method


Application form, completed on a computer terminal in the HR office

Language skills, computer skills and data entry accuracy

Once the pool is developed, the HR department randomly selects applicants from the pool and inquires if they can work any shift. Those who are available are invited to complete a two-week training period. Typically only about one half of the trainees complete the program and become CSR 1s.

In response to managers’ concerns, the HR department has been charged to develop an assessment method to predict attendance and to incorporate it into the staffing process.

Review the facts presented and write your analysis. In your case study analysis, include the following:

• Review the strengths and weaknesses of the current process.
• Research options for predicting employee attendance.
• Make a recommendation, with a rationale, for measuring applicant characteristics and ranking the applicants.
• Discuss potential legal liability associated with the measures recommended.
• Include references, at least three other than the textbook.

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