The Sum of the Parts

Methods of Combining Assessments for Employment Decisions

Authored by: Juliet R. Aiken , Paul J. Hanges

Handbook of Employee Selection

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138915190
eBook ISBN: 9781315690193
Adobe ISBN:


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Organizations commonly use multiple assessments (e.g., a combination of cognitive tests, personality tests, situational judgment tests, interviews, etc.) to make hiring decisions. While using more than one assessment to make employment decisions can provide organizations with a more holistic view of each candidate, deciding on how to combine these assessments can have profound consequences on who gets hired. Most employers use one of three approaches to combining assessments: (1) combining multiple assessments subjectively (clinical assessment), (2) developing assessment composites empirically, or (3) using assessments in sequence—i.e., a multiple-hurdle approach. In this chapter, we will define each of these techniques, review when it tends to be used, discuss its strengths and weaknesses, and provide recommendations for its use. In addition to discussing these three methods, we will also discuss how these methods can be used in combination. But, let us begin at the beginning—we will next review each of the three methods of score combination, beginning with clinical assessment.

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