Current controversies in Recruitment and Selection

Searle, Rosalind and Billsberry, Jon (2009). Current controversies in Recruitment and Selection. In: Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Aug 2009, Chicago, USA.


After a lot of research interest in the 1970s and 1980s, recruitment and selection has slipped off the research agenda. At best, research in the area can be said to have been ticking over for the past twenty years. But recently, new technologies, demographic trends, and research findings have emerged that have created an upsurge of interest in the subject. For example, computers are revolutionising how pre-screening is conducted. Person-organisation fit greatly expands our selection criteria as it challenges the notion at strictly job-related criteria are the sole determinant of performance. The expansion of privacy and rights legislation influences selectors’ choices. Changing demography is altering applicant pools. The impact of these changes on recruitment and selection is still being assessed with many controversies emerging. How, for example, do organisational selectors design processes that respect applicants’ privacy rights whilst giving them the information they need to monitor religious or sexual orientation matters? Can computerised assessment be used if it gives the recruiting organisation a cold, inhuman and unwelcoming face? How can considerations of fit be incorporated into personnel selection without compromising performance-related criteria? In this PDW, leading experts in the field will outline these controversies and then facilitate round table discussions.

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