Strategies for racial gerrymandering in job selection

From McDaniel, 2009. Gerrymandering in personnel selection: A review of practice

Strategy 1: remove cognitively-loaded tests from the selection system. A highly effective method for improving the scores of minority applicants is to remove cognitively-loaded personnel selection tools from the selection system (Ployhart & Holtz, 2008).

Strategy 2: add a test that shows lower mean group differences to a test battery that shows larger mean group differences. When seeking to enhance the demographic diversity of a workforce, employers may seek to add employment tests, such as personality tests (Foldes, Duehr, & Ones, 2008; Hough, Oswald, & Ployhart, 2001; Tate & McDaniel, 2008) with lower mean racial differences to a personnel selection system containing valid cognitively-loaded tests

Strategy 3: create requirements that are more associated with one group but not another and are not job related. At least two requirements fall into this category: residency requirements and English-language fluency. Concerning residency requirements, many local governments require their job applicants to live in the local jurisdiction when applying for a job (e.g., Chicago Board of Education, 2007)

Strategy 4: use selection measures requiring human judges. Select human judges motivated to hire specific groups or individuals.

Strategy 5: use lowcut off scores.Many selection batteries are scored so as to classify the applicants into two groups: those eligible for hire and those not eligible (“banding and score adjustments”, Ployhart & Holtz, 2008, p.160). The lower one sets the cut-off score, the more minorities will be in the hiring-eligible group

Strategy 6: race or gender-conscious banding. In banding, applicants are rationally or statistically (Bobko, Roth, & Nicewander, 2005; Schmidt & Hunter, 2004) segmented into groups and allmembers of a group are asserted to be of equivalent eligibility for hire. In race or gender-conscious banding, the bands are set to ensure that there is at least one minority (or female) in the band

Strategy 7: adjust selection system component weights. Personnel selection systems often contain more than one test and the tests will likely vary in their extent of mean group differences. One may adjust the score weights in hopes of reducing group differences (Ployhart & Holtz, 2008).

Strategy 8: give some applicants the answers to the employment test or complete a test for an applicant. Another strategy for raising scores on employment tests is to give the applicants the test answers in advance of the test. For example, fifty-five police officers in Nassau County, New York, including many who started their police career in a minority police cadet program, were investigated for giving false statements on autobiographical test items. It was alleged that the answer key for the test was obtained and used to coach applicants (Draffen, 1998; Topping, 1998).

Strategy 9: adding points to applicant test scores. Minority test performance improves if one gives minority, but not majority applicants, extra points. Although this might seem an extreme practice to some, the U.S. Department of Labor used this strategy with the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB) for several years.

Strategy 10: influence hiring managers to select group members or specific individuals for hire. Those making hiring decisions may be influenced to select some individuals over others. Some employers pressure hiring managers to select aminority or female applicant for hire if there is one in the pool of applicants judged eligible for hire. For example, if a minority applicant scored high enough to be considered eligible for hire, the information on the applicant would be submitted to all hiring managers with a vacancy. The hiring mangers would be reminded of the organization’s commitment to diversity and that they should seriously consider the minority applicant for hire

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