Contingent Selection

Finally, if applicants pass the substantive selection methods, they are basically ready to be hired, contingent on a final check. On common contingent method is a drug test. For example, Publix grocery stores make a tentative offer to applicants contingent on their passing a drug test. This means Publix is ready to make an offer to the applicant as long as person checks out to be drug free.

Drug testing is controversial. Many applicants think it is unfair or invasive to test them without reasonable suspicion. Such individuals likely believe that drug use is a private matter and applicants should be tested on factors that directly bear on job performance not lifestyle issues that may or may not be job relevant. Drug tests typically screen out individuals who have used marijuana but not alcohol (for both legal and practical reasons – alcohol is legal and leaves the system in 24 hours).

Employers might counter this view with the argument that drug use and abuse are extremely costly, not just in terms of financial resources, but in terms of people’s safety. Moreover, employers have the law on their side. The Supreme Court has concluded that drug tests are minimally invasive selection procedures that as a rule do not violate individual rights.

Drug tests are not cheap. If the first test (typically a urine test) turns up positive then the result is realized to make sure. Contrary to popular claims, the tests generally are quite accurate and not easily faked. They tend to be quite precise, telling the employer what specific kind of drug appeared to be in the applicant’s system. Despite the controversy over drug testing, it is probably here it stay.

It is the first impressions that count:
This statement is true. When we meet someone for the first time, we notice a number of things about that person – physical characteristics, clothes, firmness of handshake, gestures, tone of voice, and the like. We then use these impressions to fit the person into ready made categories. And this early categorization formed quickly and on the basis of minimal information, tends to hold greater weight impressions and information received later.

The best evidence about first impression comes from research on employment interviews. Findings clearly demonstrate that first impressions cont. For instance, the primacy effect is potent. That is, the first information presented affects judgments more than information presented later.

Research on applicant appearance confirms the power of first impressions. Studies have looked at assessments made of applicants before the actual interview that period in which the applicant walks into interview room, exchanges greetings with the interviewer, sits down and engages in minor chit-chat. The evidence indicates that the way applicants walk, talk, dress, and look can have a great impact on the interviewer’s evaluation of applicant qualifications. Facial attractiveness interviewer sees may not be particularly influential. Applicants who are highly attractive are evaluated as more qualified for a variety of jobs than persons who are unattractive.

A final body of confirming research finds that interviewers’ post-interview evaluations of applicants conform to a substantial degree to their pre-interview impressions. That is, those first impressions carry considerable weight in shaping the interviewers’ final evaluations assuming the interview elicits no highly negative information.

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    This is copied from “Organizational Behavior” by Robbins and Judge.