Liam Healy & Associates

chartered occupational psychologists

Selection System Audit

A selection system audit involves answering the question - Does this system accurately and fairly predict those who will be successful at their job? The majority of selection systems do not undergo any systematic or detailed analysis and evaluation of their predictive power until a problem arises. Best practise involves completing an audit on a regular basis.

Why Audit?

The need for an effective audit often only comes about when an organisation runs into a problem - increasing staff turnover and attrition, poor individual performance at work, declining worker morale due to role ambiguity and conflict, increasing sickness levels, selection decisions being brought before an Industrial Tribunal, or other legal action being taken by candidates.

The ability to be able to prove, to both the internal organisation and any external third parties, such as insurers or external audit bodies, that your selection system is effective, ethical and operating within the law can lower staff turnover, reduce the risk of running into legal problems and increase organisational effectiveness.

What is Involved?

This is a necessarily detailed process. The rationale underlying an audit report is based on widely published work regarding selection system evaluation. The audit deals with the elicitation of desirable personal characteristics in employees and how those characteristics are assessed. The guiding principle behind this audit is that a selection system should be objective and specified – where the system is criticised it does not mean the system is ‘bad’, but that it fails to adhere to these criteria, or that the information presented for evaluation suggests it does not.

The audit is divided into three sections.  

Section One Ÿ        

  • The Specification of Purpose Ÿ        
  • The Consideration given to the needs of End-Users: Applicants; Selectors and Consumers. Ÿ        
  • The Information about Competencies/Ability Obtained Ÿ        
  • The Selection Tools: the instruments and procedures which will be used to elicit information about KSAOs from candidates. Ÿ        
  • The Selectors: those people involved in evaluating and assessing information and reaching a select/no select decision. Ÿ        
  • The Environment in which selection takes place.  

Section Two  Ÿ        

  • Describing the competency domain: the scope of what is assessed and any technical or structural weaknesses in the job analysis method used to derive it, and the behavioural outcomes produced.Ÿ        
  • Specifying the utility of the approach: reliability and validity.    This is a crucial section and one where we look for a defence against claims of direct or indirect discrimination. It involves analysis of any descriptive/inferential statistics used, as well as any regression based quantitative analysis.     
  • Specifying the usability of the approach: ACCEPTABILITY and PRACTICALITY    

Section Three provides a means of summarising and integrating the evaluations made in the previous two sections and of providing an overall assessment in terms of: Ÿ        

  • Strengths and weaknesses. Ÿ        
  • Ratings of the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the selection procedure. Ÿ        
  • A final overall effectiveness rating.