Annual Report 2002 - Cornell University
003 Selected Faculty Research

20 Choosing a job candidate

Michael C. Sturman, Hotel Administration, and colleagues revealed, in a new study, that promoting the internal job candidate with an above-average (but not exceptional) past performance record, as opposed to the external job candidate with an exceptionally high interview score, is significantly the best choice. Sturman's research found that reliable, valid past performance appraisals are more valid predictors of future job performance than other selection tools, such as structured interviews, cognitive activity tests, and job simulations. This holds particularly true for professional positions such as managers, and supervisors, but also for jobs such as sales positions, bank tellers, and production workers. The researchers found that employers can expect an employee who has done well in the past to be a good performer for years to come. The study offers mathematical techniques that employers can use to calculate the weight that should be given a particular type or age of an appraisal. Sturman cautions employers to use statistical or other hard evidence rather than emotions or "gut feelings" in hiring decisions, and he reiterates that hiring data should be collected in a consistent manner for both external and internal candidates.

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