1 Industrial Consulting Project [Student Name] University of Houston PSYC 3310: Industrial-Organizational


Industrial Consulting Project

[Student Name]

University of Houston

PSYC 3310: Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Vincent Ng

[Due date]

Industrial Consulting Project

The [organization’s] University Career Services (UCS) office is the career center that offers job related resources and assistance to all students and alumni. Their staff involves multiple positions, which includes the Employer Development and Relations (EDR) team. The EDR team is made of up of three brilliant, well rounded individuals, and a job analysis on this position has already been created.

Employee Selection

Based on the interview with [interviewee name], it was discovered that the UCS department at [organization] utilizes two different selection measures when choosing applicants for the EDR role. One selection tool that is an essential part of selection for this position is application blanks. According to Wallace et al. (2006), application blanks not only allow employers to gain a substantial amount of personal information about an applicant very quickly, but they also are regulated by law. The application blanks that the UCS department use ask information such as prior experience, level of education, proficiencies, and criminal record. Another selection tool that is highly utilized in the selection process is structured interviews. By using structured interviews, the hiring staff asks all job applicants the same questions that are related to the position and the results are scored on rating scales. The use of structured interviews offers a level playing field for the job applicants and allows the most qualitied individuals to stand out and get the position.

Many work-related characteristics (WRCs) are evaluated with the selection tools that the UCS uses. One WRC that is evaluated for the EDR position via interviews are personal characteristics such as passion for education, teamwork, professionalism, motivation, flexibility, and openness to feedback. Although these WRCs are general and may not be directly related to the EDR position, they are often essential to working in a team. Another WRC that is evaluated for this occupation through interviews and application blanks are skills such as public speaking, computer use, problem solving, customer service, and business and marketing strategies. These skills are directly related to the EDR position; therefore, evaluating these WRCs allows interviewers to understand how well-rounded each of their candidates are, which helps the hiring team select the best one.

Although the selection system that the UCS has in place for job selection is efficient, a few other measurements based on various research studies can be added to improve their system. One intervention that the UCS can incorporate into their job selection process is assessing their candidates’ personality by using the Big Five Personality Test. Heimann et al. (2021) studied whether personality assessment in structured interviews was useful for selecting applicants who exhibit organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB). Their results showed that assessing Big Five personality traits accurately predicted OCB, which supported their theory. Based on this study, the UCS would be more likely to select candidates that will display OCB by assessing each of their personalities through the Big Five Personality Test in their structured interviews. Another selection method that the UCS can incorporate in their selection process to improve it is utilizing screening measures. According to a study conducted by Chapman and Webster (2003), screening resumes for necessary characteristics before the interview process helps organizations find well-rounded initial candidates and often allows for a shorter hiring cycle. This gives organizations the opportunity to focus on the true potential candidates for a job position by removing the candidates who do not qualify for the position (Chapman & Webster, 2003). Selection interviews can always be conducted later to assess job-related WRCs that are also needed for the position. Finally, the UCS can also incorporate cognitive ability tests into their job selection process to improve their selection system. Bertua et. al (2005) conducted a meta-analysis to determine the validity of cognitive ability testing for predicting job performance and training success. The results across 283 studies indicated that cognitive ability tests were appropriate measures to predict job performance and training success, which supported their theory. Cognitive ability tests often assess how job applicants utilize numbers, think abstractly, solve problems, and comprehend reading, which are all important skills for the EDR position. Therefore, adding cognitive ability tests when choosing job candidates will greatly improve the UCS’ selection process.

Employee Appraisal

The members of the EDR team at the UCS have many tasks and duties that must be completed each semester to provide students and alumni with the best career assistance possible. It is important that each team member stays on task and does their job well, which is why their performance is appraised. As per [interviewee’s] interview, one way the EDR team members’ performance is evaluated is by using evaluation forms. These evaluation forms consist of three valuable components, which include performance checklists, rating scales, and open-ended feedback. The performance checklist portion is utilized to determine whether each employee has accomplished the specific tasks and actions that the EDR job requires them to complete. The rating scale portion rates employees on general work behaviors and characteristics such as attendance, quality of work, and dependability. The open-ended feedback portion allows the evaluators to comment on employee’s outstanding performance or to provide constructive criticism on what improvements can be made. Another way EDR team members’ performance is evaluated is though goal achievement. At the beginning of the academic school year, the employees work with their direct supervisors to create realistic goals for themselves to keep them on tract throughout the year. At the end of the academic school year, their goals are evaluated, and if employers achieve their goals, they may be given a bonus.

The employers within the EDR team at the UCS are appraised on their performance to ensure that the employees are performing their job well. Evaluations also allow supervisors to provide suggestions on how their employees can improve in their performance, which often helps them learn and grow. Another reason why employee’s performance is appraised is to aid supervisors in situations where they must make promotions, demotions, increase pay, and even fire employees. Employees that work for the UCS department at [organization] are evaluated annually. This appraisal occurs at the end of the academic school year once career fairs, employer workshops, and employer meet and greets are complete. As mentioned earlier, the direct supervisors of the EDR team are the ones who carry out employee evaluations, as they are considered their superiors.

Although the UCS department’s employee appraisal system is efficient, there are some improvements that can be made to enhance the system which stem from research. One drastic change that the UCS team can implement into their system is moving away from annual performance evaluations. While this may seem counterintuitive, there is sufficient research to support this theory. Murphy (2020) mentions that rather than conducting an annual evaluation of employees, organizations should instead implement a nonevaluative, coaching-oriented system. This allows management to make use of goal setting and accomplishment. Another component of this system is coaching, which allows management to inspire and assist their employees, rather than simply judging them like performance evaluations do (Murphy, 2020). Since the UCS department already uses the concept of goal evaluating to appraise their employees, removing the performance evaluation system would not be such a drastic shift; however, this concept is merely a suggestion for refinement. Another measure that the UCS can instill to enhance their employee appraisal is allowing their employees to conduct self-evaluations. Farh et al. (1988) conducted a study to understand the effectiveness of self-evaluation procedures in work settings. Their results showed that employer self-evaluations corresponded to supervisor ratings, rather being more lenient than them. Additionally, they found that self-evaluation measures were beneficial since employees were expected to justify their self-ratings in conversations with their supervisors. Finally, the UCS can implement 360-degree feedback technique to enhance their employee appraisal system. A study conducted by Hensel et al. (2010) mentions how this technique allows an employee’s supervisor, colleagues, and subordinates to comment on their work behaviors, which allows for a more collective assessment of them. Their study’s results indicated that the 360-degree feedback technique is highly applicable in personal growth settings; therefore, the EDR team would greatly benefit from enforcing this measure.


Bertua, C., Anderson, N., & Salgado, J. F. (2005). The predictive validity of cognitive ability tests: A UK meta-analysis.
Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 78, 387-409.

Chapman, D. S., & Webster, J. (2003). The Use of Technologies in the Recruiting, Screening, and Selection Processes for Job Candidates. 
International Journal of Selection & Assessment
11(2/3), 113–120.

Farh, J., Werbel, J. D., & Bedeian, A. G. (1988). An empirical investigation of self-appraisal-based performance evaluation. 
Personnel Psychology
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Heimann, A. L., Ingold, P. V., Debus, M. E., & Kleinmann, M. (2021). Who will go the extra mile? Selecting organizational citizens with a personality-based structured job interview.
 Journal of Business and Psychology, 36(6), 985-1007.

Hensel, R., Meijers, F., van der Leeden, R., & Kessels, J. (2010). 360-degree feedback: How many raters are needed for reliable ratings on the capacity to develop competences, with personal qualities as developmental goals? 
International Journal of Human Resource Management
21(15), 2813–2830.

Murphy, K. R. (2020). Performance evaluation will not die, but it should. 
Human Resource Management Journal
30(1), 13–31.

Wallace, J. C., Page, E. E., & Lippstreu, M. (2006). Applicant reactions to pre-employment application blanks: a legal and procedural justice perspective.
Journal of Business and Psychology, 20(4), 467-488.

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