Biodata: A Thing of the Past? Examining the Predictibe Validity and User Reactions of Rationally-Selected, Empirically Keyed Biodata



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HR professionals often fail to implement the best selection practices (Rynes, Colbert, & Brown, 2002), proving very costly to organizations. Biodata inventories represent one selection tool that is underutilized, due to being poorly understood and fear of negative user reactions (Hausknecht, Day, & Thomas, 2004). This research examined the incremental validity of rationally-selected, empirically keyed biodata in predicting core task performance and job attitudes over and beyond that accounted for by cognitive ability and conscientiousness. Drawing from Person-Environment fit theory (Kristof, 1996), I argued that biodata developed in this manner would be rated more favorably than measures of cognitive ability and conscientiousness due to the job-specific nature of the internally developed inventory. Biodata inventory and scoring key were previously developed in a field setting from job incumbents in a clerical job. Hypotheses were tested using a holdout sample of 168 employees not included in the biodata key development. Results revealed that biodata provided incremental validity in the prediction of core task performance and job attitudes (i.e., organizational commitment and job satisfaction). Furthermore, the biodata inventory was viewed equally or more favorably than other commonly used selection assessments (e.g., cognitive ability, personality).



Biodata, User Reactions