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Predicting Job Performance – Weighted Application Blanks

Accurately predicting job performance is beneficial for organizations as it ensures that the right person is selected for a job. Several different assessment tools, such as interviews, application forms, psychological tests, work samples, reference checks, training experience and weighted application blanks (WAB) etc, can be used to predict performance and the effectiveness of these tools differs.

Weighted forms involve giving weights to each possible answer on an application. This breaks down the applicants answer to gain information relating to performance. The forms usually involve self-ratings, job relevant areas and a method used to weight the answers involves rating previous accomplishments.

This form of predicting job performance has shown to be accurate, as it suggests that there is some relationship between the answers and behavior. This method can be most useful when organizations need to predict performance for a large number of similar employees. It is useful as training, testing or interviewing people can be costly. WAB can be used for selection or screening purposes.

However, consideration has to be taken when using this tool as applicants could lie or distort answers to the application blanks. Consideration has to be given to the keys developed as they might not apply to different populations.  Developing items and response categories has to be done carefully.

In any case, research in this area has clearly shown the need to develop application forms which can be scored and weighted based on job needs, rather than the traditional application form which tends to gather a lot of information about the candidate,  much of which is not relevant to performance on the job.  PsyAsia can assist HR professionals and organisations in the development of such objective, scientific and legally-defensible application forms.