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Classification techniques for person-job matching: an illustration using the US Army

Zeidner, J. and Scholarios, D.M. and Johnson, C. (2001) Classification techniques for person-job matching: an illustration using the US Army. Kybernetes, 30 (8). pp. 984-1005. ISSN 0368-492X

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Abstract

This paper presents the case for personnel systems based on maximizing the differential information gathered about individual abilities and their match to jobs. In the context of assignment to multiple jobs, such systems are shown to be more effective than those based on the currently dominant paradigm of maximizing predictive validity. The latter paradigm favours the measurement of general cognitive ability over multiple specific aptitudes. Recent differential approaches use computer simulation modelling of alternative hypothetical systems to evaluate potential efficiency. The paper reviews the theoretical background on the structure of human abilities which has led to these contrasting approaches to personnel system design, and presents evidence, based on the US Army selection and classification system, in support of the alternative approach. Individual test/aptitude profiles improve the efficiency of personnel selection and classification as well as academic, vocational and career counselling. They also provide a broader, potentially fairer definition of talent than a unidimensional indicator of cognitive ability, and a foundation for the design of learning and decision environments around learner and user profiles.