Time in Personnel Selection

Margaret E. Beier and Phillip L. Ackerman

in The Oxford Handbook of Personnel Assessment and Selection

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199732579
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Time in Personnel Selection

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  • Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Research Methods in Psychology



The goal of personnel selection is to select employees who will succeed in a job, not just over the short-term, but over months and years. Yet, most research and theory in personnel selection does not explicitly consider the effect of time on personnel selection and training. The research that has been done has raised concerns about the utility of predictors used in selection related to declining validity coefficients over time. In this chapter, we discuss selection and training within the context of time. We review prior research and theory on the nature of validity fluctuations over time on person-related and job-related variables. Theories with explicit or implicit temporal components such as theories of typical and maximal performance, skill acquisition theories, theories of dynamic performance, and the simplex process are discussed. We report on a relatively recent reconsideration of time in the research literature, spurred on by the availability of statistical tools that permit the consideration of between-person predictors of within-person change (i.e., interindividual differences in intraindividual change). We conclude by presenting considerations for future research.

Keywords: time; typical and maximal performance; skill acquisition; simplex; dynamic performance

Article.  14398 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Research Methods in Psychology

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