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Human Resources

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1. Federal and State laws--such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act--were promulgated to prevent discrimination. Questions asked in a job application should be job related. Before adding any question on the job application, my organization should determine and demonstrate the necessity of the question, the intent behind it, and how the information we receive will be used.

a. Are you married?

The marital status of an applicant has nothing to do with job requirements, and many states and municipalities have enacted protections against discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, status as a parent, marital status and political affiliation .

If this question is asked, and the applicant is a woman, she could sue the organization for sex discrimination based on disparate treatment, if she could prove that she was qualified for the job and the organization did not select her because she was married, but they allowed the hiring of a man for this position who was also married.

If the employer is trying to determine if an applicant has other obligations, an alternative to the question could be: "Do you have any responsibilities that could interfere with your attendance at work?" Or, if there are anti-nepotism policies, the question could be: "Do you have a relative or spouse working for our organization?"

b. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

This question is a random personal question and not job related. It can open the door to the political affiliation of the applicant, if he or she volunteers for a political organization, and as mentioned above, the political affiliation of job applicants are protected under 22 states.

This question could also represent a possible liability if the applicant is a male and his answer is: "I enjoy going hiking with my boyfriend." This question can be asked differently, if we frame it to be work-related: "Is there any activity that you enjoy in your spare time that helps enlarge your knowledge in our industry?"

c. Is English your native language?

Because the native language is often an essential national origin characteristic, the hiring organization should carefully examine employment decisions that are based on linguistic proficiency and ensure that they don't violate Title VII, or represent adverse effect against a particular minority group. However, if the open position requires additional languages, the organization may legitimately ask the question and inquire into language that the applicant speaks, writes and reads fluently.

2. The selection process for a university professor should start by developing a job analysis to define what the job requires the employee to do and the competencies needed. Those competencies are a combination of KSAs that the employee should possess, in order to perform the job successfully.

After defining the task and responsibilities, we should then identify the KSAs that he needs to effectively perform those tasks and responsibilities. In order to help develop the job analysis, we can observe or interview other university professors to develop a list of tasks and KSAs, or we can choose a large representative sample of university professors and ask them which tasks or KSAs are more critical to the job.

After the job analysis is completed, the job description should include a position summary, qualification, requirement, KSAs and additional qualities necessary to interact effectively with students and colleagues.

The next step will be to decide which assessment tests and interview methods we will use in the selection process based on the KSAs. As the position is university professor, I will choose to use a structured interview for a lot of reasons.

First, I can develop questions to assess the KSAs and soft skills. Second, I can link the structured question to rating criteria that will help me judge the quality and effectiveness of the responses of each applicant. Third, the structured interview has a high validity, as the questions are designed to evaluate competencies found in the job analysis.

Fourth, structured interviews reduce legal risks and adverse impact because all candidates are treated the same. Fifth, they have a more favorable reaction from the applicants than other assessment methods. And last, but not least, structured interviews standardize the way information is retrieved from applicants regarding their past achievement and performance.

The second assessment will be a work sample test where I will ask the candidates to create and implement a demonstration lesson for a specified subject and content area. The work sample test focuses on what the professors say they can do; they are relatively free from bias.

Work sample tests also have a high content validity, as they assess and measure how well candidates perform job tasks; they are based on the content of the job. They provide the applicants (professors) hands-on experience that allows them the opportunity



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