International Journal of Selection and Assessment

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Volume 12 Issue 4 (December 2004), Pages 291-378

Personnel Selection with Top‐Score‐Referenced Banding: On the Inappropriateness of Current Procedures (pages 291-298)

The method of selecting among job applicants using statistically based banding has been proposed over the last 10 years as a way to increase workforce diversity. The method continues to be reviewed by academics and considered by practitioners. Although the goal of increasing workforce diversity is important, statistical banding of scores remains controversial. We present a set of unique, statistically and theoretically based criticisms of a form of banding (top‐score‐referenced banding) that is widely used in hundreds of jobs in the public sector throughout the United States. We suggest that even within the premises of such banding, the wrong formula is used to estimate the standard error of measurement and standard error of the difference. One consequence is that too many individuals are labeled as essentially equal with respect to test scores. A related consequence is that test scores within a single band are statistically different and should therefore be treated as such for selection purposes. A more logically and statistically defensible procedure for responding to diversity concerns is to continue to attend to adverse impact issues at each step of the recruiting and test development process.

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