Original Research

Selection of industrial and organisational psychology master’s students: Exploring the predictive validity of a person–job fit approach

Karina Olivier, Antoni Barnard, Annelize van Niekerk
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 19 | a1477 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v19i0.1477 | © 2021 Karina Olivier, Antoni Barnard, Annelize van Niekerk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 September 2020 | Published: 28 April 2021

About the author(s)

Karina Olivier, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, School of Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Antoni Barnard, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, School of Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Annelize van Niekerk, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, School of Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Valid selection of master’s students is essential to the training and development of competent Industrial and Organisational Psychologists.

Research purpose: To validate a person-job fit data aggregation approach based on an integration of psychometric results in the selection of Industrial and Organisational Psychology master’s students.

Motivation for the study: The Employment Equity Act requires psychological assessment to be valid, reliable, culturally fair and based on the inherent requirements of the job. This mandates context-specific validation research, such as the current study.

Research approach/design and method: A non-experimental design was applied to secondary data (N = 133) derived from the Occupational Personality Questionnaire, Verify Ability Tests and academic success results of 5 student cohorts registered in the years 2012 to 2016. Data was analysed by means of descriptive and correlation statistics.

Main findings: The overall Person Job Match score did not show a statistically significant relationship with academic success. A significant relationship was observed between cognitive ability and academic success. Specific Person Job Match competencies presenting a significant relationship with academic success, contained scores from both personality and cognitive measures.

Practical implication: Ability tests should be weighted more strongly in selecting master’s students. A review of the master’s students’ competency profile may be needed to align with future world of work demands, and to improve its predictive role in academic success.

Contribution/value added: This study contributes to the predictive validity of the selection criteria for Industrial and Organisational Psychology master’s students.


Keywords

Academic success; VMG3; NMG3; OPQ32r; Competency-based assessment

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