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Source: (consider it) Thread: Affirmative Action, or "Positive" Discrimination
mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
No, not if you read what I actually wrote. I'm pretty sure that anyone capable of taking an OU degree could have sat down previously and done the relevant A-Level courses (note that I talked about being able to pass the courses, not whether they actually had or not).

I'm pretty sure that isn't the case, because the courses start at a level below that of A-levels. And I personally know of people who have thrived at OU never ever having reached A-level standard and who wouldn't have passed them when they began the OU degree.

quote:
The fact that they don't have to is good, but a quick google suggests that the OU has a 87% drop-out rate which seems to me to indicate that past academic performance may be relevant.
This is misleading because OU degrees are not organised like other universities are organised. At the end of each year, one can get a qualification. And as many part-time students are doing other things many simply do not continue with their studies to graduation.

I don't see that this as a fault in the system. Nor do I see this as evidence that "inferior" students who-wouldn't-have-passed-A-levels drop out.

Incidentally, I also know of OU students who continue taking courses for years and never graduate. Not because they are dumb, but because they enjoy taking modules and are not interested in finishing.

quote:
Also note that while the OU doesn't require A-Levels or equivalent, only 1/3 of their students start with 1 A-Level equivalent or less.
How many other universities have a third of all students with less than 1 A-level?

quote:
Now, you can argue that the OU drop out rate is affected by other factors, such as working while studying or the difficulties of distance learning but it does mean you can't argue convincingly that the OU model is effective at selecting those candidates who can succeed - indeed they make little attempt to do so.
Eh? As I said above, those with grit determination succeed at OU. If you can't be arsed, you won't succeed.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Arethosemyfeet
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You were using the OU to argue against my claim that being able to succeed at A-Level (or equivalent) was a good indication of whether you can complete a degree course. The OU is a complete non-sequitur in this discussion, as you've just illustrated.

[ 14. August 2017, 19:23: Message edited by: Arethosemyfeet ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
You were using the OU to argue against my claim that being able to succeed at A-Level (or equivalent) was a good indication of whether you can complete a degree course. The OU is a complete non-sequitur in this discussion, as you've just illustrated.

You do realise that having an A-level equivalent means having something more than a single grade E do you?

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
You were using the OU to argue against my claim that being able to succeed at A-Level (or equivalent) was a good indication of whether you can complete a degree course. The OU is a complete non-sequitur in this discussion, as you've just illustrated.

You do realise that having an A-level equivalent means having something more than a single grade E do you?
I'm aware that definitions vary - you'd be hard pressed to say that the BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science is equivalent to 3 A-Level passes but, at least at the time I taught a bit of it, it was (on paper). My recollection is that the standard for "level 3" in qualification terms is 2 A-Levels (which is why the OU reference 1 A-level or lower i.e. below level 3). I think the Scottish equivalent is probably 3 Higher passes but it's not a term we use so I'm not completely sure.
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lilBuddha
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I've worked with people from rocket scientists to people who dropped out well before university. Educational level =/= intelligence or ability.
It certainly can help, but it is no indicator.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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mousethief

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Wow has this thread gone down an industrial strength rabbit trail.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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lilBuddha
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All the cream rises to the top arguments irritate.
They are what justifies holding down those who do not have and they are patent bullshit.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
All the cream rises to the top arguments irritate.
They are what justifies holding down those who do not have and they are patent bullshit.

Well, that's the thing - they're not "patent bullshit" - there's enough truth in them that it's easy to fall into the trap.

People with good school results do, on average, perform better at university than people with poor school results. People with good school results are, on average, smarter than people with poor school results. Similarly, men are, on average, taller and stronger than women.

But just like the set of people who can run faster than me includes a lot of women, the set of people who would perform well on your choice of university degree includes some with poor school results.

If you had to bet on whether runner A would beat runner B in a race, and all you knew was that A was a man and B was a woman, you'd bet on A. But that's never all you know - the minute you see A and B start to run - or even look at them as they are preparing for the race and judge their physiques, you have much more information than their sex gives you.

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mousethief

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But comparing two people's trying to have successful lives to a footrace is obscene.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
But comparing two people's trying to have successful lives to a footrace is obscene.

If a group of people apply for a job, they are in a contest to see which of them will receive an offer. They'll probably be in competition with each other again for the similar job that interviews next week.

The potential employer looks at them, and asks two questions: first, do any of the candidates meet the minimum standard, and second, of those acceptable candidates, which one will work out best.

That's really pretty similar to a series of footraces. The difference, of course, is that in the job race, successful candidates don't keep attending interviews.

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
All the cream rises to the top arguments irritate.
They are what justifies holding down those who do not have and they are patent bullshit.

I've not seen anyone making that argument. As far as I'm concerned even a perfect meritocracy is unjust as we don't get to choose the genes and upbringing that result in our intellectual ability. And the current system in the UK is a very long way from being a meritocracy. All I'm arguing is that the ability to pass one set of academic qualifications is a pretty reasonable indicator of whether someone is likely to be capable of completing the next level of academic qualification (at that moment; people do change).
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mdijon
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Since we're off down the rabbit hole of academic performance can I put in that;

a) it seems true that learning lots of information and preparing to regurgitate it on an exam paper is a generic skill which generalizes across GCSE/A-level/degree courses.

b) there are additional skills, for instance imagination, critical thinking and writing ability that become increasingly important as you head towards a degree.

c) it is particularly noticeable that at the point of moving to PhD work, the skills that lead to exam success become much less important. This is also true when moving to exams that have substantial practical components, or that involve an oral defence.

d) the workplace is yet another step again where the skills associated with exam success become less important.

So I would agree there is likely a good correlation between exam success at one level and the next, but I'm not sure that tells you anything very useful about cognitive ability (even allowing for differences in circumstance and opportunity) and not sure it tells you much about long-term outcomes.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Barnabas62
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Cream rising to the top? Old hat now, but I recall from somewhere the first and second Peter principles.

1. People get promoted to the level of their incompetence.

2. Large organisations are like septic tanks. The scum rises to the top.

And a bit of Shakespeare about the consequences of "vaulting ambition".

And a Boston square based on the dimensions of clever-stupid and industrious-lazy; the notion attributed to Field Marshall Keitel. The most dangerous people in any organisation are the stupid and industrious.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Meconopsis
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quote:
I think the problem in the American case is that higher education ends up carrying a lot of water for problems further down the educational system that society at large is unwilling to address.
IME, this is spot-on in USA.
I have come to agree with Thomas Sowell's opinions of Affirmative Action.
For me, the diversity is good, but the special treatment may end up as insulting & counter-productive, IMHO.

Thomas Sowell on affirmative action in U.S.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
But comparing two people's trying to have successful lives to a footrace is obscene.

If a group of people apply for a job, they are in a contest to see which of them will receive an offer. They'll probably be in competition with each other again for the similar job that interviews next week.

The potential employer looks at them, and asks two questions: first, do any of the candidates meet the minimum standard, and second, of those acceptable candidates, which one will work out best.

That's really pretty similar to a series of footraces. The difference, of course, is that in the job race, successful candidates don't keep attending interviews.

At Amazon, they never consider more than one person at a time for a position. They only look at someone who is qualified, then they run them through the rigorous interview process (it takes all day), and at the end all of the people who interacted with that person (except their "lunch buddy" who is truly neutral) votes up or down. Down votes have to be explained. If that person isn't selected they start over with the next candidate.

The idea is that either this person is a good hire or not. If they are a good hire, then it doesn't matter who else might be a good hire, let alone a "better" hire.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Soror Magna
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To continue mdijon's progression, as one progresses through those levels, the need for teamwork becomes greater and greater. Sitting quietly by oneself filling in bubbles with a #2 pencil is NOT what real jobs are like. Individual performance and achievement have to fit in and better yet, boost the existing team's capabilities.

I once overheard a group of commerce students at a prestigious institution complaining that a) they weren't allowed to pick who to work with on a group assignment, and b) everyone in the group would get the same grade for the assignment. It's possible to be very clever and very clueless.

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Arethosemyfeet
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I think the complaint about groupwork has merit. I have never, in the workplace, had to work nearly so closely with people quite so unable or uninterested in completing the task, nor had anyone pay so little attention to the work I've put in myself, as I have in education. Groupwork of this kind has a massive freerider problem, and I've heard too many anecdotes from people stuck doing the work of two because they have been put with lazy arseholes. In any decent workplace people trying to pull this stuff wouldn't last long, and those working harder to make up the slack will be noticed.
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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
At Amazon, they never consider more than one person at a time for a position. They only look at someone who is qualified, then they run them through the rigorous interview process (it takes all day), and at the end all of the people who interacted with that person (except their "lunch buddy" who is truly neutral) votes up or down. Down votes have to be explained. If that person isn't selected they start over with the next candidate.

The idea is that either this person is a good hire or not. If they are a good hire, then it doesn't matter who else might be a good hire, let alone a "better" hire.

In which case the real selection process occurs when they decide the order in which they will invite people for interview.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
At Amazon, they never consider more than one person at a time for a position. They only look at someone who is qualified, then they run them through the rigorous interview process (it takes all day), and at the end all of the people who interacted with that person (except their "lunch buddy" who is truly neutral) votes up or down. Down votes have to be explained. If that person isn't selected they start over with the next candidate.

The idea is that either this person is a good hire or not. If they are a good hire, then it doesn't matter who else might be a good hire, let alone a "better" hire.

In which case the real selection process occurs when they decide the order in which they will invite people for interview.
I believe that's done randomly.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
I believe that's done randomly.

Obviously this approach works for Amazon (I wonder, though - do they use it to hire their C-level officers as well?).

Thinking aloud, it seems as though you'd be happy with the results that you get from this process if you had reasonable knowledge of what your pool of likely applicants looked like. If you're hiring a lot of similar people, you can put your thresholds in about the right place, and the group of candidates you end up hiring will probably not be very different in ability from the group you'd hire if you tried to pick "the best" (job interviews are a rather noisy measure of candidate ability). And doing it that way probably makes it easier to avoid some of the subtle biases when interviewers prefer candidates that remind them of themselves.

If you don't know a priori what your applicant pool is likely to be like, it might not work out so well for you. If you're hiring a small number of people, it might not work out so well for you - basically, I think if the statistical noise on your applicant group exceeds the measurement noise on your interview process, you probably don't want to do it Amazon's way.

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mousethief

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It works because you vet out the people who are not technically capable before starting the interview process. If you can't do that, then you are essentially saying we don't mind if we hire someone who is technically incapable. Now maybe that's okay if you have a training system in place.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Barnabas62
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Is the Amazon process fair? It doesn't strike me as fair to other applicants. I'm sure it's legally permissible.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Is the Amazon process fair? It doesn't strike me as fair to other applicants. I'm sure it's legally permissible.

What exactly do you mean by "fair"? A process where a job goes to a qualified applicant doesn't strike me as particularly "unfair".

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Gwai
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The Amazon process may annoy people by being random, but as someone who sometimes applies for jobs and has applied for tons, I get the feeling that the job process is generally pretty random. And when it's not random, skills like getting your resume through a computer filter are the harder ones than the job skills.

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A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Barnabas62
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In the UK system, fair includes giving equal consideration to all candidates. I don't see that the Amazon approach does that. Unless it includes equal consideration of all applicants at the shortlisting stage, leading to a provisional short list of one.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Is the Amazon process fair? It doesn't strike me as fair to other applicants. I'm sure it's legally permissible.

What exactly do you mean by "fair"?
They never get a chance to impress, or to make the case for why they should be hired rather than anyone else who meets the minimum requirements. That doesn't seem fair to me.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Gwai
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
In the UK system, fair includes giving equal consideration to all candidates.

I have a feeling that here most candidates' resumes don't get read if there are very many applicants.

--------------------
A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
They never get a chance to impress, or to make the case for why they should be hired rather than anyone else who meets the minimum requirements. That doesn't seem fair to me.

That could be said any time you apply for a job you're qualified for and don't get an interview. It's happened to me many times. It's not unfair unless it is happening to a particular person or category of people disproportionately without good reason.
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Barnabas62
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Not getting selected for interview means you didn't pass the shortlisting standard. Because that standard is part of the recruitment/selection process, it is also subject to tests of fairness, at least in the UK.

I think this part of the discussion probably illuminates a pond difference. I don't doubt that the Amazon process is defensible as confirming the suitabilities of the candidate they interview in depth. From the business point of view, it's clearly sufficient for their needs.

The three key principles in public service recruitment in the UK are merit, fairness, open competition. Merit means meeting the KSE standards, fairness means applying those standards objectively to all candidates, open competition means open advertising of the vacancy and open application processes.

I think Marvin's comment relates clearly to merit and open competition.

While I appreciate the practical issue of handling loads of applications, public service principles in the UK do not allow for just skimming off the top and discarding the rest. Anybody who applies before the cut off date is entitled to equal consideration both in shortlisting and interview. That's what the Civil Service Commission monitors and regulates.

Sure, these standards impose extra costs on employers. And I guess they may be regarded as too expensive, too purist for private sector employer needs.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Golden Key
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Re who gets interviewed:

It's been a while since I've had to deal with any of this. But, IME, much of what other Americans have said is true:

--If an employer gets more applications than they're prepared to deal with, they may stop opening envelopes. (Was told this by an employer.)

--There's no such thing as considering everyone so as to be fair to all qualified candidates. Except, perhaps, in a company that really makes a point of it. Rare, AFAIK.

--Many employers, following the "just in time" ideology, will have few employees and lots of temps and contractors. When times are lean, or the company is being evaluated for profitability and sale, the temps and contractors are ditched. (Never mind how that affects the actual work.) They can hire temps and contractors again, later, though not necessarily the same ones. And never assume that the employer's goal is to hire temps/contractors as permanent employees. That usually isn't the case. Microsoft got into big trouble, maybe 20 yrs. ago. They had their own temp agency. There was a rule or law that temps who worked a certain amount of time had to be hired. So Microsoft would fire temps just before that amount of time...then hire them back, and start the whole thing over again. (Actually, there are landlords who do similarly.)

--Grades aren't everything, whether for college/uni or future work. Sometimes, a particular college/uni can make a big difference in future employment and networking. The Ivy League and Seven Sisters schools come to mind, and there are lots of others.

--As lilBuddha said, "Educational level =/= intelligence or ability".

--One of the old quips about this is that "there are PhDs driving taxi cabs". That goes back to the '70s.

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--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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mousethief

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If 1000 people apply for a single job opening, must the company interview them all in order to be "fair"?

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If 1000 people apply for a single job opening, must the company interview them all in order to be "fair"?

No. The methods and principles for shortlisting for interview are required to be fair and above board, in the UK public sector at least. They normally involve some preliminary screening (does the applicant meet any minimum professional or educational standard) and marking (how does the CV stack up against the job description). But the screening and marking criteria are set in advance and applied to all applicants.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If 1000 people apply for a single job opening, must the company interview them all in order to be "fair"?

No. The methods and principles for shortlisting for interview are required to be fair and above board, in the UK public sector at least. They normally involve some preliminary screening (does the applicant meet any minimum professional or educational standard) and marking (how does the CV stack up against the job description). But the screening and marking criteria are set in advance and applied to all applicants.
Just as they are in the Amazon case.

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Barnabas62
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Then that's fine. If Amazon shortlist to the one they determine is the best available candidate, they are using the process to shortlist to one and check them out in depth.

What I think may be different is that the preference (in the UK) to shortlist to a handful (typically 3 to 5 IME) recognises two things.

1. The shortlisting process is a good and necessary process but may not be accurate enough to assess the best; better to check out the top handfull.

2. Competitive interviews are a better fit for the "open competition" principle. In the UK public sector, it harks back to the Caesar's wife principle I mentioned earlier. Shortlisting to one may be fair, interviewing shortlisted candidates looks fairer. Plus it gives them a chance to be seen and "sell their wares".

Similar processes apply to competitive tendering for contracts for goods and services in the UK Public Sector. For large contracts, shortlisting followed by more extensive evaluation processes is normal.

[ 22. August 2017, 08:56: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If 1000 people apply for a single job opening, must the company interview them all in order to be "fair"?

No. The methods and principles for shortlisting for interview are required to be fair and above board, in the UK public sector at least. They normally involve some preliminary screening (does the applicant meet any minimum professional or educational standard) and marking (how does the CV stack up against the job description). But the screening and marking criteria are set in advance and applied to all applicants.
Just as they are in the Amazon case.
Not at all.

In the UK, applicants will be filtered out by whether they meet the essential criteria for the job, then by whether they meet the desirable criteria, then by how well their CV matches the job, then by interview. When done properly, this ensures the best candidate for the job is hired.

Amazon filter applicants by whether they meet the essential criteria, then by random chance. This means that it doesn't matter if you're the best candidate or if you just scraped past the minimum criteria, you have an equal chance of getting the job. If that's the sort of selection process you think should be standard then you might as well get everyone to pull a career out of a hat on their twentieth birthday and be done with it.

I've never minded failing to get a job, because I always knew that the person who got it was a better candidate than me. If I knew that the only thing that stopped me getting the job was dumb luck I'd be far more upset. My wife has experienced both random deselection and coming second or third at interview, and it was definitely the former that hurt her more.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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It's really no different to chucking half the applications into the bin on the grounds that by definition they're the unlucky ones and you don't want unlucky people working for your company.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

In the UK, applicants will be filtered out by whether they meet the essential criteria for the job, then by whether they meet the desirable criteria, then by how well their CV matches the job

There are plenty of circumstances in which this isn't done particularly rigorously or done at all, simply because of the sheer number of CVs received for each opening.

If you are lucky it's moved to 'CVs that can successfully get past the machine filters' (read game the system), if you are unlucky its initial CV selection via whatever means HR were using that day (throw away every third CV, stop when you get 10 candidates and so forth).

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
It's really no different to chucking half the applications into the bin on the grounds that by definition they're the unlucky ones and you don't want unlucky people working for your company.

No, it's not. I don't like that either.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
If you are lucky it's moved to 'CVs that can successfully get past the machine filters' (read game the system), if you are unlucky its initial CV selection via whatever means HR were using that day (throw away every third CV, stop when you get 10 candidates and so forth).

And apparently at Amazon it's a case of picking one CV out of the bag and throwing away the rest. Which makes throwing away every third CV or stopping at 10 suitable candidates look incredibly good for the applicants.

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Barnabas62
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As I said, you can apply fairness criteria to shortlisting for interview as well as interview processes themselves.

chris stiles is right about gaming the system, but all candidates can do that. Increasingly, these days, they do. So that's not unfair. Throwing away applications unopened, that's unfair. Random picking for interview, that's unfair.

But interviewing just one candidate may not be unfair if fair shortlisting screening has been applied. If the CVs get marked as part of the screening, just pick for interview the candidate with the highest mark, and see whether he passes further scrutiny. That's a defensible process.

[ 22. August 2017, 10:56: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Golden Key
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Marvin the Martian--

quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
I've never minded failing to get a job, because I always knew that the person who got it was a better candidate than me. If I knew that the only thing that stopped me getting the job was dumb luck I'd be far more upset. My wife has experienced both random deselection and coming second or third at interview, and it was definitely the former that hurt her more.

Wow. Not trying to undermine your sensibilities, but, in the US, you can *never* assume that the person who got the job is the best candidate. In my experience, people who aren't hired after an interview tend to be sad, angry, and pretty sure that *they* should've gotten the job.

There's all sorts of discrimination. Plus the employer's general feeling of whether or not you'd fit in.

As to dumb luck, some examples: whether they open your envelope or e-mail at all; whether your resume/cv has the right meta-tags and wording so their computer picks it out; who interviews you, and how their day is going; whether people who read your resume actually *see* what's on the page (because many don't, even if you've fine-tuned your resume format, and everything is clearly spelled out); whether they can get hold of your employment reference people, who answers, and what they say; whether they find something on your resume intriguing, even if it has nothing to do with the job, etc.

You might find the book "What Color Is Your Parachute?", by Richard Nelson Bolles, enlightening. For decades, it's been one of the top guidebooks for choosing a career, job-hunting, and the like. There are probably excerpts online. You might also check out Yana Parker's materials on crafting a resume. I think she has a site.

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Barnabas62
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Afterthought. I guess if it was made clear in advertising that all applications got datestamped on receipt and only the first x plus ties would be considered, that might be OK. At least that lets candidates know that the early birds are the only ones that can catch the worm. It recognises and limits costs of screening to employers and that strikes me as reasonable. A lot better than random discarding, anyway.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Competitive interviews are a better fit for the "open competition" principle. In the UK public sector, it harks back to the Caesar's wife principle I mentioned earlier. Shortlisting to one may be fair, interviewing shortlisted candidates looks fairer. Plus it gives them a chance to be seen and "sell their wares".

Similar processes apply to competitive tendering for contracts for goods and services in the UK Public Sector. For large contracts, shortlisting followed by more extensive evaluation processes is normal.

I'm not sure that the British civil service is a particularly great counter-example to this.

As with various other aspects of British life, the system is biased - to give a perception of competition and fairness in picking the "best" candidate when actually they're using dumb criteria to make the choice.

For example, there is a sector of the British government I knew well. When individuals were recruited to these roles, a range of criteria were drawn up and candidates were scored against them.

It so happens that one of the criteria which was weighted highly was if the candidates were already working for that part of the civil service already.

The problem was that it was very hard to progress within the section you were in, because you could only apply for jobs as they came open (ie someone above you left, died etc).

So the end result was that people were applying outside of the field that they were most experienced in working in (possibly with qualifications and work experience) and were promoted to positions where they had no relevant qualifications and no relevant work experience simply on the basis of longevity within that government department.

So you have people in more senior positions who don't know anything.

In that light, the Amazon system suggested above seems a whole lot more sensible. A candidate gets the job if they can show that they can do it, not because they are somehow "the best" and tick enough boxes.

No judgment is being made about those who don't get the job, presumably they can keep applying until they also get the chance to show that they can do the job.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
I guess if it was made clear in advertising that all applications got datestamped on receipt and only the first x plus ties would be considered, that might be OK. At least that lets candidates know that the early birds are the only ones that can catch the worm.

Indeed. I don't mind which method of selecting candidates is used, so long as all applicants have the ability to tailor their applications accordingly. With random selection you could be the best candidate or the worst candidate and it simply doesn't matter - your chances of success are the same.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
It's really no different to chucking half the applications into the bin on the grounds that by definition they're the unlucky ones and you don't want unlucky people working for your company.

So explain how it is different to not advertising at all, waiting for people to speculatively send in their CVs and choosing to interview someone who sounds like they're capable of doing the job.

That's "not fair" because other people haven't had the chance to apply for a job. On the other hand depending on a lot of factors (including randomness) someone able might get the job because they happen to come along at the right time.

Meh. Shit happens.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Indeed. I don't mind which method of selecting candidates is used, so long as all applicants have the ability to tailor their applications accordingly. With random selection you could be the best candidate or the worst candidate and it simply doesn't matter - your chances of success are the same.

OK but some businesses don't need "the best" they just need someone who is capable of doing the job.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
OK but some businesses don't need "the best" they just need someone who is capable of doing the job.

Most companies don't need 'the best' - as witness the fact that they rarely aim to offer the best possible T&Cs to their employees.

The only market that works like that is the market in CEOs and there the justification works the opposite way around.

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Barnabas62
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mr cheesy

That's why there is this body.

It monitors performance against these guidelines - which are updated regularly to take into account the findings.

Sure there is a gap between service-wide principles and various departmental practices. And sure, some folks will pay lip service and "game the system" in what they see as their particular interests. But the principles are not secret. They are both spelled out and monitored.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:

chris stiles is right about gaming the system, but all candidates can do that. Increasingly, these days, they do. So that's not unfair.

That entirely depends on whether all candidates know what meta data the automatic screening portions of the process are likely to be looking for. If very few people know this, then the process is effectively random.
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Barnabas62
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chris, that's the point of my "increasingly". Of course there is no absolute protection against inside information and insider dealings. But people are getting smarter at this, thanks to this kind of professional advice.

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