hiring laws

Perry E. Metzger (perry@piermont.com)
Tue, 22 Jul 1997 11:51:37 -0400 (EDT)

> From: hanson@hss.caltech.edu (Robin Hanson)
> Subject: Re: Anarchy and spontaneous order in business and education
> Carl Feynman writes:
> >>I've always been curious why IQ scores don't appear on resumes.
> >
> >In 'The Bell Curve' is an appendix which claims to explain the tortured
> >history of using tests (including IQ) as a method of employee selection. It
> >would appear that all tests on which blacks score lower than whites on the
> >average have been banned, as being discriminatory. This doesn't explain why
> >IQ scores do not appear on resumes outside the US, however.
> The claim is that I would be arrested for placing my IQ score on my resume?
> Similarly for putting "Mensa" under org memberships?
> I find such claims hard to believe.

No, the claim is you could be sued for ASKING certain kinds of
information of an applicant.

This I find very easy to believe. For example, simply asking an
employee or potential employee how old they are is liable to get you
into serious trouble these days. Stupid? Yes. True? Also yes.

Now, why don't certain things like IQ appear on resumes? One claim
might be because a) most applicants don't know, and b) you'll never be
able to get employees to bother to find out if no one can ask the

I'm not sure I believe that, though.

I'd say that a more rational explanation is that for any job that
actually requires intelligence, three minutes of phone interview do
far better than an IQ number can do for you. IQ is just too crude. I
suspect other far better screening tests could be derived (I have a
set of stock questions I ask interviewees with objective answers) but
at the moment there isn't one, at least not one that I could use in
*my* hiring decisions.