Re: Hiring Laws

Andrea Gallagher (
Thu, 24 Jul 1997 10:22:14 -0700

At 04:12 PM 7/23/97 -0700, Robin Hanson wrote:
>"Rick Knight" writes:
>> I would shudder at an IQ being on a resume or job application. A
>> focus on that assumes that a known/unknown/contrived IQ will actually
>> be appropriately applied by the potential hiree. ...
>> IQ is only one aspect of a person's value and qualifications.
>But this complaint applies to *everything* that appears on a resume.
>It is all noisy signals of the variable of interest: how well could
>they do the job? Each item is only one part of the total signal, and
>could lead to disappointment if assumed to directly imply anything
>about how they'd do.

Actually, it's worse than that. The job itself can be a noisy signal,
since people often mold a job around their skills. If I find an applicant
who's very good in one area but not great in another, I think about how I
can adjust the job requirements to them. And often I don't even have a
perfect idea of the job I need done. (Mind you, the solution is often to
hire people who seem *really* smart, regardless of their background, and
use them in what ever way works.)

I find I'm bothered by the claim that interviews are not predictive, though
I have heard that in many places. At a previous company, we gave a
take-home programming test to the applicants that looked interesting. At
least once I chose a programmer who had a less impressive test but better
people and verbal skills, because they would need to work in a team with
non-programmers. Some how I don't think IQ would have captured that