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The Potential of Online Selection

Dave Bartram and Nancy Tippins


As technology continues to evolve rapidly it has been applied to a multitude of functions in organizations, including staffing. Many organizations have turned to online selection systems to help determine which candidates possess the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSAOs) necessary to perform the job because of the convenience to applicants and organizations, as well as the cost savings. While these online selection systems are efficient in many respects, they must still be effective and meet professional standards and legal requirements where they apply.

This chapter focuses on three important topics related to the use of online selection systems: 1) the globalization of selection systems that are enabled by online tools; 2) the security and cheating issues created by the use of online selection tools; and 3) the validity of online tools in light of the globalization of the instruments, the problems with security and the opportunity for cheating. Although technology has enabled a number of innovations in testing, including audio- and video-based assessments, gamification, the use of data from social media as well as ‘big data’ sets, there are too many variations in concerns about globalization, security, cheating and validity to address them all. Thus, the focus here is limited to online testing. The chapter concludes with a discussion of a future research agenda.

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