Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3 - 20

	
Equity and inclusion are concerns as
well. According to Smooke (2017), diverse
candidates may be at a disadvantage in group
interviews. Some cultures are less (or more)
aligned with collective effort (van Hoorn,
2015) and individuals may make decisions in
or contributions to a group that seem contrary to department or institutional perspectives of linear problem-solving or an individualistic focus. In a similar vein, group work
may be a difficult communication mechanism for introverts, who may prefer one-onone interactions (Smooke, 2017).
	
Though sometimes touted as a way to
maximize staff time and effort, group process may actually incur greater human resource costs than first perceived. In a post
to the ACUHO-I Online Community, Stoner
(2019b) detailed the salary costs associated
with an example group process spanning
two days with 140 candidates. Making reasonable assumptions about full-time salary
levels, he concluded that the department
would expend $14.09 per candidate-almost $2,000-solely in those two days, not
including RA or other staff time, planning
and preparation time, and cost of materials.
Ultimately, it appears group process may be
resource inefficient-especially when group
process effectiveness may be unknown to a
particular campus.

BENEFITS OF GROUP PROCESS
Despite these challenges, various studies
suggest several benefits to group process as
an element of hiring decisions. Group process provides the opportunity to gather data
not otherwise available in a written applica-

tion or individual interview. Observation of
candidate interactions like behavior under
pressure, unfamiliar people, and novel tasks
(Bright HR, 2019; Smooke, 2017) contributes to a more complete understanding of
candidates (Meeussen, et al., 2018; Smooke,
2017). Recognizing an effective RA is not
unidimensional; group process may " boost "
candidates (Tran & Blackman, 2006) who
might otherwise perform poorly in other selection process elements (e.g., poor written
skills, difficulty with individual interviews,
low GPA).
	
In studies of group interviews (admittedly not group process) as an element for
admission to a baccalaureate nursing program, observations seemed to mitigate for
low GPA or test scores, particularly for
candidates from underrepresented groups
(House et al., 2015; Trice & Foster, 2006).
These events promote interaction among
candidates and between candidates and observers. Some candidates will be admitted
(or in a hiring scenario, offered employment) and some observers will continue in
their employment; thus, early interaction
has the potential to spur important relationships and nurture department sense
of community. Activity content can educate
candidates about the RA role and department culture. A general welcome prior to
a carousel or standard information shared
with each group can also provide candidates with position and department information. A group process, depending on
implementation structure, may increase
the consistency of information shared with
candidates. Group process provides another

Group process provides the opportunity to gather data not otherwise
available in a written application or individual interview.

Volume 47, No. 3 * 2021

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