Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3 - 46

Hiring Decisions of Graduate Assistant
and Full-time Hall Directors
on Resident Assistant Recruitment
RESIDENT ASSISTANT HIRING DECISIONS are critical to the residential

student experience and ultimately to the success of housing and residence life
departments. The purpose of this study is to explore the influences existing in the
hiring decision-making process for housing and residence life staff. We also compare
the influences of hiring decisions across various participant characteristics including
professional status, master's degree focus area, race, gender, institution type, and
prior hiring experience for 138 participants. Staff diversity, group process scores, and
observations are the most influential components in hiring decisions. Additionally,
we found graduate assistants rely less on the metric-based aspects of the selection
process, which could be a result of low levels of involvement in planning and
facilitating selection processes within the department. Additional results as well as
implications for practice and future research are also discussed.

U

ltimately, the goal of hiring decisions
is to accurately predict staff members'
future performance (Kuncel et al.,
2013). This difficult task must consider organizational context as well as candidates' individual attributes. Therefore, it is common for
organizations to collect a wide range of information from and about candidates which creates " the ultimate issue of how to best make
use of it all " (Kuncel et al., 2013, p. 1060).
	
Kuncel et al.'s (2013) meta-analysis of
employee selection and academic admission decisions compared two common approaches to utilizing candidate information:
mechanical and holistic. The mechanical approach includes use of algorithms or formulas ranging from weighting data points to
decision trees. The holistic approach relies

on intuition or insight and includes " both
individual judgements of data and group
consensus meetings " (p. 1060). Despite
the holistic approach being more common,
Kuncel et al. (2013) found the mechanical
approach provided substantial improvement
for future predictions, especially concerning
job performance. Consistent with Kuncel et
al.'s (2013) discussion, many residence life
departments gather multiple data points
during the Resident Assistant (RA) selection
process (Ostroth, 1981).
	
However, despite multifaceted evaluation methods being preferred by candidates
(Stone & Hanson, 2002), there is very little
research exploring the efficacy of current selection processes in identifying high-quality
RA staff members. Sadouskas' (2011) disserVolume 47, No. 3 * 2021

43



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

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3

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