Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3 - 67

Factors Considered When Selecting Teams

Using multiple regression, Berg and Stoner found that
selection process scores did not accurately predict RA performance.

	
RA teams are uniquely comprised
entirely of college students. Varvel et al.
(2004) studied team performance in engineering students who were in senior
design projects that lasted one or two semesters. They found that training on their
teammates' personality types, measured
by the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory,
improved communication and trust. Team
members' personality types did not predict
successful team performance, which suggests understanding how a team works together is more important than attempting
to select for certain personality traits.
	
A review of existing research provides
the opportunity for higher education professionals to rethink and evolve how RA candidates are evaluated and selected. Extant
literature focused on factors relating to job
performance, but there are no current studies demonstrating the thought process RLPs
employ when selecting RAs or what qualities, skills, and attributes they consider. To
fill this gap in the literature, we interviewed
RLPs who hire and place RAs onto staff
teams to understand what factors are considered when constructing teams of RAs from
available candidate pools.

METHOD
To explore the research question, we interviewed fifteen RLPs at different institutions
who share responsibility for interviewing,
evaluating, and selecting RA candidates. We
recruited professionals for this current study
by sending a message over an RLPs Facebook
group. Criteria for participation included experience interviewing RAs and selecting RAs
onto teams. Participants in the study includ-

64

The Journal of College and University Student Housing

ed two graduate students and thirteen fulltime staff; nine of the full-time staff were in
mid-level positions at their institution. Participants worked at departments of varying
size, so in some cases, mid-level professionals also managed halls and supervised RA
teams in addition to their other responsibilities. All participants had interviewed and
hired RA teams during their careers.
	
We conducted a semi-structured interview with each participant for approximately
one hour virtually through Google Meet. Interviews lasted between 42 and 80 minutes,
with an average time of 55 minutes. We used a
generic qualitative interview approach, which
provided an opportunity for participants to
discuss their ideas about things outside of
themselves (Percy et al., 2015). This approach
relies on semi-structured or structured interviews and focuses on the external process
and ideas, including attitudes and opinions,
which makes generic qualitative interviews
well-suited to study RA interview and selection processes. We asked participants about
their involvement and evaluative approach
in RA selection, qualities they considered as
positive in candidates, and what criteria they
considered when making hiring decisions.
We then asked our participants about how
they selected and built their RA teams from
candidate pools, including any additional factors influencing their decisions.
	
We audio-recorded the interviews, transcribed interviews through Descript, made
manual revisions for accuracy, and employed
memoing to take notes after each interview.
When possible, both researchers interviewed
the candidates and discussed the interviews
immediately afterwards. In five of the inter-



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

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