The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2 - 49

James C. Stoner

Research on RA job performance often
offers suggestions for additional evaluation criteria within the selection process-
for example, personality models (Deluga &
Masson, 2000; Wu & Stemler, 2008), emotional intelligence (Jaeger & Caison, 2006; Wu
& Stemler, 2008), motivating factors to seek
the RA position (Delgua & Winters, 1991), and
attitudes towards social justice (Evans, Reason,
& Broido, 2001)-to consider when designing
the RA hiring process, yet such recommendations rarely result in published scholarship
examining the outcomes of the recommendations. Given that the candidate selection
process for any position, RA or otherwise,
should be able to predict future job performance (Schmidt & Hunter, 1998), the connection between the performance outcomes
of actual RA application and hiring processes
warrants further exploration.
Although well documented in other fields,
research on RA hiring processes is sparse when
it comes to understanding unintended, built-in
biases within the structure and scoring of applicants. For example, automated screening
algorithms used to evaluate medical school
applicants-which were originally designed
to "eliminate any inconsistencies in the way
the admissions staff carried out their duties"
(Lowry & McPherson, 1988, p. 295) -were
found to unfairly discriminate in favor of European- and masculine-sounding names. More
recently, personality tests received increased
scrutiny as a hiring practice due to systematically adding bias into hiring practices (Weber &
Dwoskin, 2014).
Some researchers (e.g., Cain, 2013) acknowledge an existing environmental bias in
American culture favoring extroverts. Locally
50

considered, housing professionals sometimes
anecdotally ponder if group process components should be considered fair for capable introverted applicants who may get overshadowed
by more vocal extroverts in group settings. This
effect gets amplified if group process scores have
a default maximum score substantially higher
than individual performance components
such as individual interviews. Unless altered
in some structuralized way, default maximum
component scores necessarily dictate the value
placed on the successful completion of each
component within the candidate's overall performance in the interview setting. This problem
becomes increasingly troublesome in identifying strong candidates if there is disparity when
over-weighting candidates in settings that do
not emulate their actual job duties or, in the
case of the presented example, if candidates are
over-evaluated in group settings but their department's RA job description prioritizes oneon-one interactions. In such a case, weighting
individual interactions higher in an interview
process would better illuminate a candidate's
potential value to successfully serve in the RA
role at that institution.
Therefore, this study sought to begin
filling the gap in scholarship on the RA hiring
process, specifically seeking to understand how
the structure and evaluation metrics for candidates may contribute to identifying those who
are most likely to demonstrate stronger performance in the RA job. Examining two years
of RA candidate scores and their subsequent
performance evaluations, this research study
chronicles the statistical analysis of weighting the various hiring component scores in an
effort to maximize the predictability of future
job performance. The resulting analysis also
demonstrates how modifying candidate scores

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2 - Intro
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 45, No. 2 - Cover1
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