Jan 01 2003

Predicting Employee Turnover and Performance: Pre-Employment Tests and Questions that Work


This study was conducted at four credit unions to evaluate predictors of high performance and low turnover among applicants for positions at the credit unions.

Based on existing research, we selected ten predictors that appeared promising and which had a valid theoretical basis. Three of these predictors are readily available from the job application and seven are from well-validated paper and pencil tests that are available at low cost.

The study found that nine of the ten items predicted turnover and six predicted performance. There was substantial correlation between predictors of turnover and predictors of performance. Therefore using them as criteria for the selection of new employees would improve both performance and turnover. The type of turnover studied was voluntary, avoidable turnover.

Legal issues surrounding the use of criteria for selection are discussed, and the predictors here meet the two key criteria that are necessary to be legal for use in selection.

Murray Barrick, PhD
Robertson Chair in Business at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, and executive director of the Center for Human Resource Management
Report Number 94