I-O psychologists typically work with HR specialists to design (a) recruitment processes and (b) personnel selection systems. Personnel recruitment is the process of identifying qualified candidates in the workforce and getting them to apply for jobs within an organization. Personnel recruitment processes include developing job announcements, placing ads, defining key qualifications for applicants, and screening out unqualified applicants.
Personnel selection is the systematic process of hiring and promoting personnel. Personnel selection systems employ evidence-based practices to determine the most qualified candidates. Personnel selection involves both new hires and individuals who can be promoted from within the organization. Common selection tools include ability tests (e.g., cognitive, physical, or psychomotor), knowledge tests, personality tests, structured interviews, the systematic collection of biographical data, and work samples. I-O psychologists must evaluate evidence regarding the extent to which selection tools predict job performance, evidence that bears on the validity of selection tools.
Personnel selection procedures are usually validated, i.e., shown to be job relevant, using one or more of the following types of validity: content validity, construct validity, and/or criterion-related validity. I-O psychologists adhere to professional standards, such as the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology's (SIOP) Principles for Validation and Use of Personnel Selection Procedures and the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Uniform Guidelines are also influential in guiding personnel selection although they have been criticized as outdated when compared to the current state of knowledge in I-O psychology.
I-O psychologists not only help in the selection and assessment of personnel for jobs. I-O psychologists also assist in the selection of students for admission to colleges, universities, and graduate and professional schools as well as the assessment of student achievement, student aptitude, and the performance of teachers and K-12 schools. Increasingly, I-O psychologists are working for educational assessment and testing organizations and divisions.