Biographical data also known as Bio data entails answering detailed questionnaire on the individual personal lives as well as work, then the result of the questionnaire is matched with the current job holders/employees within the organisation that they applied for, in order to compare like with like against the current employees.
‘Prior experiences and circumstances shape distinctive behaviour patterns and enables prediction of future job performance’. As a selection tool Biographical data is not always practical, and some would argue that it is unfair as it fails to take into account how individuals can develop through experiences and learn from the passed. The belief that ‘like with likes’ are vital with bio data, can infect eliminate diversity within the organisation therefore can reduce change, innovative ideas entering the firm.
Although bio data could to some extent be critised on the fact that it might be discriminate if the right types of questions had not been asked, it has been reliable to eliminate corruption and favouritism and also one can trace a person’s development with database records. And finally Work sampling as a method of selection has been defined by (Corbridge M ; Pilbeam S, 1998). ‘Provides opportunities for candidates to experience or simulate job tasks and for the employing organisation to observe and asses candidate competencies and performance’.
Work sampling which is concerned with the examinee to perform tasks that are similar to those that are performed on the job, it is, as suggested by the name, ‘work sampling’. It is easy to see where this method of selection may be used, for example a hair dresser may be required to prove to the assessor that they know how to use a pair of scissors, which may then require for them to cut someone’s hair in order for the assessors to gain an insight into the potential of the employee.
Just like all test Work Sampling has both its positives and negatives. Firstly its advantages: Work Sample tests use equipment that is the same or substantially similar to the actual equipment used on the job, this way employers are not incurring too much cost to do this sample and employees have the opportunity to also use the equipments. In work sampling, it is also difficult for applicants to fake job proficiency which helps to increase the relationship between score on the test and performance on the job.
Because of their relationship to the job, these tests are typically viewed more favourable by examinees than aptitude or personality tests Most importantly work sample has been rated as the most reliable source of testing and has the highest content validity since they are infact a sample of the actual work performed therefore viewed more favourable by examinees than assessment centre, Psychometric testing and bio data.