CASE: Marie Pendergast
SELECTING A PROGRAMMER
Marie Pendergrass has been a data processing supervisor for
two years. She is in the process of selecting a candidate
for a programmer trainee position she has created. Her plan
is to develop the trainee into a systems analyst within two
years. Since this is a fast track, she needs a candidate
whose aptitude and motivation is high.
Fourteen candidates applied for the job in the employment
section of the personnel department. Six were women, eight
were men. An employment specialist screened the candidates
for Mary, using a carefully prepared interview format that
included questions to determine job-related skills. Six
candidates, three women and three men, were referred to
Marie. Marie then conducted structured, in-depth interviews
and further narrowed the selection to one woman and two men.
Her boss, a company vice-president, agrees with her judgment
after hearing Marie's description of the candidates.
However, Marie's boss feels particularly unsure of the
abilities of the female candidate. From the selection
interview, past job experience, and education, there is no
clear indication of the candidate's ability to perform the
job. The vice-president is insistent that Marie screen the
candidate with a programmer aptitude test devised by a
computer manufacturing firm. The test had been given four
years ago, and some of the most successful current analysts
had scored high on it. Marie went to the personnel
department and asked them to administer the test to the
''questionable" candidate. The personnel manager informed
her that the company policy had been to do no testing of any
kind during the last two years. Marie explained that the
request had come from a vice-president and asked that she be
given a decision on her request by Friday.
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