The selection of market research executives

Date of publication: September 1, 1966

Author: Ian R. Haldane

Abstract:

Although systematic personnel selection procedures have been shown to improve efficiency in many organisations which have introduced them, market research firms and departments have been slow to make use of these management techniques. This may be partly due to the present structure of the market research industry - few large firms and many small to medium ones. But the benefits of efficient personnel selection are not confined to the larger firms: personnel are the life-blood of market research, and any means of improving our efficiency in this area is worth considering by any size of firm. For over three years the British Market Research Bureau Ltd. has been developing and operating a personnel selection system based on a scientific appraisal of its present and future needs, incorporating such modern occupational psychological methods as, for example, aptitude testing, leaderless group techniques, formal and informal interviewing and "self-selection" procedures. These are regarded not as definitive measuring devices, but as aids to management in personnel selection decisions. In this paper a description is given of the background thinking and research which has led to the present system: a description of the system and its component parts, and first indications of its validity and discriminatory power. It is not suggested that a unique or universal solution is provided: the system is under constant appraisal and review. It is hope'd, however, that BMRB's experience will help other firms towards a solution of their personnel problems.

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