Using D-PAC for CV-screening

Comparative judgement is nowadays predominantly used in the educational domain. The D-PAC team aims to explore CJ’s strengths beyond this realm, for example in the recruitment and selection domain. Therefore, we conducted a try-out investigating whether or not D-PAC was successful when applied to CV-screening. Consequently we partnered with Hudson ( – a human resources consultancy company) using a received job opening from a client. Forty-two CV’s were received and D-PAC was used with 7 assessors to compare the CV’s. Assessors also provided pairwise feedback to justify each choice. The main questions were related to reliability and validity: (1) how reliable is the D-PAC assessment on CV screening with expert assessors (if the assessment would be performed again, how strongly will the ranking resemble the current one)? And (2) do all assessors look at the same and relevant criteria of the CV’s in relation to the job ad (validity)?

Results show that the assessment reached a high reliability (SSR = .88 – see figure 1). In addition to this, this high reliability was already achieved at 14 rounds. Moreover, inspecting the cut-off of acceptable reliability (SSR =.70), this was already accomplished after 9 rounds. The time investment of the total assessment was 11.5 hours, including pairwise feedback. However, since high reliability was already attained early on (9 rounds), this timing can be drastically reduced to 5 hours. Moreover, this time investment is still an overestimation, since in reality assessors do not provide feedback on the CV’s. To give an indication: it takes about 73 seconds to read two CV’s and decide which one is more in line with the job. If assessors have to give feedback to justify their choice, time increases to 90 seconds for each pair. To summarize, attaining a reliability of .70 without providing any feedback results in a time investment of 5 and a half minutes for each CV.

SSR round Hudson
Figure 1: Reliability (=SSR) of the CV-screening assessment. In total, 23 rounds were performed. Blue lines indicate different reliability levels. Reliability of .80 achieved at 14 rounds. Reliability of .70 achieved at 9 rounds

Additionally, assessors’ arguments were analysed to inspect the validity of the assessment. The main discussed themes were ‘work- and job-experience’, ‘education’, ‘over qualification’ and ‘job hopping’. Two themes were recurrent in all 7 assessors’ arguments: work- and job-experience and education. One theme was only discussed by one assessor: ‘age’. The top arguments per assessor are represented in figure 2. Most striking is that relevant experience and the amount of experience were most frequently mentioned by every assessor. Additionally, job hopping was mentioned a lot by assessor 2.

argumenten hudson
Figure 2: Top arguments given by all 7 assessors.

Next, we investigated which CV’s were in the lowest or highest position in the ranking and what type of comments they mainly received. Here, we found that when assessors mentioned something about candidates’ experience (or the lack of it), this CV had a higher chance to be lower ranked. On the other hand, when assessors discussed about candidates’ education, general experience, over qualification, bilingualism, job-hopping and the given explanation of experience, CV’s were more likely to end up at the higher part of the ranking (see table 1).

Arguments Low ranking High ranking
Amount of experience 40 26
Education 18 35
General experience 1 22
Overqualified 0 6
Bilingualism 2 8
Job-hopping 2 9
Explanation experience 0 6

Table 1: Arguments which differ between CV’s at the lower part of the ranking and the higher part of the ranking

To summarize, this try-out shows many opportunities. Firstly, it indicates that D-PAC is usable in a recruitment and selection domain, showing high reliabilities in a short amount of time. In addition to this, time investment will be reduced in future similar assessments, increasing its efficiency. Secondly, regarding the validity, the analyses of the provided arguments indicates that recruiters share the focus on relevant experience for this job. Next to this, recruiters differ in emphasis, each recruiter imposes different emphases during the assessment, which is captured when using multiple assessors. This further underpins the logic of including multiple assessors during a cv screening process.

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