Year of publication
Journal of Public Economics
Selecting more productive employees among a pool of job applicants can be a cost-effective means of improving organizational performance and may be particularly important in the public sector. We study the relationship among applicant characteristics, hiring outcomes, and job performance for teachers in the Washington DC Public Schools. Applicants' academic background (e.g., undergraduate GPA) is essentially uncorrelated with hiring. Screening measures (written assessments, interviews, and sample lessons) help applicants get jobs by placing them on a list of recommended candidates, but they are only weakly associated with the likelihood of being hired conditional on making the list. Yet both academic background and screening measures strongly predict teacher job performance, suggesting considerable scope for improving schools via the selection process.