How special are executives? How special should executive selection be? Observations and recommendations

Ones, D. S., & Dilchert, S.
Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2, 163-170.

Hollenbeck (2009) suggests that executive selection decisions are often wrong and believes that selection of executives should be differentiated from selection at lower levels. In addition, he asserts that by focusing on competencies, rather than characteristics, ‘‘we are doing it backwards.’’ We agree with Hollenbeck that sound personnel selection should start with and be based on personal characteristics rather than amorphous, often ill-defined competencies. Yet, this principle applies to all selection not just executive selection. In order to determine whether executive selection should truly be a special process, two key questions must be asked and answered.