Pharmacists opinions of the value of specific applicant attributes in hiring decisions for entry-level pharmacists

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Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy









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OBJECTIVE: The Hiring Intent Reasoning Examination (HIRE) was designed to (1) explore the relative value of applicant-specific attributes evaluated during the hiring of entry-level pharmacists; (2) examine how each of these attributes influences hiring decisions; and (3) identify which attributes practicing pharmacists perceive as most and least valuable.

METHODS: An electronic questionnaire was developed and sent to 36,817 pharmacists; 3723 (11%) responded representing a broad cross-section of practice settings and job roles. Forty-eight attributes were analyzed, 24 character traits and 24 markers of academic success. Respondents identified: 1) the relative importance the possession of each attribute would play in the decision to hire an applicant; 2) the relative importance the lack of possession of the attribute would play on the decision to hire an applicant; 3) the 10 most important attributes used when considering an applicant, and; 4) the 10 least important attributes used when considering an applicant. After investigating the relative importance of the 48 traits, a factor analysis to further group the traits was undertaken.

RESULTS: Character traits were consistently ranked higher than academic traits, both in importance and as more likely to effect the hiring decision. Additionally, "the top ten most important attributes" were dominated by character traits and "the top ten least important attributes" used in the hiring of an entry-level pharmacist were dominated by the academic traits. A factor analysis provided further evidence of the distinction of the character traits from the academic success markers.

CONCLUSION: When selecting employees from a pool of qualified applicants, the most important attributes used in hiring decision relate to the character of the pharmacist. The results are similar across all practice settings and types of respondents completing the survey.