The future qualities of workforces: A simulation study of the long-term consequences of minor selection decisions

W.S.J. Geerlings*, K. van Veen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this paper we argue that in the HR literature, scant attention has been paid to the implementation and long-term effects of personnel selection policies. Our analysis focuses on how these policies affect the distribution of employees within a job structure over time. We simulate job-mobility patterns over time to show the effects of different policies in different situations. The first examples show how changes in formal selection criteria are reflected in the distribution of staff within an organization. The examples reveal some unexpected outcomes. The last example focuses explicitly on the conditions under which the HR policy is implemented. It is shown that although a temporary tendency to appoint less capable candidates when there are labour shortages will solve short-term problems, it will also create serious long-term problems. Even a brief, temporary deviation from a planned selection policy can prevent an organization from realizing its aims for many years to come.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1254-1266
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2006


  • personnel flows
  • selection policies
  • career lines
  • workforce quality
  • career simulation

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