To make the application form more job-related, some organisations assign numeric values or weights to responses provided by applicants.
Generally, the items that have a strong relationship to job performance are given high scores. For example, for a medical representative’s position, items such as previous selling experience, marital status, age, commission earned on sales previously, etc., may be given high scores when compared to other items such as religion, sex, language, place of birth, etc.
The total score of each applicant is obtained by summing the weights of the individual item responses. The resulting scores are then used in the selection decision. The WAB is best suited for jobs where there are many workers, especially for sales and technical jobs and it is particularly useful in reducing turnover. There are, however, several problems associated with WABs. It takes time to develop such a form.
The cost of developing a WAB could be prohibitive if the organisation has several operating levels with unique features. The WAB must be “updated every few years to ensure that the factors previously identified are still valid predictors of job success”. And finally, the organisation should be careful not to depend on weights of a few items while selecting an employee.