Monday, September 25, 2006

New Issues of Merit

The Merit Systems Protection Board has put out a new issue of Issues of Merit, its periodic newsletter. Now since I just posted about this (see below), and we all know that correlation means causation, I can only assume that I caused this new issue to be published.

Some good stuff in here, including:
- The value of intern programs. A lot of us have a tendency to focus on "the most qualified", meaning the most experienced. For a lot of jobs it's not how much experience someone has, it's how capable they are. And since internships give us the ultimate assessment opportunity (i.e., on-the-job) and typically an easier termination process, they're an often overlooked gold mine. In addition, many times it is to the organization's benefit to TRAIN people rather than hire them pre-prepared. There are many reasons for this, but perhaps the most compelling is that many job-related competencies can be trained (e.g., procedures) but the key success factors cannot (e.g., learning ability, personality).

- The (in)ability of a college degree to open doors. One of the articles points out that many of the most-recruited for jobs in the federal government require specialized degree or experience and a generic liberal arts degree won't be the passport some assume.

- Benchmark information for the occurrence of prohibited personnel practices. Some good data in here for those of you looking for baseline measures of incumbent satisfaction with recruitment and assessment activities.

- The importance of a periodic audit of your selection process. Does your organization do this? If not, why not? Like pre-testing, an audit can uncover invaluable information about how to improve the selection process and avoid costly mistakes.

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