Friday, December 29, 2006
My New Year's wish
It's that time of year again. When gyms fill up with people who swear this will be the year they lose weight, and stick to their new schedule for all of two weeks. When people stay up until midnight for no other reason than to say they did. When we come up with resolutions only because we feel like we should. And who am I to buck the trend?
There are a lot of things I'd like to see happen in the field of personnel selection in 2007:
- Making utility easier to grasp and communicate
- Increasing the visibility of professional assessment
- Re-doing Schmidt & Hunter's famous 1998 meta-analysis
- Increasing the use of videos (e.g., for job previews)
- Developing realistic computer simulation tests
But then I figured...why limit myself to these goals, which are somewhat obtainable? Let's throw caution to the wind and come up with something crazy. So here goes.
The recruitment community goes bananas on a regular basis for social networking/relationship management/candidate sourcing aggregation websites. These are your LinkedIn's, your Jobster's, your MySpace's, etc. These websites do (at least) one thing well: they create huge searchable databases that can (supposedly) be "mined" for talent. Whether they actually work or not is largely up to the skill of the miner.
So here's my question: what has the assessment community provided? Where is our cutting-edge tool that helps employers get objective data about job applicants? The closest thing I've seen is recruitmentrevolution.com, a UK site where employers can provide "reference scores" for previous employees. But it's targeted at students applying for temporary jobs. And it's entirely dependent upon hypothetically-good-but-often-inaccurate references. But it's a start.
Here's what I want in 2007: I want to see at least the start of an effort to aggregate objective measures of applicant proficiency in a searchable database. I want to look up Sally Garcia from Escondido, California and find out what her analytical skill is like, how she scores on the Big 5, and what her computer skills are. I want this to be based on quality assessment tools, and I want to be able to easily communicate with her about her scores and about potential job opportunities. I want the system to narrow down the candidate pool based on my position-specific requirements. And I want to be able to link it with the other networking websites (see above). Whether this data comes from the applicant or (preferably) a computer system that uploads results in real-time, I don't so much care. But I want to know where the data came from.
Is that so much to ask? Maybe we can just get started. I hope so, because it would be a heck of a tool and would vault the rep of assessment to somewhere close to where it should be.
Here's to hopin', and...
Happy New Year!