Monday, January 15, 2007

Q&A #2: David Hamill

My Q&A with thought leaders in recruitment and assessment continues with David Hamill. David is currently the Director of Workforce Development for Marriott International. David is also Past President of IPMAAC and a former senior research psychologist for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

I think if you read David's responses and compare them to Dennis Doverspike's, you'll see some recurring themes...

(Note: As last time, links are provided by yours truly)

BB: What do you think are the primary recruitment/assessment issues that employers are struggling with today?

DH: Finding and holding onto top talent! There is a war for top talent across all businesses including state and federal government agencies. Organizations must develop and maintain relationships that they can draw talent when needed and put valid selection procedures in place that do not discourage high-potential candidates from pursuing a position. Once a selection is made, organizations need to have a solid engagement strategy that helps to retain, develop, and promote their associates. Employing valid and fair selection practices does not go far enough if employees only leave the organization soon after being hired.

BB: What is an example of an innovative or creative recruitment/assessment practice that you've seen recently?

DH: I’m familiar with a program that was designed to attract hourly associates that offers a complimentary gift cards and free daycare while the candidates apply, take an assessment, and interview with an organization. This often eliminates a barrier to simply applying for a position. I also think the use of online, multi-media or interactive assessments will help to streamline the application process and enable organizations to expedite the on-boarding process.

BB: What is a research topic in this area that you think deserves increased attention?

DH: Unproctored assessments and the use of IRT/CAT assessments is an area that needs much research and thought leadership. We (I/O psychologists/assessment professionals) have successfully converted paper based assessments to the computer. However, this is hardly adequate in leveraging technology to improve prediction. Technology can greatly improve the richness of the test content, minimize the cognitive demand, assess previously un-tapped job domains, improve test security, expedite the hiring process, and provide tailored feedback to applicants. Before organizations can truly embrace online assessments, we need to develop some standard best practices with proven results.

BB: What subjects are you personally interested in, and what are you learning?

DH: I’ll limit this one to my professional interests, since my interests in fly fishing will never pay the bills. On a professional note, I am interested in developing online assessments that are fully integrated with other HR systems like performance management systems, compensation, training/learning platforms, and recruitment initiatives. I am also interested in getting more experience in working with international applicants and colleagues.

BB: Have you read any books or articles lately that you would recommend to the professional community?

DH: The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders by John Zenger and Joe Folkman; Love’EM or Lose’EM: Getting Good People to Stay, by Beverly Kaye & Sharon Jordan-Evans.

BB: Is there anything else you think recruiters/assessment professionals should be focused on right now?

DH: Partnering better with key business leaders/strategic business units to develop tools and procedures which help them achieve their mission and business goals. In addition, we need to prepare better for recruiting and assessing international populations who are becoming part of the landscape.

Thank you David!

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