Friday, May 25, 2007

The recruitosphere vs. the assessosphere

One thing that's vexed me lately is why there are so many blogs devoted to recruiting and so few devoted to assessment.

There are so many recruiting blogs that there are lists devoted to keeping track of them, and new ones are announced practically every day.

There are so few blogs focused on assessment that I have a hard time thinking of them. The only 100% "true" blog (besides this one) is Jamie Madigan's SelectionMatters--and he just started back up again (thank goodness) after a long hiatus. Okay, Dr. Michael Mercer has one but it doesn't allow comments. Yes, Michael Harris does a great job with EASI-HR Blog, but assessment is just one of the topics he covers. Ditto for Alice Snell's Taleo Blog. Charles Handler has the awesome Rocket-Hire newsletter, but that's periodic and doesn't allow for (as far as I know) reader comments.

Then there's PIOP, a message board that's been around for a while, but it's focused primarily around students. Perhaps the recently established will go somewhere but it too seems focused on students--which isn't a bad thing, but it limits the reach.

So what's up? Why the difference? I have some theories:

1. Recruiters like to hear/read themselves. Yes, that's undoubtedly true. But do you know any assessment professionals that DON'T?

2. Recruiters use them to market themselves. I think this is a pretty compelling possibility. Still, if true, why aren't more assessment professionals? There are plenty of assessment consulting outfits.

3. Recruiters are earlier adopters of technology. Assessment professionals are, IMHO, a conservative bunch when it comes to technology adoption. They've seen things come and go, and don't want to jump wholeheartedly into a possible flash-in-the pan. Prime example: SIOP's excellent news articles are not syndicated.

4. Recruiters are more focused on the business side of things, assessment folk more with research. This seems likely of I/O Ph.D.'ers, but what about the rest of the assessment community? Are we still stuck trying to apply law and rules rather than creating networks and sharing best practices?

5. Assessment folks don't know about the blogosphere. I think there is some truth to this, as well. As a group, assessment professionals just don't seem to have taken to electronic forms of information sharing (the IPMAAC listserv being a notable exception), so I don't see why blogs would be any different. They seem to prefer conferences.

6. Assessment folks don't see the value of blogs. And some in the recruiting field don't either.

7. Recruiters are more extroverted than assessment types. I have absolutely no evidence to support this claim, which hasn't stopped me in the past and won't stop me this time.

Is it just me or is something (not) going on here?

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