Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hybrid tests and the June '09 IJSA

What do you get when you combine a structured interview with a performance assessment? Perhaps some sort of hybrid with pieces from both sides. In the June 2009 issue of the International Journal of Selection and Assessment we find out more.

Morgeson et al. describe the development of a "performance interview" that combines a structured interview with an on-site performance demonstration. Essentially this involved going to the relevant work area (this study was for parts manufacturers) and asking a series of questions to determine promotability, such as "How do you set up this machine?" It's fascinating stuff, and it worked (using concurrent measures), although it might be challenging to use for less observable performance measures. For more details, check out the in press version here; the recipe book starts on page 12, and check out the example on page 41.

What else is in the issue? Take a look:

Predicting managerial readiness in Chinese workers

Is inflation in personality inventories necessarily a bad thing?

Do occupations tend to have their own personality? (yep)

Leadership effectiveness: Self- versus other-ratings (check out who tends to inflate)

CWBs: The organization plays a role

Biodata continues to shine (this time in healthcare organizations)

Is handwriting analysis popular among European employers? Not so much.

Can you predict military performance using personality inventories? Seems so.

Job experience v. personality measures in a small sample

Monday, May 18, 2009

Does going green matter to applicants?

A lot of people have recommended that organizations explicitly communicate an environmental (green) message to applicants in order to make the organization more attractive to applicants, particularly younger ones. But is this advice sound? Some new research suggests it may be.

In a recent article in the Journal of Business and Psychology, Behrend et al. had 183 participants view a printout of web pages that either did or didn't have a message expressing the organization's support of environmental causes.

First significant finding: the green web page was linked to more job pursuit intentions.

Second significant finding: the link was mediated by organizational reputation.

Third (and perhaps most important) finding: the link was not impacted by individual stance on the environment.

So there may just be something to the advice that greening up your career page can help you attract applicants. Assuming you want to attract more applicants.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Free monograph on test validation

IPAC (the International Personnel Assessment Council) is making available, free of charge, a monograph by Dr. Charles Sproule titled Rationale and research evidence supporting the use of content validation in personnel assessment.

Having seen a copy, I can tell you it's chalk full of great content, spanning much of the field of personnel assessment, including updated information on validity coefficients and special sections for several different types of tests (e.g., interviews, training and experience exams).

It's a great primer for anyone who wants to learn more about what it means to "validate" an exam, and it's a worthy addition to the library of any seasoned professional.

The monograph can be accessed here if you are a member, or you can request a copy here if you are not. Check it out!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Exploring the wild west of staffing

Last week I gave a presentation at the WRIPAC meeting in Burlingame, CA. The topic was "Using the Internet to effectively attract and screen the right applicants." Here are a few observations given my conversations with a very engaging group of participants:

1. There is immense interest in using the Internet for more than just posting jobs. But many folks are unsure how to start or what's out there. For individuals new to Web 2.0 concepts (e.g., social networking sites) there is a healthy--not necessarily unwarranted--skepticism.

2. Our worlds can shift relatively rapidly from "how do we get more applicants?" to "how do we get fewer applicants?" and then back again. As recruitment and assessment professionals we need to be able to pivot quickly and make sure our organizations are up to snuff in both realms.

3. In order to use the Internet effectively, most of us need to work with our IT staff. But this can be challenging given built-in resistances to change, security concerns, and assumptions. My advice was to push them as long as you have a good business case.

4. We have a lot of work to do on the most basic use of the Internet for recruitment and self-screening: our career portals. Many are cluttered and most likely have not been reviewed critically. More white space, more links, more pictures and video.

5. Most folks have some type of applicant tracking system, but many are unsure what its capabilities are and are not 100% sure how to use it to screen applicants. Oftentimes we rush to use built-in training and experience questionnaire functionality without first understanding the best way to use them. I just hope we move away from time-in-grade.

6. People seem to be moving away from the big job boards and towards cheaper--and usually more effective--alternatives, like craigslist or more targeted postings. People are also taking a harder look at whether their advertising dollars are really bringing in the candidates they need.

7. The balance of power has shifted in some ways from the employer to the applicant. They're not just responding to our (often uninspired) job postings, they're asking their friends, looking us up on glassdoor, connecting to people through LinkedIn, etc. As partial keepers of the organization's reputation, we need to be aware of all the different ways applicants research us.

8. These are exciting times. At several points in the presentation I mentioned that right now we are in the Wild West of staffing. Technology changes constantly, and along with them so do expectations placed upon us. We learn as we go. And it's challenging, but opportunities abound for those that are willing to take some risks.

Hang on, we're in for a heck of a ride.