Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This and that

I follow several journals, several of which aren't specifically devoted to recruitment and selection. But if you believe, as I do, that organizational structure and behavior have implications for what we usually talk about on this blog, I think you might find the following recently published articles interesting. I've also included a couple directly on point that you may have missed:

Got meetings? Turns out they're a key aspect of job satisfaction.

Thinking about work-life balancing measures? Consider the type of employee.

GLBT nondiscrimination policies may impact overall organizational performance.

Wrap your mind around this one: The ability to recognize opportunities may have a genetic component, similar to the personality aspect of openness to experience.

Are formal HR policies bad for morale? This study certainly suggests so. It also suggests that we need to "think small" when it comes to organizational units.

What makes someone "employable"? Willingness to change jobs--yes. Willingness to develop new competencies--not so much.

Interested in presenteeism (people coming to work sick)? Here's a good overview.

Maybe the New London police department wasn't so wacky. Turns out being overeducated negatively impacts job satisfaction--the good news is experience appears to moderate the relationship.

Bothered by the "criterion problem" in measuring the utility of assessments? This study won't make you feel any better, but it does help explain our challenge.

Want to do better on a test? Think positive.

Need more evidence that off-list checks are important? Check this out.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March 2010 J.A.P.

The March 2010 issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology is out. Let's take a look:

Do women make better leaders? According to a study by Rosette and Tost, it varies with how success is attributed, the level of the position, perceptions of double-standards, and expectations. So the answer? A very solid "it depends."

Who should determine SJT scoring? Motowidlo and Beier suggest in their research study that situational judgment test (SJT) scoring keys based on input from subject matter experts (SMEs) contribute differentially to the prediction of job performance compared to keys based on general knowledge about trait effectiveness. What does this mean? That your ability to predict performance using SJTs depends in part on who is determining the scoring, and getting SME input may boost the effectiveness.

Do Americans work to live or live to work? Based on an analysis from Highhouse, et al., it's looking more and more like the former.

Need more evidence of the value of confirmatory testing? Naquin, et al. performed three experimental studies that demonstrated higher levels of lying when using email compared to pen and paper.

Do you like your leaders proactive? According to research conducted in China by Ning et al., you're not alone.

Finally, a slight correction to an article by Ilies et al. published last July on the relationship between personality and organizational citizenship behaviors.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2010 PTC -NC Conference

Last week I was fortunate to attend and present at the 2010 Personnel Testing Council of Northern California (PTC-NC) conference. Several of the presentation slides are now available.

My presentation was a legal update, primarily focusing on last year's big case, Ricci v. DeStefano. While I think the case received a fair share of its publicity simply because Sonia Sotomayor was one of the circuit court judges who ruled for the city, the case itself has some interesting implications for assessment. I gave my two cents last year after the decision.

Some of the points I made during the presentation included:

- Test validation standards as judged by the courts are generally very attainable. Following best practice (i.e., beginning with a thorough job analysis) is a recipe for a defensible process.

- Employers should spend the vast majority of their time before the assessment is given, figuring out what and how to test. Minimal time should be spent after the test making decisions about test usage--you should know that already.

- Employers, and assessment professionals, are expected to be familiar with and consider a wide range of testing mechanisms when planning a selection process. This includes non-cognitive assessments such as situational judgment tests, personality inventories, and biodata measures.

There were many great presentations; I always enjoy hearing what Wayne Cascio has to say, Dale Glaser has a way with statistics, and Deniz Ones and Stephan Dilchert's presentation on personality profiles of leaders was fascinating (they also happen to be very pleasant people to have lunch with). I plan on printing out slide 33 and placing it within reach--it does a great job of pointing out that criterion validity depends greatly on what you're trying to predict!

It's worth reviewing all the slides to get a flavor of what was discussed; there will likely be other presentations added over time.

On a side note, I'd like to acknowledge my readers at Baruch College -- thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hiring Right Presentation

Late last year I did a webinar through BCGi titled "Hiring right: How to hire the right person for the job" and the slides are now available.

For many of you it will be review, but I tried to cover a variety of topics relevant for newer professionals as well as hiring supervisors, including:

- accuracy of our perceptions regarding hiring

- reviewing applications and resumes

- types of assessment

- interview questions

- best practices

You can see the PDF version here; content begins on page 5.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Personnel Psychology, Spring 2010: SJTs, affect, and job offer timing

The Spring 2010 (v.63, #1) issue of Personnel Psychology is out. Let's look at the highlights:

First out of the gate, a great meta-analysis for anyone interested in situational judgment tests (SJTs; and who isn't?). Christian, et al. looked at 84 studies and found some pretty interesting things:

1) SJTs reported in the literature have been used to measure a variety of things, including leadership skills (37%), some type of composite (33%), interpersonal skills (12.5%), personality tendencies (9.6%), teamwork skills (4.4%) and job knowledge/skills (3%).

2) Criterion-related validity depends--as you might expect--on the match between predictor and performance measure. Conscientiousness measures, for example, predicted task performance much better than managerial performance (rho=.39 and .06 respectively). The highest correlations (albeit based on relatively small samples) were for teamwork skills and personality composites predicting task performance (.50 and .45 respectively).

3) Video-based SJTs tended to have stronger criterion-related validity values compared to paper-based measures. This was particularly true when measuring interpersonal skills (.47 compared to .27).

Second, a small but interesting study by Johnson, et al. on the relationship between trait affect (i.e., being generally disposed to feeling positive or negative emotions) and job performance. Results from 120 matched employee-supervisor pairs from a variety of jobs using both explicit (survey) and implicit (word fragment completion) measures of affect found substantial correlations, particularly between positive affect and performance (in the .50 range), and particularly when using implicit measures.

Something to add to a selection battery, perhaps? Could be perceived negatively by applicants, however, and I can see some questions being raised about the link to medical issues. But the same types of concerns were originally leveled at personality tests and were mitigated by creating measures specifically tied to work behavior. Definitely an area for more research.

Third, check out this study by Becker, et al. on the impact that job offer timing has on acceptance, performance and turnover. The authors found (using data from a Fortune 500 engineering technology company) that for both student and experienced samples, faster offers were associated with higher acceptance rates. Specifically, for experienced candidates, the difference between 2 weeks and 3 weeks taken to make the offer was substantial, whereas for the students 3 weeks versus 4 weeks was important. But, no differences were found in terms of either performance ratings or turnover among employees hired through different offer speeds.

Implication? The study suggests that offer time does impact the likelihood that the offer will be accepted, but viewed broadly this may not have long-term impacts in terms of how employees do on the job. Maybe in cases of good candidate-employer fit, candidates are willing to wait.

Last but not least are the book reviews. Two books are particularly relevant for us, The Structured Interview (Pettersen & Durivage) and Outliers (Gladwell). The first is received very positively and sounds like a great source for anyone wanting more details about the support for and use of structured interviews. The latter is "well worth [a] few evenings" but requires you to overlook the lack of evidence and convenient inferences.

Final notes: those of you interested in multisource performance ratings should check out Hoffman, et al.'s article, which reinforces the impact of having raters from different levels. Chuang and Liao's article also includes a useful measure of a high-performance work system.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

IPAC Conference + Innovations Award

What are you doing July 18-21? I assume if you enjoy good weather, good company, and--most importantly--great information on state-of-the-art selection practices, you'll be joining me at IPAC's annual conference in beautiful Newport Beach, California.

If you're not only going but have something to present, by all means respond to the call for proposals. It could be a workshop, panel discussion, symposia--pretty much any format you can think of. Don't wait too long, the deadline is this Friday, March 5.

And speaking of the conference, IPAC has announced that nominations for the Innovations in Assessment Award are being accepted from 5/17-6/18. The winner receives not only formal recognition (and bragging rights), but a free pass to the conference.

IPAC's a great group, full of people that are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about using the best selection practices to get organizations the talent they need. Plus, it's the only international (or national) organization I know of devoted exclusively to the topic.

Hope to see you there!