Going on a Which Hunt

When discussing the topic of selection assessment with human resources professionals, it can be rather easy to overwhelm a non-technical audience by carrying on about job analysis, criterion validation, correlations, legal defensibility, etc. A former colleague of mine who worked as a sales representative used to say I was getting “I/O-ish” (as in Industrial/Organizational psychology) when I started using such terminology. Keep in mind that I’m the first person to advocate the merits of assessment validation for ensuring effective talent management solutions. However, my colleague made an important point that sometimes, in an effort to provide the details behind the psychometrics of implementing an assessment for candidate selection, we may inadvertently add complexity to the conversation. 

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Workforce 2018: The Future is Now

The US economy is dragging and unemployment rates are at historically high levels, but this too shall pass. Carnevale, et al. suggest that the so-called Baby Boomers are rapidly leaving the labor market, and that by 2018, the US will face a serious shortage of people having the necessary expertise for the economy. This raises a couple of interesting questions. One concerns what the employers of 2018 will regard at the necessary expertise. A second question concerns what the high demand jobs will be in 2018.

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Excuse Avenue or Opportunity Road

A person completes a personality assessment. He or she then receives individual feedback on his or her personality profile. If the assessment is worth its salt, the person probably agreed with much of the interpretation and was challenged or surprised by the rest. For the feedback that resonated with him or her, the likely response was, “Yep, I knew that about myself. Now I have a test that validates it.” For the surprising feedback, the likely response was, “Interesting. I didn’t know I was being perceived in that way.” Now what? What does this person do with that information? The way I see it, the person now has an excuse for that behavior or an opportunity to improve it.

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Beware the Ides of March

You may not have realized, but March happens to be a very eventful month. Some noteworthy festivities this month include Mardi Gras (8th), St. Patrick’s Day (17th), Spring Break, Easter (some years), and the vernal equinox or first day of Spring (20th). Some lesser known, albeit random, contenders for March dates are: If Pets Had Thumbs Day (3rd), Multiple Personality Day (5th), Ear Muff Day (13th), Extraterrestrial Abduction Day (20th), and finally a holiday that seems to capture the theme of this blog, National Make up your own Holiday Day (26th).

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If your business can’t touch its toes, you might as well stay on the bench

  In today’s business arena there are so many variables that play into running a successful organization. First, you must have a product or service. It must be useful, provide value (at a cost people are willing to pay), and be scalable to meet the demands of the market. Next, you need to understand the consumers, cultural nuances, and business trends. Lastly, and most importantly, you must be able to execute a proper strategy. However, a company can achieve all of those success factors, but still ultimately fail. Why? Because it’s not only about the product or service, how well it’s positioned, its value, and the amazing business plan behind it. It’s about its ability to touch its toes – in other words exercise and demonstrate flexibility. Read More »

Just my two cents…

Whether they make your skin crawl or tickle your fancy, the use of cliches has spread like wildfire over the years. These phrases, defined by their overuse, have flooded our everyday lives, making it difficult to get through a full day without hearing or speaking several. Critics discourage their use, especially in writing, as their presence indicates a lack of imagination. Further, many of these expressions are so overused and unnecessary they can be categorized as pure fluff. There are few positive views on these hackneyed phrases; however, I tend to enjoy them (in moderation). First, their origins fascinate me. As reported by Life Magazine, the expression "hair of the dog that bit you," a common idea for curing a hangover, is derived from the medieval belief that if bitten by a rabid dog, pressing the hair of that dog to the wound could cure the infection. The term "falling on the sword," meaning to offer resignation or accept the consequences of fault, can be found in the Bible in reference to King Saul falling on his sword to commit suicide while in battle with the Philistines. Second, and more importantly, I am impressed by their ability to deliver our thoughts in a concise, succinct manner that would be difficult to verbalize otherwise. In this sense, cliches create a common language which is beneficial as they carry so much information in only a handful of words.

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