Psychology in the recruitment market: Approaches businesses take when hiring Dr Peter Saul www.petersaul.com.au Dr Peter Saul
Attracting and Holding StaffSource: AFR, 29 July 2008, p. 67 Peter Saul Peter Saul Dr -Peter Saul Dr AIPEG
What is management trying to do when hiring? Acquire the knowledge and skills it needs to get work done now. Choices: relocate/promote, employ, contract, outsource, redesign work Strengthen the potential to grow the knowledge and skills the organisation will need in the future Build a cooperative, harmonious organisation and workplace that is aligned with strategic corporate mission and values Maintain the organisation’s stated remuneration policy Adhere to the requirements of enterprise agreements and employment laws Peter Saul Peter Saul Dr -Peter Saul Dr AIPEG
What are candidates trying to do? Get an interesting job with good pay, opportunities to develop their talents, and prospects for future advancement Join an organisation they would be proud to work for Enhance their self esteem and social status Join an organisation that fits with their lifestyle and stage of life Enhance their feelings of job security (including the reliability of future income) Peter Saul Peter Saul Dr -Peter Saul Dr AIPEG
Some recruitment tools used by employers Advertisements – in house and/or externally (and use of employee networks) Letter of application and CV Interviews of job candidate (Interviews may be by HR, manager/supervisor, work colleagues) Reference checking (Discussions with previous managers and HR staff) Online searches (e.g. Facebook) (Now used by over 25% of employers) Recruitment specialists (e.g. Chandler & Macleod) Psychological testing (intelligence, reasoning, interests, personality, abilities) Work simulations Probationary periods; induction processes; training and support Peter Saul Peter Saul Dr -Peter Saul Dr AIPEG
Some psych tools used by candidates Career guidance services (that may use a variety of tests of intelligence, interests, abilities, personality, etc) Self-assessment instruments, books, etc (e.g. see Professor Martin Seligman’s website on “authentic happiness”; and Dr Stephen Covey’s book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”) Psych-based training and development or coaching services Peter Saul Peter Saul Dr -Peter Saul Dr AIPEG
What best predicts future performance? Work Sample tests (.54 correlation with overall job performance) General Mental Ability tests (.51) Structured employment interviews (.51) Peer Ratings (.49) Job Knowledge tests (.48)Source: “Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent in a Tight Labor Market “Wayne F. Cascio, Ph.D., Graduate School of Business, University ofColorado – Denver. (Viewed on MGSM website in 2001). Peter Saul Peter Saul Dr -Peter Saul Dr AIPEG
Psych testing has many critics“The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has achieved cult status… Itappeals to many managers, educationalists and counsellors…despite the fact that as many as three-quarters of people achievea different personality type when tested again. And it is easilyfaked.…I conclude that personality tests arediscriminatory, unreliable, invalid and cannot predict workperformance.”Source: “Personality tests have too many deep-seated problems.”Professor Robert Spillane, Macquarie Graduate School of Management(Australian Financial Review, 21 February 2012, p. 51) Peter Saul Peter Saul Dr -Peter Saul Dr AIPEG
6 hour testing marathon as part of merger Source: Australian Financial Review, 8 March 2012, p. 68 Peter Saul Peter Saul Dr -Peter Saul Dr AIPEG
In summary Psychology and psychological tests and methodology can play a valuable role in improving the quality of recruitment decisions in the hands of HR professionals who are trained to use them wisely. Psychology can improve the design of jobs and person specifications in the first place so that we have better targets to recruit to. It can also assist in building effective teams and improving leadership training and coaching so that recruitment decisions that are good enough deliver satisfactory work performance. When feedback on psychological assessments is given to job candidates it can help people make better career decisions. Peter Saul Peter Saul Dr -Peter Saul Dr AIPEG
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