[IPAC-List] MSPB Requests Input for Research Agenda

Mark Hammer Mark.Hammer at psc-cfp.gc.ca
Mon Jul 26 11:37:08 EDT 2010

Traditional utility analysis has focussed on the relationship between
the stringency of screening and assessment (and time, money, effort
invested in it) and the quality of what you get at the end.

Increasingly, public sector organizations find themselves in a position
whereby they get some great hires, but the mobility opportunities
available to certain categories of employees, and the easily-accessed
application tools these days, can often make it such that the person
you've spent 6-8 months of work into hiring leaves you within a year
after starting.

For this reason, I think it is high time to consider utility analysis
in the broader perspective. In other words, not just the relationship
between assessment and quality of hire, but assessment and duration of

Strategically, this is a tricky thing to explore. A great many
organizations may survey managers about the folks they hire, but rarely
do it at a point in the overall arc where the manager is able to say
"Yep, glad I hired them, and they're STILL with us, now, 2 years on.".
So the challenge is to figure out a way to get managers to retrospect,
and work backwards from the *fact* of a perceived-to-be hasty departure
of someone you thought was a good hire, to the events/conditions leading
up to it. Those events could be assessment-related (we never really
looked for conscientiousness, or even career goals), or
workplace-climate related (the organization was in general upheaval at
that time anyway), instrumental (the organization provides training
within the first year that makes people far more marketable), or
job-market related (people in that line of work could have their pick of
jobs), or any combination of them.

Again, this is not necessarily pertinent to all job types and levels,
but for some mission-critical sorts of jobs, it is VERY pertinent. For
example, we here in Canada have been experiencing near constant turnover
of HR staff for a little while now, and the impact has been immense.

I'll probably give you some more ideas, John, but this is one to get
you started.

Regards to James, Peter, Harry and Paul

Mark Hammer


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