[IPAC-List] Getting people into jobs they're gonna love
Ken.Pritchard at MWAA.com
Tue Jun 7 07:09:32 EDT 2011
1. There is a danger here due to Title VII and other employment laws, and the danger may trump everything else. What employer wants to determine that someone is well-qualified for a job, but not well-suited by his/her deeper needs, and thereby "help" the candidate "decline" the job only to get sued (and lose) later on by the candidate?
2. There are systems that assess job content and what an individual's work "preferences" are USING THE SAME (behavioral) CRITERIA so that one can determine the degree of match as well as gaps. I think the best use of such systems with the least danger to the employer are in the domains of employee and organization development (including leadership development), job design, talent "redeployment" for any number of reasons (including RIF) and such FOR current employees (not candidates for a vacancy and surely not for external candidates for a vacancy).
- Ken Pritchard
From: ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Mark Hammer
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2011 2:33 PM
To: ipac-list at ipacweb.org
Subject: [IPAC-List] Getting people into jobs they're gonna love
This past week, I was attending the Canadian Psychological
Association's annual convention, and stopping by the various sessions
put on by the Industrial/Organizational section. One of the themes at
this year's convention was "positive psychology", and in keeping with
that there were some nice papers on "psychological capital", loving
one's job, and harmonious vs obsessive passion regarding work.
It occurred to me that, in the world of staffing, we have these two
separate universes of what we call vocational guidance, and selection
and assessment. The former tries to identify what general kind of work
would make an individual happy and be aptly suited for them, but is not
specific to any particular position. The latter attempts to identify
who would be competent and qualified for a specific position, but makes
no attempt to determine if they would be happy in it, and love it.
So the challenge arises: how do we reshape assessment and selection
systems, procedures, and tools, such that the result is the placement of
people into jobs that not only deliver for the organization, but ALSO
deliver for the person in the job. How do we begin the re-engineering
of selection systems with the goal of allowing people to be happy and
fulfilled in their work?
Of course, part and parcel of this is figuring out how the heck we'd
tell someone "Look, you are VERY qualified for this work, in terms of
skills, but all indices point to you being unlikely to be happy in it,
over the long haul". I think some of that heavy lifting can certainly
be done by job ads and RJPs that let people know more about the job and
what a typical day/week/year would be like, so they can self-screen.
But you can't rely on that exclusively. Even very clever people can
still make bad judgment calls about what is really right for them;
particularly if distracted by the increment to income, or some aspect of
a job's status. Does it become the employer's perogative to make
assumptions about the candidate's future happiness, and turn them away
on the basis of signs and omens? Do we try, and then say "You pays your
money and you takes your chances" if they want to take the chance?
I'd like to think that selection is essentially match-making in its
purest form - a "shidduch" for those of you better-versed in the Yiddish
idiom - and that it is almost a basic human right to be happy in one's
work, and be directed to work that makes you happy. "Happy" doesn't
necessarily mean you stay in the job forever. You can think of some
jobs as "the soup" that precedes the main course; satisfying in its own
way, but merely a way-station, and presented as such. But soup doesn't
have to be something you bite your lip to get through. It CAN be
Do any of you already factor this in to how you conduct staffing, or
view assessment? In some respects, I suppose it IS factored in, when
people are selected for whether they will fit into a particular work
team. Although I imagine the emphasis there is not on the happiness of
the new team member, but the aggregate productivity of the team.
Am I dreaming in technicolor or is this a realistic objective?
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