[IPAC-List] Getting people into jobs they're gonna love

Jeff Feuquay jfeuquay at gmail.com
Tue Jun 7 09:22:48 EDT 2011

Makes me crazy when a sentence or a thought sticks with me, but the source
escapes recollection. Seems to me, though, that it was Bob Hogan at the
combined IPMA-HR/IPAC conference who said, "If you put someone in a job
that's not right for them, you're stealing their life." The context, as I
recall, was very much what Mark alludes to.

Methinks, "enjoys the job and doesn't constantly whine about it, thereby
being a boon rather than an irritant to all around" is a reasonable KSAP.

Dr. Jeffrey P Feuquay, I/O Psychologist & Attorney
Managing Consultant, Psychology-Law Center, LLC
108 W. Walnut, Nevada, Mo 64772
ofc: 417-667-5076 cell: 417-549-0997

On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 6:09 AM, Pritchard, Ken <Ken.Pritchard at mwaa.com>wrote:

> 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



> -----Original Message-----

> 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

> enjoyable.

> 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?

> Mark Hammer

> Ottawa



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