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

Lance Seberhagen sebe at erols.com
Tue Jun 7 10:03:26 EDT 2011

According to the employee manual in Dilbert, "Job satisfaction is the
same as stealing from the company." Another time, a Dilbert character
said, "Having a personal life would be like stealing from the company."

Aside from Dilbert, we know that turnover is significantly reduced when
employers use good selection procedures (i.e., job analysis, RJP, valid
tests that measure all important and critical KSAs), followed by a good
"on-boarding" program to bring new hires into the organization. If
employees have long tenure, we can assume that they are happy. But I
also agree with the point that "job fit" can go too far if the employer
makes discriminatory assumptions about who would be "happy" working in a
given job or organization..


Lance Seberhagen, Ph.D.
Seberhagen & Associates
9021 Trailridge Ct
Vienna, VA 22182
Tel 703-790-0796

On 6/7/2011 9:22 AM, Jeff Feuquay wrote:

> 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.


> Jeff

> -----------------------------------------

> 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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