There are many different tests out there that purport to measure key characteristics of employees like personality, values and preferences. But not all psychometrics are created equal. There are some, excellent tests while bad tests can be worse than useless.
So why are so many many invalid, unscientific or downright bad tests are still widely used? Why do knowledgeable consultants, skilled HR professionals and excellent coaches still use bad psychometric tools?
Keywords: psychometrics, testing
Hard work, intelligence and motivation will get you far, but it’s not always enough to get ahead. You have to get along with your colleagues, even if you’re trying to get promoted ahead of them. Of course, some would say but in your best effort and hope for the best while others might recommend some more underhanded or unsavoury approaches to getting money, power and fame.
But there are (at least) seven pieces of advice that will help talented and aspiring young people get ahead at work.
1. Become indispensable.
Keywords: career progression, management, achievement
Gender differences in personality are a typical area of disagreement for researchers. There is a long history of contrary findings from minor to major to no gender differences in personality. In 1974 Maccoby and Jacklin concluded men tend to be more assertive, women tend to be more anxious. Research in the often used “Big Five” model of personality finds similar trends of women reporting more emotional volatility, social agreeablility and slightly more gregariousness (Weisberg et al., 2011).
Gender stereotypes exist in many measures of personality used in the workplace. In Myers-Briggs, men tend towards “thinking” types whereas women far outnumber men in the “feeling” type. On the Hogan Personality Inventory, men score higher than women on every trait, although the differences is only significant for some traits like adjustment, intellect, socialibility and stress tolerance (Ones & Anderson, 2010).
In general, studies find that men tend to be more assertive and express dominance, women tend to express more emotionality and warmth. But are these real psychological differences between the genders? Or artefacts of the scale, results of particular ways of framing questions. So what of gender differences in the High Potential Traits Inventory (HPTI)?
Keywords: HPTI, Personality, gender differences, equity
Every manager wants a happy, healthy, but highly productive staff. Ideally staff are motivated by the sheer joy of the job. But often, people want a little more compensation for their hard work. Often this is monetary, but compensation can take many other forms.
The most obvious extrinsic reward is money. And so we have the very simple-minded view that "if you pay people peanuts you will get monkeys". That is, that there is a simple relationship between reward, productivity and satisfaction. The idea is that better paid people are more productive and happy. Simple, casual, and entirely wrong.
Keywords: motivation, HPM, compensation, satisfaction
Creative companies sometimes overdo their creativity in designing a selection process. Within certain circles there appears to be a bid to out-do the competition in the creation of fatuous interview questions. There’s one school of thought that suggests asking people slightly odd or unconventional questions tests their creative thinking. One must question that school’s accreditation.
While standard interview questions can be a bit dull, are the alternatives more efficacious?