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THE POINT - PTCMW Blog

Welcome to the The Point, PTCMW's new Blog - a replacement of our quarterly Newsletter.

Articles will be posted here throughout each month comprizing of long time standbys, new additions, and updates from the president and board.

As members, please feel free to post your comments and thoughts in relation to each article.

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  • 09/29/2021 11:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Job Hunting Tips in the Post-Covid World of Work

    Authors: Emily Kimble & Benjamin Kerner

    Our names are Emily Kimble and Benjamin Kerner, and we are Human Resource Analysts at DCI Consulting Inc. who graduated from George Mason University’s I/O Psychology MA program. We started searching for jobs during the peak of the uncertainty that was 2020 and can attest to the struggles of job hunting and the novelty of onboarding during a global pandemic. Below are some lessons we have gleaned over the last year, which we hope will be helpful for those beginning their job search in a post-covid environment.

    Be Patient and Don’t Get Discouraged

    1. Job hunting—with or without a global pandemic—can be daunting, stressful, and time-consuming. Now more than ever, it is essential to prepare and give yourself adequate time to be “on the market.”
    2. Be patient and keep applying to the jobs that interest you. Companies are hiring, albeit sometimes at a slower pace.
    3. Good candidates sometimes do not get positions due to factors outside of their control. However, it is important to keep in mind that companies are always looking for different skill sets, and not getting a position does not imply that you are not a good candidate.
    4. Don’t get discouraged if the recruitment process is taking a long time, or if you’re not hearing back from recruiters as you would have hoped. We struggled with this throughout our job hunt, often failing to recognize the context of the work environment we are now living in. This last year significantly impacted businesses, forcing many to enforce temporary hiring freezes, layoffs, reductions in force, and permanent closures. Not surprisingly, companies have had to adapt to these changes, often slowing the efficiency in which their hiring processes can function. As a result, the job search can sometimes take longer than you expect, but keep persisting and remain positive as you communicate with recruiters. If timing is a concern for you, don’t be afraid to ask! Often, recruiters will be straightforward about their hiring timelines.

    Tailor Your Job Search for You

    1. Just as an employer wants to find the right fit for the job, you should also take time to tailor your resume to the specific job you are interested in. It can be tempting to apply to any and all jobs, as the market has felt uncertain, but it will be more beneficial for you to find a company that values its employees and a role that motivates and excites you.
    2. Use the company’s response to this pandemic as insight into their processes, functions, and even their culture. For example, was it a smooth transition to work-from-home? What technology platforms does the company utilize? What does the company do to keep employees feeling engaged and like a team? How does the company support its employees?

    Prepare Yourself for the Virtual Interview Process

    1. The nature of interviewing has dramatically changed. We had all our interviews virtually, utilizing various platforms and formats (e.g., phone calls, Teams, Zoom, WebEx). Virtual interviews can create barriers to our typical social interactions. Unlike an in-person interview, you are unable to sense body language, and it can feel intimidating to be on camera. Especially in the case of phone interviews, you are also hindered from seeing the recruiter’s facial reactions and nonverbal communication (e.g., head nods). No matter what the interview platform may be during your job hunt, try your best to go into them with a positive mindset and tone of voice.
    2. Even though you may not be in the same room with the recruiter, pretend you are. Dress up as you would in an in-person interview. Focus on speaking at a good pace, and loud enough to be heard through a microphone. It is important that you sound positive and confident. If you are on video, focus on the nonverbal cues in your face, especially eye contact.
    3. Always test out the platform you will be interviewed on. Prior to your interview, make sure that it is downloaded and installed. Companies will likely offer you assistance with this. For example, we were able to log in early with members of HR teams to test the connections and interface. Additionally, check that your camera and audio work, that you are in a location that is quiet, has strong internet connection, has good lighting, and does not have a lot of background noise/distraction.

    Utilize Your Online Professional Networks

    1. We often utilized LinkedIn and other professional job sites in our searches. These networks can highlight virtual job fairs, conferences, and professional development events in your area, all offering incredible opportunities for personal growth and networking—even if the environment is virtual. Virtual events also make it easier to foster connections with professionals from all over the country.

    In addition to tips for job hunting in this new environment, we wanted to highlight some ways in which individuals starting out in their new position can better acclimate to their new organization and working life. Our careers at DCI are our first full-time positions related to our Industrial and Organizational Psychology degrees, and we would recommend the following tips for adjusting to the next phase of your career.

    Tips for Starting Your New Job and Onboarding into a Fully-Virtual Position

    1. If working from home, try to set up a dedicated workspace separate from where you sleep, eat, or relax—of course, space permitting. This can help to draw the line between your work and home life, which can often get blurred when working from home. Additionally, make sure you have the tools and technology that you need to complete your work efficiently and productively. Your company should provide you with the tools you will need for remote work, so be sure to communicate with them on this. Last, make sure your internet connection is strong enough to accommodate your work. Some individuals may enjoy utilizing shared workspaces. If you wish to go this route, make sure the area is generally quiet and that you have the ability to keep your work confidential.
    2. Suggest bonding activities with your new team. This can include virtual happy hours, trivia, or even something as simple as quick, one-on-one meetings designed to get to know your coworkers better.
    3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! New employees may hesitate to reach out for help out of intimidation, or even fear of coming across as incompetent, upon starting their new position. Asking questions, however, is one of the best ways to not only ensure you understand the tasks assigned, but also to show your teammates that you are committed to learning and growing as a professional within the company.


  • 08/25/2021 9:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello PTCMW Members and Friends! I hope everyone has had a great Summer so far. I wanted to share a few updates on the PTCMW operations.

    Monthly Educational Sessions

    Earlier this month we had Dan Putka and Martin Yu from HumRRO present on the research HumRRO has conducted over the past few years that explored leveraging natural language processing (NLP) in fun and interesting ways to address measurement development related challenges. Namely, streamlining item development processes and forecasting how items may perform in the absence of pilot/field test data. It was a very successful event and networking session with over 50 in attendance.

    Then this week we will have a panel and workshop on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) in Organizations: Moving from Reactivity to Proactive Strategy. This will occur this Wednesday, August 25th starting at 4pm EDT. This workshop will be focused on the current state and future directions in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. And specifically examine how we move from a reactive state to build a more proactive, forward-looking DEIB strategy. Sertrice Grice (Consulting Officer & Co-Founder of Mattingly Solutions); Caren Young (President at The Professional Adult); Mahesh Subramony (Professor of Management at Northern Illinois University); and Keli Wilson (Senior Manager of EEO Compliance and Diversity, Principal Consultant at DCI) will serve as expert panelists. And Ruth Imrose (Research Science Specialist at McKinsey & Company) and Shannon Cheng (Research and Knowledge Fellow at McKinsey & Company) will serve as workshop facilitators.

    And in September we will have a presentation from Anne Scaduto (Senior Manager, Talent Assessment at Capital One) and Ann Kwak (Talent Assessment, People Strategy and Analytics at Capital One) on Burnout. The date and time for the September monthly event is still TBD, but specific sign-up details will be sent out in early September.

    Just a reminder that members can access the recordings of any of our 2021 (and earlier) sessions in our webinar library.

    PTCMW is continuing to provide members and non-members the option of attending our monthly programs without being charged the normal fee – in light of COVID-19.  To attend the session without charge, simply email the secretary (secretary.ptcmw@gmail.com) to receive a code for registration.

    Blog and Resource Sharing

    Yesenia Avila and her team continue to be busy implementing the blog/resource sharing strategy. In early July we posted a blog by Matisha Montgomery on how we need to do a better job of collecting and examining data to ensure equity outcomes can be accurately evaluated. Members can access this blog at The Point.

    And then in late July we posted a blog by Don Lustenberger examining office ergonomics for the post-COVID-19 world.

    We are planning to continue to post at least 1-2 blogs per month. So, if you are interested in generating a blog please let us know! And if you have resources you think would be useful for the PTCMW membership, please let us know that as well. You can reach out to Yesenia (blog@ptcmw.orgor me directly (president@ptcmw.org).

    2021 Bemis Award Announcement

    We want to congratulate Dr. Nancy Tippins who is this year’s Stephen E. Bemis award winner. Nancy was co-nominated by both PTCMW and IPAC and the award was announced at the 2021 IPAC Conference in July. For awareness, the Stephen E. Bemis award is presented to an individual in our profession who is:

    • An accomplished personnel measurement practitioner, recognized for their ongoing commitment to the principles of merit and fairness;
    • A professional who has made an impact in the field by their practical contribution(s) that have either resulted in an improved or new procedure; and
    • A concerned individual who is recognized for their commitment to assisting, being available, and freely calling on fellow practitioners.

    Congratulations to Nancy, as she is a well-deserved recipient of this award!

    Graduate Student Consulting Challenge

    The 2021 Graduate Student Consulting Challenge (being held virtually) will be occurring October 15th-18th. FMP Consulting has agreed to sponsor the event this year. Similar to years past, there will be five teams of 6 members (students) participating. And the registration fee will be $15. A call for student participants will be occurring in September, so be on the lookout for more information soon!

    PTCMW Board Member Spotlight – Marni Falcone – PTCMW President-Elect

    I am currently a Managing Consultant at FMP Consulting (www.fmpconsulting.com). I received my MA in I/O from George Mason University in 2008 and started my career at Fields Consulting Group developing assessment centers for public safety organizations (police, fire, and corrections) both locally and at various larger jurisdictions across the country. Fields provided me with the opportunity to directly apply my studies in a real-world setting, which is where I fell in love with the “I” side of I/O. In 2012, I moved over to FMP Consulting to gain broader human capital experience. Since working at FMP, I have led many of our larger scale competency development and implementation work to include competency model development, gap assessment/analysis, career pathing, selection and assessment, and strategic training needs analysis. I also lead some of FMP’s projects related to employee engagement, program evaluation, strategic planning, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. I support a wide variety of clients across the federal government to include the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as some state and local clients.

    Outside of FMP, I am active in presenting at conferences (IPAC, SIOP, and SHRM) and lead some of FMP’s thought leadership activities relating to competency development and strategic implementation. I live in Alexandria with my husband and two young boys. With what little free time I have, I enjoy taking a Barre3 class, cooking, and spending quality time with friends and family.

    Get Involved with PTCMW – Volunteer Opportunities

    If you are looking to get involved with PTCMW, we still have many volunteer positions available. Please reach out and let us know if you are interested. You can email us at president@ptcmw.org or  secretary.ptcmw@gmail.com!

    We look forward to continuing our efforts to connect, share, and grow with you.

    Thank you,

    Rob Calderón, PTCMW President

    president@ptcmw.org

  • 08/18/2021 4:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Please see the attached document for the latest update on PTCMW's Budget: 2020-2021 Budget Report.pdf

    Comments or Questions?

    Please feel free to email me (at treasurer.ptcmw@gmail.com) or comment below with any budget comments, questions, suggestions, etc.

    Thank you!

    Richard Evitts
    PTCMW Treasurer

  • 07/30/2021 3:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Office Ergonomics for Your Post-COVID-19 World

    Author: Don Lustenberger

    Amidst the abrupt closures of offices last year, many of us found ourselves working from home on a newly fulltime basis. For some of us, this was an abrupt change that had us hastily carving out a space in a guest bedroom, at the kitchen counter, or perhaps on the family-room couch to use as a makeshift office (one of a litany of changes we had to make to adapt to living through a pandemic). We needed somewhere just to place our laptops and set to work; comfort, ergonomics, and our physical well-being associated with our workspace might not have been a priority at the time.

    As restrictions are lifted, organizations are beginning to consider whether and when to reopen their offices. So, we may be reacquainting ourselves with our old commutes or perhaps learning that telework will be a more permanent fixture in our lives. Regardless of your situation—whether you are a work-from-home veteran with a deluxe home-office setup prior to the pandemic, you are returning to the office for the first time in a while, or you’re looking to make upgrades to a makeshift home-office workspace—chances are you could stand to benefit from making at least one change to your physical workstation or your behavior while at your desk, wherever it may be.

    Assess and Optimize Your Workstation Layout and Equipment

    There are many details to consider when setting up a computer workspace. For instance, the Mayo Clinic, the National Institutes of Health, and the New York Times offer guidance on specifics such as desk and chair height; the positioning of monitors, keyboards, and mice; and proper lightning. Optimizing your workstation for better posture and comfort involves assessing your workspace against such standards, noting any problem areas, and then addressing them.

    Some fixes may be quick and inexpensive, involving only minor adjustments to the furniture and equipment you already own (e.g., raising or lowering your chair, moving your monitors closer or further away from you). Other fixes may necessitate purchasing new furniture or equipment (e.g., a footrest, an adjustable-height desk, stands or support arms for monitors or laptops).

    There are several manufacturers of “ergonomic” desks, mice, keyboards, etc., so it’s a good idea to do some research before investing in new equipment. If you are looking to address a specific physical health issue (e.g., back pain, vision problems, headaches), do consider consulting a medical professional before investing in new equipment or making drastic changes to your office setup.

    Consider Some Behavioral Changes

    Although it’s essential to have a properly configured workstation, it’s also important to consider your behavior while working contributes to your overall comfort and physical health.  By now, most of us understand that sitting at a desk for extended periods of time can be problematic. One solution to this problem is to change positions frequently. Standing or walking around for a few minutes every hour, alternating between sitting and standing with a convertible desk, or incorporating a stretching routine throughout your day are a few ways to keep moving and avoid sitting for hours on end.

    Changing your behavior can also involve doing things to reduce eyestrain associated with staring at a digital screen for hours on end, which for many of us is a large part of our jobs. The American Academy of Ophthalmology, for example, recommends (among several things) following the “20-20-20” rule to give our eyes a break: every 20 minutes, looking at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Using a humidifier, blinking, and wearing computer glasses are among some of their other suggestions.

    For some, the most difficult part about making behavioral changes, aside from summoning the motivation to make a change to begin with, is sticking with the change. Fortunately, we live in an age where there are countless apps and browser extensions that can remind you do to these things—and reinforce your good behavior—over the course of the day (some examples here and here). Whether you are looking to return to your office or start teleworking more, I encourage you to consider what changes you can make to your equipment, layout, or behavior for the better.

  • 07/09/2021 10:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Equity Through Data?

    Author: Matisha Montgomery

    Equity is promoting justice, impartiality, and fairness within the procedures, processes, and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.1

    We’ve all had a front row seat while numerous events in the last two years have underscored the long-standing systemic inequities that exist in the United States and abroad. Underrepresented populations continue to face disparities in all systems including healthcare, criminal justice, education, and economy. Addressing these disparities requires an understanding of the deeply rooted causes, and my hope is that data can serve as the impartial key to unlocking this understanding. In the Federal Government, we seek to leverage data to analyze, model, and objectively measure equity outcomes in programs and policy decisions. However, challenges exist in the data.

    Missing: Challenges with Data Collection and Management2

    Data is frequently not collected at the level of detail necessary to evaluate equity outcomes. The collection and disaggregation of data relating to underserved communities (e.g., race, ethnicity, sex, disability status, gender identity, and sexual orientation) are inconsistent or missing altogether. The lack of consistency exists because this data is either not collected, is unreliable (voluntary but not verified), or is incomplete. When missing data pertains to underserved groups, the needs of those groups remain unaddressed. Illustrations of the lack of sub-categorical, detailed data collection in workforce demographic data are routinely uncovered. Systems of record across the Federal Government are not configured to collect data beyond sex (male/female) completely removing an agency’s ability represent whole sections of the population. Moreover, systems have default settings to report male for sex and white for race rather than leave the fields blank thereby artificially enhancing the majority. 

    Hidden: Challenges with Privacy

    The sharing, retention, and use of personally identifiable information (PII) across government programs, even when data collection reaches sufficient levels of granularity, is generally limited and strictly regulated, which creates challenges with data merging, management, and analysis. Data in the Federal Government is understandably safeguarded to protect individual privacy and ensure the data is not appropriated for unauthorized uses. Often these safety measures are imposed through statute but more often it is a result of internal agency or office policy driving the limitation. In an effort to protect data privacy and restrict use, agencies have instead generated stovepipes effectively limiting the data’s usage to only it’s intended purpose rather than allowing the data to be combined with other datasets to reveal meaningful analysis.

    Executive Order on Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Government3

    The current Administration is countering systemic inequity by ensuring all policies include principles and approaches that remedy inequities and promote equitable outcomes and that the Federal Government’s workforce will reflect the people it serves. The June 25, 2021 Executive Order on Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Government requires agencies to improve how demographic data is collected on Federal employees to drive data-driven and evidence-based approaches for reducing barriers in hiring, promotions, professional development, and retention practices.

    But the Executive Order gives me “hope heartburn.” The Order offers a positive path forward (hope) but doesn’t necessarily acknowledge the hard work it will require to implement (heartburn). To fully support the Executive Order, the Federal Government needs human capital data standards preferably established through a DEIA lens. The Office of Personnel Management, Office of Management and Budget, the Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) and Chief Data Officer (CDO) Councils must work in close partnership for a whole of government approach and coordinate with the private sector and non-governmental organizations to model best practices. Consistency in data practices, structures, and standards established through collaboration would enable broader scaling and application. Collaboration across organizational lines could lead to sharing of data to draw deeper meaning and conclusions and uncover best practices.

    Addressing systemic inequities in policies and programs is aspirational. The goal looks achievable if we use data to drive equitable outcomes. Further, the Executive Order provides an opportunity for collaboration in the collection, analysis, and sharing of data. Improved quantitative data, assessed with qualitative data obtained in consultation with stakeholders who have lived experiences, moves us much closer to understanding and addressing equity in the Federal workplace. A la Alexis Rose4, I love that journey for us!


    (1) https://dei.extension.org/

    (2) https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-21-67

    (3) Executive Order 14035. (2021, June 25). “Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce,” The White House. Available: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/06/25/executive-order-on-diversity-equity-inclusion-and-accessibility-in-the-federal-workforce/   

    (4) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_Rose

  • 07/01/2021 10:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello PTCMW Members and Friends! I hope everyone is having a great Summer so far. I wanted to share a few updates on the PTCMW operations.

    Monthly Educational Sessions

    In May we had Scott Davies, Jim Austin and Mike Zickar present on potential versus fit in predicting success in jobs and career paths. They shared specific examples of how they have used fit to predict factors such as attrition, safety, and job performance. It was a very successful event and networking session with over 30 in attendance.

    Earlier this month we had Sonya Stokes from Aon’s Assessment Solution discuss the trends that she and her colleagues are currenting seeing in selection and assessment. She shared insights from case studies from current clients and from Aon’s Global HR Pulse Survey. She also discussed how the past year has shaped selection and is likely to have a continued impact moving forward. Members can access the recordings of the May or June sessions in our webinar library.

    Given the IPAC annual conference happening in July, we will be having our “July” event in early August. Specifically, HumRRO’s Dan Putka and Martin Yu will be presenting on some of HumRRO’s automated item generation (AIG) efforts on August 3rd from 5-7 EDT. Specific sign-up details will be sent out in late July.

    Then in late August we are planning to conduct a workshop focused on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. This will be a virtual workshop and the date and time is still TBD. But the format is expected to be an expert panel with a Q&A session, followed by a live interactive experience.

    PTCMW is continuing to provide members and non-members the option of attending our monthly programs without being charged the normal fee – in light of COVID-19.  To attend the session without charge, simply email the secretary (secretary.ptcmw@gmail.com) to receive a code for registration.

    Blog and Resource Sharing

    Yesenia Avila and her team have been busy implementing the blog/resource sharing strategy I mentioned in my last message. In June we posted a blog by Charlene Zhang, Martin Yu and Arielle Rogers on Tips for the Job Search for I/O psychologists entering the workforce. Members can access this blog at The Point.

    We also just posted a blog by Scott Davies following his May event on how there is still much work to be done on improving diversity, equity and inclusion in organizations for the good of people, businesses and the communities they serve.

    We are planning to continue to post at least 1-2 blogs per month. So, if you are interested in generating a blog please let us know! And if you have resources you think would be useful for the PTCMW membership, please let us know that as well. You can reach out to Yesenia (comm.ptcmw@gmail.com) or me directly (president@ptcmw.org).

    Mentorship Program

    Our 2021 PTCMW Mentorship Program kicked off earlier this month. We have 25 mentees and approximately 20 mentors participating in the program and it is scheduled to run through November. If you missed out this time but are interested in participating in our next session, please be on the lookout for more information in late 2021/early 2022.

    IPAC Updates

    The 2021 IPAC Annual Conference will be presented virtually from July 26-28. You can register here for the conference. The conference schedule is also available to see all of sessions and events taking place at this year’s conference.

    IPAC is accepting nominations for the 2021 Innovations in Assessment Award through July 9, 2021! This award recognizes a person or team for the development and application of an innovative personnel assessment tool or procedure which resulted in improved effectiveness, efficiencies, or cost savings. Visit the IPAC website (here) to access additional award details and to submit a nomination form.


    PTCMW Board Member Spotlight

    Thank you to everyone who participated in the PTCMW Member Survey. We are still analyzing the data and will then determine what specific areas we want to focus on for improvement or expansion. However, one request that was made via the survey was to include a brief bio about PTCMW board members in the monthly messages. So, I have decided to go first, and we will then incorporate bios for other board members in the future months.

    Rob Calderón – PTCMW President

    I am currently a Principal I/O Researcher at the American Institutes for research (AIR; www.air.org). I actually began my career at AIR in 1997 just after I received my Ph.D. in I/O Psychology from THE Ohio State University and then continued at AIR until 2003. I then worked for Caliber/ICF, SRA/GDIT, and FMP Consulting before returning to AIR in late 2019. Most of my work over the past 20+ years has focused on job analysis and competency modeling focused on identifying skill/competency gaps (and learning and development strategies to address these gaps) as well as developing assessment/selection tools to assist in the hiring process. I have primarily supported a wide variety of federal clients, but have also done work with commercial, state, and local clients.

    Outside of AIR, I am fairly active in presenting at conferences as well as leading/assisting in other thought leadership efforts. And I was also an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University early in my career where I co-taught a Master’s-level research methods course for a decade. I live in northern VA with my family and in my free time I enjoy heading to the beach, working out, attending cheer/gymnastics competitions for my daughter and rooting for the Capitals, Nationals, and Green Bay Packers (my original hometown!).

    Get Involved with PTCMW – Volunteer Opportunities

    If you are looking to get involved with PTCMW, we still have many volunteer positions available. Please reach out and let us know if you are interested. You can email us at president@ptcmw.org or  secretary.ptcmw@gmail.com!

    We look forward to continuing our efforts to connect, share, and grow with you.

    Thank you,

    Rob Calderón, PTCMW President

    president@ptcmw.org


  • 06/28/2021 5:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Author: Scott Davies

    Friends, colleagues, and fellow professionals, I was honored when asked to write a blog for PTCMW that followed my May 2021 meeting presentation about Job Fit and Job Potential with Drs. Austin and Zickar.  These are critical topics of great importance to our research and applied work, and I set about writing this follow-up blog to emphasize the points made in our webinar.  


    Then I began getting feedback on the May meeting webinar; feedback that was positive regarding our work on the main topics of the presentation (i.e., job fit and potential), but mostly focused on my opening statements about how it is our duty - a social imperative as IO psychologists, HR professionals, and psychometricians - to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in organizations for the good of people, businesses, and the communities they serve.  Those who provided feedback emphasized that the most important message within our presentation was not about the more narrowly defined topics from our presentation title, it was about how there is a great and pressing need and opportunity for us all to pitch in and help with recovery from the catastrophes of social injustice that were clearly brought into focus by the COVID19 pandemic.  

     

    The Challenge

    The challenge for our field to provide useful assistance in solving the current issues is that we are a scientific, data driven, quantitative discipline - that is why our audiences trust what we provide - but the issues of fairness, diversity, and inclusion are more than the numbers, rules, and laws that we tend to rely upon for guidance and evaluation. Not that numbers, rules, and laws are bad, but we must be willing to look beyond these to the zeitgeist of the issues. For most of us, therein lies the difficult part of providing assistance to current social issues, and I believe that is why we have struggled with changing DEI for most of our 125 year history as a discipline.

     

    Focusing on numbers, rules and laws often gives us escape routes from doing what is “right” in the larger sense of the word. For example, the 4/5th’s rule is a standard that can be achieved without meaningfully improving diversity and/or inclusion. If this were not true, I would have no reason to write this blog – the 4/5th’s rule has been followed by most employers for over 40 years and if it worked as intended, there would not be a problem with DEI in this country. Likewise, correcting significant levels of Differential Item Functioning (DIF) can be avoided without actually using fair and unbiased items – if and when the user decides that they are not interested in avoiding DIF, but basically hiding it behind complex scoring and scaling algorithms. In other words, for every rule that is given, there are multiple paths around actually meeting the spirit in which that rule was written. 

     

    If we allow ourselves to go there, we see this every day in (nearly?) all of the organizations with which we do business. When was the last time that you did business with a firm of any sort, viewed their marketing, or read about their financial or other outcomes, and felt positive that they were honestly improving DEI? Do we see any organizations making decisions at individual, group, and organizational levels that are actually fair and considerate to their diversity of members and stakeholders? 

     

    One Solution

    According to Sarah Todd in a 2020 Quartz article presenting results from the Center for Talent Innovation, the majority of white, straight, cisgender men with white-collar jobs in the US who participated in their survey say they care about DEI, but lack the time to do anything about it.  To members of this majority group who have no time for DEI, but still hold most of the decision making power in US businesses and communities, I propose:

     

    1. Improving diversity, inclusion, fairness, and equity is as practical of a matter, and as core to your business, as is improving execution and target financial outcomes.

    2. DEI does not take extra time and effort for employees/leaders if built into the talent management, career pathing, and HR technology infrastructure.

    3. Achieving points 1 and 2 is made possible through the use of modern, research-based talent management / talent marketplace systems designed to involve diverse subject matter experts, provide fair and unbiased psychometric measures, and align talent functions to predictive models that guide evaluation and continuous improvement of DEI from entry level through the C-suite while improving business execution and outcomes, without devoting additional time and resources above those typically required by talent solutions.

     

    Issue of Job Fit and Job Potential

    At a fairly micro level - which is often where we find ourselves focusing - job fit and job potential, the differences between them, how they are measured, predicted, utilized and evaluated, are important.  We have found that potential is a more robust lever to changing long-term DEI than is job fit.  Measuring and predicting job fit tends to be a way to perpetuate status quo, while measuring and predicting job potential allows for change, but certainly doesn’t ensure change any more than will another 4/5th’s rule or new approach to DIF. My point here is that as psychologists, we need to be cautious, because we can easily fool our audiences into believing we have uncovered a silver bullet for improving DEI when what we have actually done is a relabeling task.

     

    As IO psychologists and HR professionals, we are in the unique position of helping fix the wrongs of the past several hundred years regarding DEI.  We have the knowledge, power, and audiences necessary to cause positive changes for people, businesses, and communities. I hope this post helps inspire those within our ranks to either lead, follow, or get out of the way of these changes for good at this time in which they are possible.   

     

    Dr. Scott Davies is CEO of PointLeader Predictive Analytics, Inc., and architect/Chief Scientist behind the PointLeader Talent Management System, which is used by many organizations across industries to increase DEI and improve business execution and outcomes, without devoting additional time and resources. Connect with Scott on LinkedIn and learn more about his work at pointleader.us.

  • 06/09/2021 3:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    You’re Almost There: Tips for the Job Search

    Authors: Charlene Zhang, Martin Yu, Arielle Rogers

    What do you want to be when you grow up? Did you always want to be an I/O psychologist? Or did you originally want to be an astronaut and recently decide that I/O psychology was more interesting? Whatever your story is, the job search is a common struggle that brings us all together.

    The transition from being a student to a member of the workforce is never easy. A large part of the preparation for this role shift surrounds the job search process. We provide a number of tips from experience that might help you navigate the process.

    1.    Have a clear understanding of your strengths as a potential new hire.

    Just because your expertise is in bricklaying doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to jobs for laying bricks. Your strengths are transferable, and stones, rocks, and even eggs need to be laid too.

    Your strengths could be substantive I/O topics that you have focused on in your graduate school career. For example, if your main area of research is leadership competency, you may be a great fit for a role that specializes in leadership assessment. However, a lot of us studied hyper-specific constructs or methods that may not be directly relevant or applicable to many jobs. That is okay! Instead, you can think about skillsets or experiences that might set you apart. Have you logged a lot of hours conducting subject matter expert workshops? Do you pride yourself on your presentation and communication skills? Are you used to working with large and messy datasets? Do you have expertise in big data methods like machine learning and natural language processing? Any of these can be capitalized as your primary strength as you enter the job market.

    2.    Be explicit about what you are looking for but keep your options open.

    Maybe your dream job isn’t hiring at the moment. It isn’t every day that a company hires an I/O psychologist astronaut for their lunar office.

    It is natural to start the job hunting process having an idea of your dream job, whether it be the industry (e.g., internal vs. external), the nature of the role (e.g., client-facing vs. product development), or even specific companies. Although it makes sense to focus the majority of your energy on pursuing the role you have in mind, do not completely close the door to other opportunities. Sometimes just an interview can open your eyes to a corner of the industry or pique your interest in work that you were not aware of before.

    3.    Make networking fun.

    Your network and support group should be able to provide more personal advice than three strangers on the internet can provide. If you can dream just send a wish out, and when you need them, they’ll be there!

    The importance of networking is reiterated on any list of job search-related tips. However, networking does not have to equate to the intimidating image of walking into a room full of professionally dressed strangers and trying to infiltrate the circle. It can be joining a mentorship program like the one organized by PTCMW that pairs you up with someone who has knowledge or experience that could be informative to you. It can also be reaching out to your own network and getting back in touch with old classmates, internship managers, connections of friends, etc. It is also important to remember that networking is ultimately about building relationships. That means that those difficult and awkward inquiries about job openings or requests of a referral will come much more easily and naturally once a relationship has been established. Be curious and show genuine interest in others’ work and experiences.

    4.    Set yourself up for success early.

    Stick your foot into as many doors as you can. If you stub your toe, take it as a learning experience and try a different door.

    For those who are still a year or two away from going on the job market, it might not be too early to start thinking about your career goals. It is not uncommon for companies to hire recent interns for full-time roles, so the last internship as a graduate student could be instrumental in shaping your career. Whereas you might be trying different things and getting to know the different facets of I/O with your earlier internships, you might decide to treat the choices of your later internships more similarly to your eventual job-hunting process. If the option is available, try to land a role that you could see as your first job and use it both to assess the fit between your skills and interests and what the role has to offer, as well as an opportunity for you to demonstrate your capabilities to the company. A great performance as an intern could be your foot in the door.

    5.    Do not take rejections personally.

    If it’s been a year and a company still hasn’t responded to your application, it doesn’t always mean you have been rejected. Maybe they just lost the password to their email account.

    This is undoubtedly easier said than done, but it is important to keep in mind that a number of factors that are outside of your control impact whether you receive an interview or an offer. Sometimes rejections speak more to the fit between your particular skillset and the role being filled rather than your overall competitiveness as a candidate. Sometimes companies can modify the job description due to internal considerations that make you no longer qualified. Rejections or not hearing back from organizations can be disappointing, but just remember that it often is not you.

    The job search can be a stressful time, but it is also a celebration of all your accomplishments to date. Take it as an opportunity to show off who you are and to reinforce the skills that you have developed. Once you have received that first job offer, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you are successful.

    Ready to Start Your Search? Below are a few helpful sites that list openings for applied and academic I/O psychology jobs and internships:


  • 04/27/2021 10:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello PTCMW Members and Friends! I hope everyone is having a great Spring so far. I wanted to share a few updates on the PTCMW operations.

    Monthly Educational Sessions

    In March we had BetterUp’s Evan Sinar, Shonna Waters, Erin Eatough, and Ali O’Malley discuss what has been learned from coaching data in the time of COVID, civil unrest, and coping. It was a very successful event and networking session with over 50 in attendance. Members can access the recording of the session in our webinar library.

    Our April event is in just a few days on April 28th from 5-6pm EDT. This will be a post-SIOP networking and meet-up event. The event is FREE but please sign up online to attend so we can have an accurate headcount. We will leverage Zoom breakout rooms to discuss our favorite SIOP Top Workplace Trends and/or other interesting learnings from the annual conference.

    In May, Scott Davies, Jim Austin and Mike Zickar will be presenting on job fit. The exact date for this event is still to be determined but registration information will be sent out by mid-May.

    PTCMW is continuing to provide members the option of attending our monthly programs without being charged the normal fee – in light of COVID-19.  To attend the session without charge, simply email the secretary (secretary.ptcmw@gmail.com) to receive a code for registration.

    Mentorship Program

    Thank you to all of the 2020-21 PTCMW mentors/mentees who responded to feedback survey last month. We are using this information to continue to improve and provide a great experience for all participants. And we are currently planning the next PTCMW Mentorship Program which run from June through November of this year. More details for this next mentoring session will be coming soon.

    PTCMW Member Survey

    Thank you to everyone who has already provided feedback via the PTCMW Member Survey. So far, we have just over 50 responses. We plan to leave the survey open a little longer through May 2nd, 2021. We will then begin analyzing the data and determine what specific areas we want to focus on for improvement or expansion. If you have not already completed the survey you can access it here: https://forms.gle/JEDjky2ax1VJCRLm9

    Blog and Resource Sharing

    If you have resources you think would be useful for the PTCMW membership, please let us know!  Additionally, we are always looking for blog content. Yesenia Avila and others have been working hard on a blog/resource sharing strategy and plan to begin posting content soon. If you are interested in participating, you can reach out to Yesenia (comm.ptcmw@gmail.com) or me directly (president@ptcmw.org).

    Get Involved with PTCMW – Volunteer Opportunities

    If you are looking to get involved with PTCMW, we still have many volunteer positions available. Please reach out and let us know if you are interested. You can email us at president@ptcmw.org or  secretary.ptcmw@gmail.com!

    We look forward to continuing our efforts to connect, share, and grow with you.

    Thank you,

    Rob Calderón, PTCMW President

    president@ptcmw.org


  • 03/02/2021 8:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello PTCMW Members and Friends! It is time for my first monthly update on the PTCMW operations.

    Monthly Educational Sessions

    We held our February virtual panel career discussion that focused on offering career advice to students and early career professionals. We want to thank the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) I/O Psychology Graduate Program and Blacks in I/O Psychology for co-sponsoring the event; as well as our panel members Nchopia Nwokoma (O.C. Tanner), Nastasia Fong (IREX), Pat Curtin (NSF), and Jay Goodwin (ARI). With nearly 100 people in attendance, it was a tremendous success! Members can access the recording of the session in our webinar library.

    Our next monthly presentation will be on Wednesday, March 24th. Evan Sinar, Erin Eatough, Ali O'Malley & Shonna Waters from BetterUp will present research from the world’s largest database of coaching outcomes, including trends on member well-being across hundreds of thousands of coaching sessions with workers since mid-March of 2020. Registration will open soon.

    PTCMW is continuing to provide members and non-members the option of attending our monthly programs without being charged the normal fee – in light of COVID-19.  To attend the session without charge, simply email the secretary (secretary.ptcmw@gmail.com) to receive a code for registration.

    Mentorship Program

    The PTCMW 2020-21 Mentorship Program is wrapping up this month. We will be gathering feedback from the mentors and mentees who participated in the program to help us continue to improve and provide a great experience for all participants. And we are already planning for the next cycle which will be kicking off later this year.

    SIOP Conference Updates

    The 36th Annual SIOP Conference will be all virtual this year, beginning in mid-March and extending through early May. Events such as the Master’s Consortium, Doctoral Consortium, Early Career Faculty Consortium, and Preconference Workshops will begin in mid-March and the fact that all of these events are 100% virtual this year will allow SIOP to support and engage more members from a wider array of locations. The asynchronous and synchronous sessions will then begin in April with the asynchronous sessions being available through early-May. Registration for both the SIOP conference and the pre-conference workshops is now open https://www.siop.org/Annual-Conference

    Blog and Resource Sharing

    If you have resources you think would be useful for the PTCMW membership, please let us know!  Additionally, we are always looking for blog content. If you are interested in participating, you can reach out to me directly (president.ptcmw@gmail.com).

    Get Involved with PTCMW – Volunteer Opportunities

    If you are looking to get involved with PTCMW, we have many volunteer positions available – including:

    • Technology Support: This focuses on managing any virtual event – from managing registrations and communications to overseeing the technology aspects of the live events.
    • Monthly Session Planning: This focuses on identifying topics and speakers and coordinating upcoming events.
    • Graduate Student Consulting Challenge Support: This focuses on planning and coordinating the event this year, as well as kickstarting planning for next year.
    • Blog Support: This focuses on identifying content and contributors for the blog; we are always on the lookout for additional items that will be exciting and useful to our membership.
    • Community Organization Liaison Support: This focuses on growing PTCMWs connection with and support of other sister IO organizations in the DMV area.
    • Graduate Student Liaison Support: This focuses on maintaining and expanding our connections with local graduate student programs.

    Please reach out and let us know if you are interested. You can email us at secretary.ptcmw@gmail.com or president.ptcmw@gmail.com!

    PTCMW Member Survey – Coming Soon!

    We will be distributing a survey soon to PTCMW members to gather input on their PTCMW experience. We will be asking about the value our members are getting from PTCMW as well as potential areas for improvement or expansion. So please provide your input once you receive the survey.

    We look forward to continuing our efforts to connect, share, and grow with you.

    Thank you,

    Rob Calderón, PTCMW President

    president.ptcmw@gmail.com


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