SELECT PERSPECTIVES BLOG

Sound Selection - So Easy a Fifth Grader Can Do It

Posted by  Ted Kinney, Ph.D.

I was recently invited to present about a ‘career as a psychologist’ to a group of fifth grades at a local elementary school.  Not surprising, I was not in the top ten careers chosen by students who rank ordered a list of careers among the 19 career day speakers.  The top prize went to the pizza maker and the landscaper at the local theme park.  Still, my sessions were full and I feel the students learned a little bit about psychology in general, and I/O psychology in particular.

It was interesting discussing with a group of fifth graders the concepts that I so often discuss with clients.  Sound selection concepts are ‘so easy a fifth grader can do it’, but often are not considered by us as ‘seasoned professionals.’  In this group, we discussed topics such as selection ratio, job relatedness, and the concept of past behavior being the most predictive indicator of future performance (not in those terms; rather, this topic was couched in a discussion of what we expected to see in the upcoming Super Bowl).  The group was engaged and clearly understood these concepts.

I think the most fascinating aspect of the talk were the questions that the group asked.  One student asked, “How do you know if someone is going to do well in their job before you even meet them?”  In response, we discussed the power of a good assessment program.  Another student asked, “Could you figure out who is the best teacher in the school?”  Then we discussed performance appraisal and 360-degree feedback programs.  It was a fun and rewarding experience, however, I must admit I did question whether or not I was getting through when, at the end of the session, I was asked “Do you need to wear eye protection at your workplace?”

Tags:   future performance, selection ratio, 360-degree feedback, I/O Psychology

Ted Kinney, Ph.D.

Ted is the Director of Research and Development for Select International. An Industrial/Organizational psychologist, Dr. Kinney leads a team of selection experts and developers in the creation and on-going research into the most efficient and effective selection methodologies and tools. He is a trusted advisor to many international companies across all industries. He has particular expertise in behavioral interviewing, turnover reduction, effective selection strategy, and executive assessment.

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