April 25, 2016

Takeaways From SIOP 2016: Using Social Media for Selection and I/O Improv

I recently returned from a whirlwind trip to the 31st Annual Conference for the Society for Industrial / Organizational Psychology (SIOP) in Anaheim, CA.  After catching an Uber from LAX late Thursday night (even though the conference started on Wednesday…that’s on me!), I was treated to the delight of running into old friends and colleagues.  I always look forward to telling old war stories, and getting caught up with people whose careers I’ve only been tracking via LinkedIn updates over the years.

Speaking of social media, buzz abounded about a test vendor starting a project designed to see the extent to which social media activity and email accounts can serve as proxies for personality measurement.  I think that is an interesting area of research, but color me skeptical that job applicants will be willing to allow companies to “scrape” their gmail accounts or Facebook profiles.  I suppose a public profile is fair game, but I think people will see a difference between Google using your gmail inbox to target an ad, and telling a stranger a judgment about your personality, then determining whether or not you’re a fit for a job. 

In the afternoon I participated in a panel, that focused on how external I/O consultants and internal I/O clients can work better with one another.  The word, panel, in the previous sentence is used with heavy sarcasm, as our session was nothing of the sort.  Instead of a group of people sitting behind microphones answering questions one after another, we engaged in role playing, improv, and dropped Office Space references most of the students in the audience did not catch, but we sure thought were funny.

As we spent a few hours putting this little “play” together, we came up with two main points we wanted to convey.  First, all us I/O psychologists are in this together.  We should be actively supporting each other and seeking to understand the pressures the other side feels.  When a project goes off without a hitch, the profession as a whole, wins.  Secondly, when issues come up (and they inevitably will), over-communicating and getting the right stakeholders involved at the right time can go a long way to resolve them.

I had a great couple of days in Anaheim, cheers to SIOP 2016.

See you next year in Orlando!

Tags: consulting & assessment, conferences, I/O psych

Author
Chad Thompson PhD

Just because Chad has a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology, doesn’t mean he can’t talk to you about sports, craft beer, tech buzz or the most recent episode of The Bachelorette—a show whose outcome he has successfully predicted more times than most people admit actually watching it. In the people business—and even in pop culture—Chad uses data, tools, and his professional experience to develop and interpret insights about how to measure, develop, and retain people.

Chad joined TSP in 2011 to lead the talent consulting practice, where he delivers executive-level evaluations, both in conjunction with TSP searches and for internal client teams. He also consults with clients on a wide variety of talent acquisition and management projects.  

Prior to TSP, Chad was a consultant at Aon Hewitt, where he had responsibility for leading the design and management of large-scale selection initiatives and leadership assessment programs for Fortune 500 clients. Chad’s research on selection has been published in peer-reviewed journals, and he is a frequent speaker at national conferences. He has also been quoted in publications such as HR Magazine. Chad received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology from Wright State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Wittenberg University.  

More from this author