The 2016 SIOP Conference in Anaheim, CA

April 12, 2016 Katharina Lochner
conference logo SIOP 2016

SIOP 2016

We just arrived in Anaheim, California, for the SIOP 2016 Conference. At this conference the world’s industrial and organisational psychologists meet and discuss current issues and emerging trends in the workplace.

We will present three sessions at the conference – highlighting new thinking around selecting the right candidates and recruiting internationally. Here is what we will talk about.

Are you recruiting ‘problem’ people?

Our first poster is entitled ‘Detecting who is going to cause problems’. Most employers will screen job applicants for factors that predict job success. In this session, Dr Achim Preuss, explains how organisations can gain a more rounded picture of their candidates by examining ‘dark side’ personality traits and predicting whether individuals will be susceptible to counterproductive work behaviour. Such behaviour can include fraud, corruption, sabotage, theft, absence and bullying.

Every business is vulnerable to counterproductive behaviour. But the likelihood of this occurring can be reduced if you assess the values and integrity of candidates in your selection process.

Studies show that our online situational behaviour questionnaire has the same success rate at predicting whether someone is prone to counterproductive behaviour as expert interviewers could achieve in a 60-minute, structured ‘trustworthiness’ interview. In other words, the instrument can simulate the rigour of an in-depth structured interview by trained professionals, giving the same results but in a much quicker, more efficient and more cost effective way. Using these tests to ‘sift out’ the lowest scoring candidates in your applicant pool can increase the likelihood that you’ll recruit individuals who will act in the best interests of the organisation.

Achim will present this session at SIOP on Thursday 14 April, 12 noon-1.00pm in Ballroom A-E.

Can you test for creativity?

Our second poster looks at innovation and creativity. Innovation has become the ‘holy grail’ for organisations that want to achieve competitive advantage in rapidly changing international markets. Thus, many employers try to establish an environment that facilitates innovation and to recruit individuals who have the potential to be innovative. But how can you detect whether someone will innovate?

An innovator will typically be blessed with cognitive ability, certain personality characteristics and creativity. There are instruments that can measure cognitive ability and personality in unsupervised online settings. However, to date, creativity tests have always required supervised settings and a trained evaluator.

During the poster session, Dr Katharina Lochner will present the findings of three studies that have resulted in the development of an online creativity test that can be administered in an unsupervised online setting and scored automatically. Thus the test does not require trained experts to evaluate the results. Moreover the studies showed that the test was independent of the candidate’s ability to draw.

Katharina will present her session on Saturday 16 April, 12 noon-1.00pm in Ballroom A-E.

Does it matter if integrity test scores differ across different countries?

Our third contribution to this year’s SIOP is in a symposium on cross-cultural use of self-report questionnaires. In this symposium we focus on integrity. Integrity tests are often used by employers to assess a job candidate’s trustworthiness, reliability and credibility. But what are the implications for multinational companies given that studies have found considerable differences in integrity test scores across different cultures?

Dr Katharina Lochner, will highlight the example of an employer in China and India who wanted to find out if there would be differences between applicants from these countries – and, if so, how to deal with them. The company found that its candidates from China were more empathetic and reflective than candidates from India. But the candidates from India were more conscientious than those from China. This created a dilemma about what to do about these differences.

On one hand, the employer wanted to establish a coherent standard for integrity across its business, no matter where employees were located. But on the other, they were concerned that they might not be able to recruit sufficient numbers of staff if they were ‘too strict’.

Find out what the company decided to do – and what the results have been – by attending Katharina’s session on Friday 15 April, 10.30am-12 noon in Room 207 D.

About the Author

Katharina Lochner

Dr Katharina Lochner is the former research director for the cut-e Group which was acquired by Aon in 2017. Katharina is now a researcher and lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Europe in Iserlohn, Germany. In her role at cut-e, she applied the research in organizational and work psychology to real-world assessment practice. She has a strong expertise in the construction and evaluation of online psychometric tools.

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