Are Competencies Still Alive?

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Thu, May 14, 2015


It has been more than 40 years since psychologist David McClelland contended that a person’s past performance, rather than IQ, is a better predictor of future occupational success. This idea prompted HR professionals to focus on creating competency-based job descriptions that helped identify the best candidates. Although McClelland’s insights helped revolutionize the HR industry, they aren’t as relevant in today’s workplace. Here’s why:

  1. Talent vs. Potential- Employers interested in identifying talent first have to evaluate potential before anything else. Successfully measuring the ability to develop talent in the future ends up being more beneficial than assessing past performance, particularly among less experienced candidates.
  1. Problem Solving- Finding candidates that can identify problems before they appear is essential to cutting-edge organizations. In the rapidly evolving workplace, people in innovative positions need to be adaptable and effective at jobs that aren’t clearly defined yet.
  1. Personality- Having employees with stable temperaments is critical. Creating a personality profile allows employers insight into a person’s abilities and helps predict important outcomes in areas ranging from leadership and communication to ethical behavior.

Competencies are still alive, but the methods of analyzing them are changing to focus more on the impact of personality on job performance. “It is only through this deeper understanding of people that organizations will be able to leverage their human capital and unleash people’s true potential at work” says Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic.

To read more about competencies in the modern work environment, read our complimentary ebook Are Competencies Still Alive?

Topics: competencies

Competency Relevancy

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Wed, May 06, 2015


Take a look at any job description and chances are it will cite qualities along the lines of “good interpersonal skills” or “adaptable to business changes.” For decades, these workplace competencies have been a tool for HR professionals to identify the most promising candidates and to predict their performance. But as the occupational landscape continues to evolve, are they still relevant?

Hogan CEO Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic argues that competencies aren’t going away, but the approach to evaluating them is changing. Although the traditional methods are still useful for definitive job roles, they aren’t effective enough in the modern workplace where job responsibilities are fluid and sometimes unpredictable.

To find out more about modern competencies, check out our ebook Are Competencies Still Alive?

Topics: competencies

2015 Q1 Article Review

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Tue, Apr 28, 2015

The Hogan Research Department is continually on the lookout for interesting and useful articles. Below is a rundown from Q1.

Kong et al. found that team member satisfaction predicted team performance when average agreeableness was low, but the two were unrelated when average agreeableness was high.

Although Cheung & Lun found that various attempts to consciously regulate one’s emotions at work might decrease job satisfaction, Hulsheger et al. found that many of those same strategies can increase customer satisfaction.

Along those same lines, Joseph et al. found that the predictive validity of EI is largely due to overlap with other measures, such as FFM personality.

And last up in relation to EI, Lerner et al. provide a thorough review of research examining the impact of emotions on decision making.

Owens et al. show that leader narcissism can have positive effects on follower ratings and behaviors when also counterbalanced by humility

Morris et al. explores when expert judgment in interpreting assessment results can improve prediction beyond just relying on empirical scores.

Munyon et al. examine the impact of political skills on a variety of individual and work-related outcomes.

As many journals push for more elaboration around methods, here are two useful new references: Bernerth & Aguinis outline best practices for using control variables and Bosco et al. provide benchmarks for correlation coefficients.

Rojon et al. highlight the importance of examining specific performance areas in criterion-related validity studies rather than just focusing on overall performance.

Pohler & Schmidt show that manager bonuses may strain relationships with employees if not offset by incentives for treating employees well.

Boyce et al. found that prolonged periods of unemployment can influence how a person responds on a FFM assessment.

Hamby & Ickes found that short simple personality items result in higher scale reliability than longer, more complex items.

Oc et al. offers interesting insight into how direct feedback from subordinates may help shape leader behaviors.

Topics: personality, research, Hogan Research Division

New! Why Hogan? [Video]

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Fri, Apr 24, 2015

When they founded Hogan Assessments in 1987, Robert and Joyce Hogan challenged decades of academic tradition and conventional wisdom. Today, they are recognized as pioneering authorities in the assessment industry, and for nearly three decades Hogan has worked with some of the most powerful companies around the globe.
We’re proud to present “Why Hogan”, a short collection of unsolicited interview footage that explains Hogan’s unique contribution to the assessment industry and value to its users.


Topics: personality

5 Signs It's Time for a New Job

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Sat, Apr 18, 2015

Regardless if you’ve been a in the workforce for decades, or are just a few years into a job, chances are the possibility of a new career has crossed your mind. And you are not alone. LinkedIn reported that 60% of its users are passive job seekers - those not necessarily looking for a new job, but are willing to consider new opportunities. For those on the fence, deciding when to take the plunge often results in an anxiety ridden stalemate between a currently dissatisfying work-life and an uncertain future.

In his latest article for the Harvard Business Review – ranked as their website’s hottest post last week - Hogan CEO Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic discusses why leaving a job is often difficult and gives five critical signs that can help you decide if it’s time for a career change. Ultimately, the right decision is not always clear-cut, and predicting how happy you will be with the outcome is difficult. “The only way to know whether a career move is actually right for you is to make it” says Chamorro-Premuzic.

To read about the 5 signs, check out the original HBR article.

Topics: bad managers

Get Organized

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Thu, Apr 16, 2015


Benjamin Franklin was notorious for being organized. He followed a set daily routine and created a 13-week long plan for self-improvement which he carefully tracked. The man was efficiency personified.

The point is that being organized matters. Every day we are inundated with information and forced to make hundreds of decisions. Many of these daily choices about what to eat, what to wear, etc. are made on autopilot. They might not be the best, but they’ll do. The dilemma we face when autopilot sets in at work is that your brain still tries to take those same shortcuts. And where complicated problems arise and consequences for decisions are long reaching, the results for mental shortcuts can often be less than stellar. So, how do we prioritize efficiently to make the best decisions possible? Here are four helpful suggestions.

  1. 90-10 Rule - “Devote 10% of your time to 90% of the decisions. The more effectively you do this, the more mental resources you can devote to important matters,” says Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. Efficiently dealing with the little things allows you to save mental resources needed to solve complex work situations.
  1. Make a List - It’s simple and effective. Writing a great to-do list can make the difference between accomplishing important tasks at the beginning of your workday and looking at pile of half-finished paperwork and missed deadlines at 5pm. Be concise, realistic, and strategic with your list, and your productivity will streamline.
  1. Tackle the Big Things First - Figure out what your most difficult, pressing task is, and do it first. Don’t let yourself procrastinate on starting and don’t get sidetracked with easier, less taxing projects until it’s done.
  1. Be Realistic - Don’t set yourself up for failure. As we already know, our brain has only so much bandwidth. Set goals that you can reasonably meet and accomplish with your full attention.

To find out more about making better decisions and prioritizing, check out our ebook, 

Topics: judgment

Mythbusters Series: You’re a Good Interviewer

Posted by Rebecca Callahan on Fri, Apr 10, 2015

Ever wonder why you aren’t selecting high performers? Or why new employees fail and leave after such a short time?

You’re likely relying too heavily on interviews in your selection process.

Most interviews are unstructured. You skim the candidate’s CV beforehand, have a set list of suggested questions, and you see where the interview takes you. If you’re not impressed, maybe you cut it a little short. If you’re really dazzled by the candidate, maybe they get a bit of extra time.
While seemingly benign, these practices present a major disservice to both your organization and to potential candidates.
Study after study has shown us that interviews are wrought with bias and ineffective for selecting high performers.
If you want to select a high performer, your odds are better flipping a coin than doing an interview.
Beyond the loss to your organization of choosing the highest performer in the interview pool, you’re making an even bigger sacrifice:
Any organization with a serious diversity initiative must take a closer look at its interview process. An interviewer with the best intentions is still likely to discriminate based on gender, age, weight, race/ethnicity, class, and other non-performance-related criteria. As humans, we suffer from a similarity effect.
We like people who are like us.
We are more likely to choose people who look like us, act like us, and have similar backgrounds to our own.
Amazingly, our narcissism stretches even further than that. When we first meet someone, we make an initial judgment, and a primacy effect takes over. We spend the following four minutes of the interview confirming our initial impressions, and after that point, our decision is set in stone. So, whatever stereotype or prejudice we know from our culture takes effect, and we spend the following four minutes trying to prove ourselves right. After that, game over for the candidate.
Four minutes. FOUR MINUTES. We know we can’t effectively observe a leader’s performance in four minutes, but our subconscious is more concerned with proving itself right than giving the candidate a fair chance.
We also know that diverse workforces are the most profitable, and that when it comes to adverse impact claims, the odds do not favor the employer using unstructured interviews for selection.
All in all, interviews are not reliable for selecting the best people, especially if you want to hire diverse candidates who will truly be the best performers.
Want to know how you CAN select high performers, in a gender-blind, color-blind, bias-free way? Use predictive and well-validated personality assessments.
Want to be a better interviewer, and make better decisions, with less bias? Improve your judgment through self-awareness.

Topics: assessment, interviewing, personality assessment, mythbusters

Hogan to Present at SIOP

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Wed, Apr 08, 2015


I-O experts from Hogan’s Research and Consulting divisions will showcase advances in personality research during an impressive 21 sessions, symposia, panel discussions, practice forums, and poster sessions at the 30th Annual SIOP Conference in Philadelphia.



10:30am, Room 407-409                                                                                             
The Latest on Emotional Intelligence at Work: Happy 25th Anniversary!            
This session will present the latest research on emotional intelligence (EI) in organizations. Issues concerning definitional and measurement aspects will also be discussed. Topics will include the implications of EI for work-related outcomes, the potential dark side of EI, the novel generation of instruments and future challenges of the field.    
Michael Sanger

10:30am, Room 401-403                                                                                              
Conducting Assessments in the Digital Age                                                          

This session will discuss current issues in using technology to enable assessments, including mobile devices and online assessment centers. Furthermore, we will demonstrate the use of a candidate’s “digital footprint” as a potential assessment approach. We will also discuss the implications of these technologies for practice and future research.                                                       
Jennifer Lowe

12:00pm, Room 407-409                                                                                              
Boundaries Redrawn: Debunking Cultural Clusters with Local Assessment Data

Administering assessments globally raises important practical questions about consistency and fairness in evaluation models. This symposium will present within-region research findings from several global assessment firms including those pertaining to local leadership expectations and response tendencies. Corresponding implications for cultural clusters as they relate to organizational initiatives will be discussed.                                                                
Michael Sanger, Renee Yang

12:00pm, Grand J                                                                                            
Understanding the Work-Family Implications of Relationships with Leaders
Incorporating important theoretical perspectives on leadership, the four papers serve to recognize that the degree to which work-life supports are provided is a function of the quality of the leader-employee relationship. Based on strong methodological designs, the papers investigate interesting mechanisms through which the leader-employee relationship influences the work-family experiences.                                          
Heather Bolen

1:30pm, Franklin 08
Innovative Approaches to Talent Identification: Bridging Science and Practice in the Digital Age
New HR technologies are redefining the talent identification industry. From social media and big data analytics, to text and audiovisual algorithms and gamification, there is now a proliferation of novel assessment tools. This panel discusses the validity, utility, and ethical implications of these innovative approaches.
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

1:30pm, Room 401-403                                                                                              
Toward a New Narrative for the Leadership Gender Agenda                              

The media is abuzz about the underrepresentation of women in senior leadership. This session explores how popular notions like the female leadership advantage, confidence gaps, and leaning in, while well intended, may be misguided. Combining data and practice, we go beyond common stereotypes to reframe the problem and offer solutions.                                                  
Jackie VanBroekhoven-Sahm

3:30pm, Franklin 10                                                                                                 
Finding Value in 360-Feedback Rater Disagreements                                    
360-degree feedback has long been used by organizations. However, there is a lack of consensus on how to compile feedback from different sources. The goal of this symposium is to discuss rater disagreements from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, and demonstrate the value of understanding unique inputs from various sources.                                          
Karen Fuhrmeister, Renee Yang

3:30pm, Grand D                                                                                            
Evaluating good decision making starts with making good decisions              
This session will include multiple viewpoints on how best to predict and improve employee decision making. Panelists will discuss existing research on evaluating characteristics that define good judgment, cognitive style and horsepower, and implications for employee selection and development. Experiences with implementing programs featuring corresponding assessments will also be discussed.              
Michael Sanger, Darin Nei                          

3:30pm, Grand K                                                                                            
Individual Differences and the Creative Process: Implications for Talent Identification
Creativity is often critical to organizational success. Previous researchers have often examined relationships between individual differences and creative outcomes, while discarding research indicating creativity is best viewed as a process rather than an outcome. In this symposium, we will illustrate how individual differences can predict individual and team creative processes.
Kimberly Nei, Darin Nei                         


8:30am, Grand B                                                                                                
Data Cleansing Time! Insufficient Effort Responding in Concurrent Validation Studies  
Due to motivational difference between incumbents and applicants, insufficient effort responding (IER; i.e., careless or random responding) is a concern in concurrent validation studies. This symposium presents emerging research on IER in concurrent validation data, covering both detection of IER and the potential impact of IER on validity inference.                    
Jeff Foster       

10:30am, Grand E                                                                                                
Beyond the hype: The dark side of employee engagement                              
This symposium includes four integrated presentations on some of the less explored aspects of employee engagement. It features an overview of engagement models, new research evaluating curvilinear effects of leadership styles on engagement, negative effects of engagement on entrepreneurship, and the common reasons for failed interventions to enhance engagement.                                                            
Robert Hogan, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

3:30pm, Grand J                                                                                                
Practical and Ethical Guidelines for Dealing with Messy Validation Data
Validation datasets are typically presented in less-than-ideal forms (i.e., messy), posing challenges to I-O professionals tasked with demonstrating the value of selection tools. This panel will discuss considerations for handling messy data, reflecting on their individual past experiences, as well as their approaches to analyzing the same messy dataset.                                            
Dara Pickering

3:30pm, Room 305-306                                                                                         
Synthetic Validity: Further Evidence of its Accuracy and Application
Synthetic validation is a professionally accepted alternative validation method when traditional criterion-related validation is not possible. However, there remains resistance to using these non-traditional validation methods. This symposium provides new research on synthetic validity to show evidence of its accuracy compared to traditional methods and new examples of applications.
Darin Nei

5:00pm, Grand L                                                                                                
Using Scientific Research and Best Practices to Drive Competency-Based Solutions Many companies use competencies for performance management, but surprisingly, few I/O psychologists are involved in developing and managing these systems. With competencies, research is lagging behind business. This panel brings professionals together to explore how we can more effectively use scientific research and best practices to inform competency-based business solutions.                                  
Blaine Gaddis, Stephen Nichols


8:00am, Franklin 08                                                                                                     
Practical Recommendations for Enhancing Leadership Coaching                              

Leadership development coaching is a widely used practice for increasing leader effectiveness within an organization. This symposium provides both research and a practitioner perspective regarding leadership coaching best practices. It presents recommendations from experienced coaches as well as qualitative data documenting suggestions for improving coaching sessions from coaching participants.               
Heather Bolen, Karen Fuhrmeister, Kimberly Nei

11:30am, Franklin Hall                                                                                                     
Job Analytic Comparisons of Managerial and Leadership Competencies Across Industries        
Using archival job analytic data, we examined the overlap in competencies required for effective managers and leaders across industries. Results suggest necessary behaviors are similar across industries and differences are likely present for all levels of employment. Therefore, we should work towards one competency model for managerial and leadership performance.              
Kimberly Nei, Dara Pickering

12:00pm, Room 302-304
Intrapreneurship: Fostering Innovation in Big Organizations
There is an abundant literature on the psychology of entrepreneurship but little research on the antecedents and consequences of intrapreneurship, defined as work-related behaviors that promote change and innovation with large organizations. A diverse and experienced panel will share lessons learned and spark ideas for research and practice.
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Jackie Sahm

12:30pm, Franklin Hall                                                                                                     
The Factor Structure of Personality Derailers across Cultures                         

Despite the increasing popularity of dark-side (derailing) personality, there is little consensus over the structure of personality derailer constructs. The Five Factor Model (FFM) as the universal taxonomy of bright-side personality has shown equivalence across cultures. The present study examines the factor structure of personality derailers across cultures.                       
Jeff Foster, Renee Yang

12:30pm, Franklin Hall                                                                                                          
Is Incivility Selective? A Meta-Analytic Test of Selective Incivility Theory
This meta-analysis explores whether people in the protected groups of age, race, and sex experience different levels of incivility. Overall meta-analytic corrected correlations suggest that protected groups are not experiencing incivility at different rates; however, large credibility intervals suggest the presence of moderators. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.    
Amber Smittick

1:30pm, Franklin Hall
Nonlinear relationships of narrow personality and narrow leadership criterion constructs           
Past research on the personality-performance link show inconsistent findings on the shape (linear vs. non-linear) of such relationships. We approach this research question by examining narrow personality and narrow criterion constructs that are theoretically and empirically related.     
Renee Yang

1:30 PM, Grand G                                                                                                            
Blazing the Job Trail: How to IGNITE Your Career    
Twelve early career and seasoned professionals will share their experiences and knowledge of the job market. Each presenter will address a phase of the job search process, ranging from applications and resumes to expectations of new hires. Following the 12 IGNITE speakers, the format shifts to an interactive panel discussion.
Amber Smittick

3:30pm, Franklin 10                                                                                                          
The healthcare challenge: Implementing talent initiatives in a data-driven industry

Demonstrating the value of I/O-related initiatives in an industry reliant on objective metrics can be difficult. In addition, skilled labor shortages and high turnover have impacted the ability to hire qualified individuals who provide quality care. We will discuss important considerations and unique challenges specific to the health care industry.                                
Dara Pickering, Audrey Wallace



Topics: I/O Psychology, SIOP, conference

Hogan in the Media

Posted by Blake Loepp on Wed, Apr 01, 2015

There’s been a flurry of activity at Hogan in recent months. Headlining the list is the recent announcement of Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic assuming the role of partner and CEO.

Via the Tulsa World: “I am truly honored to assume the role as CEO at Hogan,” Chamorro-Premuzic said. “For over 30 years, Hogan has pioneered the development of scientific tools for predicting and improving employee performance, particularly in leaders. My goal is to build on this extraordinary work.”

Tomas has also been active as a contributor to numerous high-profile media outlets.

In a recent piece for Fast Company on the dark side of charismatic leaders, Tomas writes: “There’s actually little evidence that charisma helps leaders be more effective. On the contrary, charisma often has the reverse effect because it helps leaders deceive and manipulate their followers by masking their own incompetence.” 

In another article for the Harvard Business Review, Tomas breaks down how to teach people to be more creative.

“Given that most people are not as creative as they think, it is important that any attempts to coach creativity begin by providing individuals with feedback, especially when they are narcissistic, since narcissism inflates people’s estimates of their own competence to an unrealistic level.”

Also, Hogan COO Aaron Tracy was recently featured in a Tulsa World "5 Questions" piece focusing on what drives Hogan’s 1,000 percent increase in sales.

“Beyond our core product offering far outpacing the competition, we attribute the growth trajectory of the past 28 years to four key factors: technology, industry acceptance, talent and globalization.”

In addition, Hogan Global Alliances consultant Michael Sanger weighed in as an expert on a three-part series for Central Desktop on how deal with Corner Cutters, Yes-Men, and those who are Super Territorial.

“To throw something out there that’s half-baked and walk away requires a combination of risk-taking and arrogance,” says Michael Sanger, consultant with Hogan Assessment Systems. “Getting through to somebody like that can be an uphill battle, because they don’t recognize evidence that anything has gone wrong.”

Stay tuned for more exciting news from your friends at Hogan Assessments!

Topics: personality

Let Failure Be Your Guide

Posted by Karina Buvaylik on Tue, Mar 31, 2015


We’ve all been there. At the cross roads of an important decision, we made a choice and failed. Sometimes those decisions can cost you a good night’s sleep. Sometimes they can cost you billions-think back to 20th Century Fox giving George Lucas total merchandising rights to the Star Wars movies for just $20,000. Mistakes will happen, but the way you handle them determines how your intelligence is perceived by others.

So, with that in mind, here are a few ideas for handling mistakes with finesse and utilizing them to make better judgments in the future.

  1. Keep Your Cool - “It’s not always possible to right the wrong, but it’s almost always possible to make things worse,” says Dr. Robert Hogan. When bad news comes your way, take a second to breathe before responding. Being proactive instead of reactive allows you to reflect on what went wrong and the part you played that decision.
  2. Accept Responsibility - Hearing that you’re wrong isn’t easy. Often, our natural response is to deflect, deny, and assume that everyone else is wrong. But refusing to accept the negative feedback comes at the cost of personal and professional growth. Instead, take the time to address your mistakes and put that insight into better judgment in the future.
  3. Engage With Feedback - People who accept negative feedback tend to avoid making the same mistakes again. However, multiple studies have shown that most of us avoid asking for advice because we fear appearing incompetent. Ironically, the results of those studies show that the exact opposite happens. People tend to see you as more competent when you seek out their input.

Failure is rarely an enjoyable experience, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a beneficial one. Take the time to appreciate your mistakes and let them guide you to better decisions in the future.

“It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” - Bill Gates

To find out more about improving your judgments and making better decisions, check out our eBook, 3 Ways to Seem Smarter.

Topics: judgment

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