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The sorcerer’s apprentices

first_imgThe sorcerer’s apprenticesOn 4 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Anyone who applies for a job in one of B&Q’s DIY stores is in for ashock. Not for B&Q the terse little letter, asking promising candidates tocome in for interview, or informing the unsuccessful of their doom. Instead,candidates will receive a document with a graph on it plotting theirpersonality against population norms on such factors as conscientiousness,cleanliness and integrity, and a commentary explaining why they may or may notbe cut out for a life in customer service. Thanks to an ‘Automated Telephone Screening Interview’ – a telephone-basedpsychometric questionnaire – the store claims to be able to tell which of the200,000 applicants each year might be suitable for one of 15,000 jobs. Bypressing numbers on a phone, B&Q tests personalities to see if applicantsfit with the kind of ‘culture’ it wants in its shops. “I prefer to have myclosest relationships outside work rather than with a colleague,” thesystem asks, or “I believe most people will steal if they can get away withit.” You press five for ‘very like me’ or numbers down to one for ‘nothinglike me at all’. Brave new techniques Following the ‘interview’, the system works out a score and generates thedocument. The successful go on to a database so managers at one of the 320stores can pick from a shortlist. Only then will candidates be asked aboutdrill bits, paint finishes and pyracanthas. There is always a section of the HR community who become incontinent withexcitement about go-ahead psychological sorcery like this. Imagine, they say tothemselves, a whole shop of people sharing personality traits – everybodyyes-siring and can-doing and going the extra mile – but not swiping stock orimpregnating their colleagues. Fantastic! But isn’t it all a bit too Brave New World? Recruitment is becoming atool for breeding social stability in the workplace, a kind ofpseudo-scientific caste system. The next step might be hatching employees inincubators. It is with a certain cheek, that the company has ‘respect forpeople’ as one of its five ‘values’ adorning wall plaques in stores across theland. Prospective scoffers should not be too quick, though. B&Q has beenoutspokenly progressive on HR. It is in the vanguard of employers who havetaken up the cause of older workers (they know more about DIY), has verygenerous profit-share policies and has pioneered flexible working and elearning. Moreover, its automated recruitment scheme has the advantage ofconsistency and does not discriminate on race or gender. Store managerswhittling down a pile of applications by the time-honoured method of capriceand prejudice is not exactly ideal. The psychometric commentary is part of an effort to provide feedback toapplicants (part of psychometric best practice). Yet the most powerful argumentin its favour is a simple one: since the psychometric system was adopted in1999, staff turnover has fallen, from 35 per cent a year to 29 per cent. Psychometric tests, of course, remain controversial. To some they are wickedbecause they are darkly accurate, boiling down personalities to theiralchemical essence. To others they are wicked because they are inaccurate, withas much predictive veracity for employment as sorting by birth weight. But assuming the technical bona fides of B&Q’s test, it seems to methere are two good grounds for questioning if this sifting mechanism is, well,quite up to the job. Dubious wisdom First, it is very intrusive. Prying into the quirks and ticks of humanindividuality for the sake of an entry-level job does not seem proportionate,let alone wise. How would you like it if you went for a job selling paint, werequizzed about your relationships, and received an analysis of your personality?Second, it is dubious how this system fits with the guidelines of the BritishPsychological Society (BPS), the body that supposedly promotes responsible testuse. The BPS code of good practice says test users should “use tests only inconjunction with other assessment methods and only when their use can besupported by the available technical information”. In B&Q’s system, more than 150,000 applicants are being rejected on thebasis of a psychometric instrument alone. Fortunately for B&Q, the BPS is not clear what its own guideline means.Does it mean psychometric tests should not be the only tool used to accept orreject someone? Or does it mean a company should use interviews and referencesin addition to psychometrics in its overall recruitment armoury? David Bartram, chairman of the BPS steering committee on test standards andresearch director of SHL, says the latter: it’s a question of overallrecruitment and B&Q is safe. Yet Colin Selby, a member of the division ofoccupational psychology at the BPS and a consultant with Penna, says theformer: no-one should be rejected solely because of a psychometric test score. To have such a confused message is a fudge of real psychological genius onthe part of the BPS, leaving organisations to invent their own rules – ablyassisted by suppliers with an interest in marketing psychometric applications.The truth is neither efficient nor modern: there are significant ethicaldownsides to relying on psychometrics as an initial filter that never existedwith old-fashioned manual short-listing. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

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Insurance premium income to contract this year: Association

first_imgThe life insurance industry will see a contraction in premium income this year on the back of the COVID-19 crisis, despite people’s rising awareness on health, the Indonesian Life Insurance Association (AAJI) has stated.AAJI chairman Budi Tampubolon said on Sept. 25 that the association expected the industry’s premium income to contract 2.5 percent year-on-year (yoy). The life insurance industry’s premium income has contracted 2.5 percent yoy to Rp 88.02 trillion (US$5.9 billion) in the first half of the year from the same period last year. The decline in new premium income and renewed premiums contributed to the lower figure. “Everyone is now focused on surviving. The second quarter was better than the first quarter but if the third and fourth quarter are similar to the second quarter, we will still see contraction this year, but just not too deep,” he said during a virtual press conference.In comparison, the industry booked Rp 196.69 trillion in premium income last year, up 5.8 percent compared to 2018, according to AAJI data.Insurance penetration in Indonesia has been low for a long time. According to the latest data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Indonesia’s insurance spending in 2018 was only 1.79 percent of the country’s GDP, lower than in neighboring Malaysia, where it was 4.4 percent.Read also: Need for insurance rises as pandemic poses risks In the first half of this year, new premium income dropped 2.7 percent yoy to Rp 54.57 trillion, while renewed premium income fell 2.2 percent yoy to Rp 34.91 trillion, AAJI data show.Despite the slowdown in premium income growth, Budi said the group saw improvement in new premium income in the second quarter of 2020 from the previous quarter.He said that in the second quarter, new premium income had grown 4.82 percent to Rp 27.18 trillion from the Rp 25.93 trillion booked in the first quarter of the year.“This is caused by the public’s increased awareness in having protection and managing their income during this uncertain time,” he said.Since the pandemic, a quarter of Indonesian people are feeling anxious about their health, while 35 percent want health insurance, according to a 2020 study by data analytics firms Nielsen, Kantar and consulting firm MarkPlus.Budi said he hoped the rising awareness, coupled with relaxations from the Financial Services Authority (OJK), could improve the country’s life insurance industry in the second half of the year.Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the OJK has rolled out several relaxations for the insurance industry, including delaying the monthly, quarterly and yearly performance reports, as well as relaxing the solvability rate accounting method, extending the grace period for receivables and allowing investment-linked insurance products to be sold online.Previously, investment-linked insurance products could only be sold in person to ensure consumers were well informed. However, as the public is getting used to digital technology during the pandemic, the association is suggesting that the OJK make the policy, which allows online sales of investment-linked insurance products, permanent.However, the association stated that it would still encourage life insurance players to fulfil the requirements to conduct online sales of such products, AAJI head of actuarial and risk management Fauzi Arfan said.“This includes strengthening their digital infrastructure and risk management, as well as ensuring consumers really understand the product sold to them,” he said.Meanwhile, the association also recorded that 56 life insurers have paid a total of Rp 216.03 billion in COVID-19 claims to 1,642 policies between March and June, AAJI communication and marketing head Wiroyo Karsono said.“Even though the outbreak was declared a pandemic and the treatments are fully paid by the government, life insurers are still paying the claims as a form of empathy and solidarity to our customers,” he said.As for the claims and benefits outside of COVID-19, Wiroyo said the industry had paid a total of Rp 64.22 trillion in the first half of this year. This figure was down 1.9 percent yoy from the same period last year.The claims and benefit payments were dominated by surrender claim payments of Rp 37.87 trillion, 58.7 percent of the total claims, followed by matured claim payments of Rp 7.26 trillion, 11.2 percent of the total claims.Despite the payment drop in the first six months of the year, Wiroyo said AAJI had estimated that there would be an increase in payment this year.“With a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent from 2008 to 2019, we hope we can book higher claims and benefit payments this year to show our commitment to our customers,” he said. Topics :last_img read more

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Gerrard: Reds need Champions League

first_imgLiverpool captain Steven Gerrard has made it his personal goal to restore the allure of the club by getting them back into the Champions League. “I think the only person who knows what’s happening is Luis himself,” said the England captain. “He has a huge decision to make and, as his team-mate, I have to show him respect and give him space to make whatever decision he wants to make. “But I think everyone knows how highly I rate him and how much I want him to stay, and what we can achieve this season basically depends on whether he stays or goes, I believe. “While I’ve still got a couple of years left – and maybe a few more who knows – I have to make the most of it. And that is about adding more medals to what I already have and to leave this club in the Champions League. That is the challenge for me personally. “It is not the same club (I joined) because we are not in the Champions League, so it becomes an awful lot more difficult to attract the top players. “But I think the club’s history and size – we’ve just been on a tour which has seen us play in front of nearly a quarter of a million people in 10 days – means the pull is still here. “We need to break back into the top four to get back the pull we had four or five years ago when we were comfortably in the Champions League year in, year out and challenging to win it. “Players who come and get the club back into the Champions League will experience some of the biggest nights of their career, because playing European football in front of this crowd is different to any other.” In spite of Gerrard’s insistence Saturday’s testimonial is a serious affair, there have been a couple of concessions in the form of the recently retired Jamie Carragher and former Reds striker Robbie Fowler, who will both get a few minutes towards the end. Carragher has opted for a career in television punditry but manager Brendan Rodgers hopes to see more of Fowler at Melwood. “I love Robbie, he’s a great guy and he’s good to have around,” he told liverpoolfc.tv. “We’re obviously looking to get him involved in the football club in terms of the coaching side which I think he’s got a lot to offer. “He never left the football club in maybe the way he wanted to so it’s a nice opportunity for him to play in front of the crowd again and give the Kop a real round of applause.” On Carragher, Rodgers added: “They (Carragher and Gerrard) are very close friends and they’ve gone through many battles on the field together and obviously with Stevie out injured towards the end of last season they never got the chance to play together, so it will be a nice moment for them.” Striker Luis Suarez’s desire to leave Anfield in order to play in Europe’s premier club competition and the Reds’ failure to sign Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan last month have only served to highlight the problems faced. Gerrard has told the Uruguay international he wants him to stay despite two bids from Arsenal, but admits until they regain their top-four place they will always have to fight such battles. Press Associationlast_img read more

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2017 WAFU Cup – Nigeria to Battle Sierra Leone, As Host Ghana Take On…

first_imgThe draw for the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations took place on Thursday, July 27, 2017, at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra. This edition recognized as the fourth edition will feature 16 countries zoned into A and B.Full Draw:FIRST ROUNDZONE A (Takoradi)Ghana vs GambiaNigeria vs Sierra LeoneMali vs MauritaniaGuinea vs Guinea BissauZONE B (Cape Coast)Senegal vs LiberiaBurkina Faso vs NigerIvory Coast vs TogoBenin vs Cape VerdeNOTE: FIRST ROUND (Knockout) – SECOND (Group stage of two with four teams).The 16-team tournament is sponsored by FOX SPORTS, and will be held at the Sekondi Stadium and the Cape Coast Stadium from 9th September to 24 September 2017.RelatedNigeria To Host 2021 WAFU Cup TournamentJuly 18, 2018In “Africa”WAFU Nations Cup: Home-based Super Eagles in Dakar to Avenge Togo on SundaySeptember 26, 2019In “National Team”WAFU Draw To Be Held In Accra TodayJuly 27, 2017In “Competition”last_img read more

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