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Epsi - Newsletter Spring/Summer Edition
HAVING THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB

Welcome to our 2009 Spring E-newsletter! Given that the world of human resource management is rapidly and continually changing, organizations must provide its leaders with the necessary tools to adapt to these new challenges. Now more than ever, HR professionals must be effective communicators, problem solvers and influential leaders.

In this edition, we will feature informative articles for tackling some of the issues organizations are currently facing, given these difficult economic times. We will also present expert advice from our president, Dr. André Durivage, regarding online testing and the factors to consider before adopting this type of testing method in your organization. Finally, given today's global market and the changing characteristics of the population, the pursuit of diversity in the workplace is of interest to everyone. Due to the importance of this matter, EPSI will be featuring two of its exciting assessment products in this issue!

Having the Right Tools for the Job
Managing Diversity
What Would the Dr. Do?
Managerial In-Basket Exercise
Conferences and Exhibitions
What's Happening in HR!
EPSI Expert

Managing Diversity
for Greater Organizational Efficiency

Managing diversity is an integral part of effective organizations. EPSI has developed two tests to help your business remain effective and efficient.

In order to remain efficient in the current market, organizations need to consider intercultural factors, intergenerational difficulties and the cultural sensitivities facing their organization and employees. When the employees of an organization are able to work with members of various cultural communities and manage culturally diversified projects, the organization is more likely to achieve its set objectives and mandates. In response to this need to address cultural factors in the workplace, EPSI has created two applicable psychometric evaluations, the Test of Intercultural Effectiveness (TIE) and the Diversity Approach Test (DAT).

     

In the future, there will be greater focus on managing culturally diverse workplaces, overcoming generational gaps and the suitability of placing employees abroad. If these matters are unattended, it may increase the financial burdens of businesses, as well as cause important endeavours to fail. The use of the TIE and DAT can provide organizations with the means to hire, integrate and retain a culturally diversified workforce that will benefit the overall organization.


Diversity Approach Test (DAT)

Predict Performance, Expect Results: Our Objective: Your Success! Online Testing, Paper/Pencil Tests, Webinars & Trainings images

This psychometric test examines general aspects concerning intercultural efficacy and generational issues as it pertains to employee recruitment. It helps in Diversity Approach Test (DAT) cover page imageunderstanding the challenges management faces regarding diversity within the workplace. The DAT is a useful tool for managers, human resource consultants and all members of an organization. The test is comprised of a series of questions that are based on the major factors and accepted theories pertaining to diversity. The questions are answered using a scale from one to five,


ranging from very difficult to very easy. Based on a conceptual approach, the test was normalized using a population of professionals and managers who supervised a team of employees from a different cultural community.

Following the evaluation, the respondents' overall tolerances and cultural acceptances were identified, including with which specific cultural groups the respondent is likely to be compatible in the workplace. Furthermore, the given responses helped to situate respondents in relation to their openness to diverse cultural groups and people of various generations.



Test of Intercultural Effectiveness (TIE)

The TIE is a multiple-choice questionnaire that evaluates when an individual is ready to be employed in a culture other than his or her own. Based on a conceptual approach, the test was normalized with a population of professionals and managers who work in different cultures. The TIE, comprised of a series of 218 questions, evaluates competencies grouped according to the cognitive, social and emotional factors associated with working abroad. The factors are assessed according to the types of common, international cultures.

The test uses an auto-diagnostic format to discern the comfort level and associated risks that need to be considered when evaluating one's ability to work in a foreign country. The TIE measures the correlation between the respondent's profile and attitudes about the type of culture within which he or she may face difficulties or easily integrate. This test is important for all people who plan to work abroad, regardless of the position they occupy within an organisation (i.e. entry level, professional, supervisory or managerial.)

View our list of additional featured tests


FAQs

What Would the Dr. Do?
The president of EPSI, Dr. André Durivage, responds to questions from readers pertaining to the field of Human Resources.


Q: I have recently spoken with a colleague regarding the possibility of using online testing. What important aspects need to be considered prior to implementing this type of test administration?

A: The advantages of online testing are numerous. However, online testing also presents certain organizational challenges that must be closely analyzed and addressed before adopting this method of testing.

Online testing has ushered in a new era with numerous possibilities in terms of the flexibility to incorporate multiple representations (e.g. text, video, audio) in tests that this digital format allows. In addition, it offers the design of user-friendly score reports that can be accessed online and the possibility for organizations to centrally manage all of their testing needs. In implementing online testing, we have noticed that organizations reduce the time required for the hiring process, easily standardize their staffing procedures across all departments and increase their recruitment pool, while instantly improving their organizational image by incorporating this new technology in their processes.

Organizations also benefit from this new technology because it is easier to modify the content of a test and, given the ability to create data banks, they are now able to analyze items, instantly adjust norms and easily conduct statistical analyses. However, organizations that benefit from these numerous advantages ensure they have addressed the challenges associated with online testing before it is installed. These organizations analyze whether they possess the adequate hardware equipment, software, security components and Internet connection speeds required before implementing any type of system.

Dr. André Durivage, President of EPSI

In addition, organizations that successfully implement online testing ensure test security is maintained by incorporating measures that closely resemble a proctored setting (e.g. identity questions, webcam sign-ins, etc). They also closely monitor the psychometric properties of their online versus paper-pencil tests to maintain equity between the two testing media.

Finally, the organization provides all personnel affected by the introduction of this new technology with training on how to use the system, thereby resulting in a more comprehensive use of the online testing, because of increased familiarity. Moreover, training ensures that technical support is available for administrators and candidates, should the need arise.

The information above presents the challenges organizations must address before being able to take full advantage of this exciting new technology. However, the benefits highlighted here only partially portray the benefits associated with online testing.

An online demo was designed to allow users to experience our Online Testing Platform from an end-user and an administrator perspective.


Managerial In-Basket Exercise
Upcoming in summer 2009, EPSI will be offering a new innovative evaluation tool.

For many years, the managerial in-basket exercise has been a helpful management evaluation tool for the selection and identification of potential in succession planning in many public and private organizations. Traditionally, the in-basket exercise presents a base scenario and a series of situations to candidates who, using continuous text, identify the actions they would take to solve the presented issues. However, the costs associated with the development and correction of the scenarios can sometimes discourage certain organizations from using this tool. Consequently, some companies have recently chosen to use multiple choice in-basket exercises, which reduce the administrative and correction time required. In the case of a multiple choice in-basket, candidates still have to familiarize themselves with the background documentation provided regarding a fictitious organization. However, when it comes time to resolve the issues and make the appropriate decisions, specific questions are asked, accompanied by a series of statements. The multiple choice in-basket is categorized as a "situational judgement" test, given that candidates have to position themselves in relation to the statements provided.

In the summer of 2009, EPSI will present four new multiple choice in-basket exercises. pertaining to the tasks and activities associated with supervisory level positions, as well as the role and responsibilities of intermediate managerial positions. The situational aspects of each position level are oriented towards two different types of organizations, either a sales orientation or an administrative management orientation. Following a rigorous development and validation process, these four multiple choice in-basket exercises will encompass psychometric properties capable of leading to a personnel selection decision or to the identification of efficient succession strategies.

View our popular In-Basket Exercises


Conferences and Exhibitions

Compmetrica/EPSI booth

SQPTO conference in Montreal: April 30 to May 1

Once again, EPSI was an exhibitor at the SQPTO conference under the theme "Le développement accéléré des talents et de la relève". At this year's conference, EPSI's president, Dr. André Durivage, in conjunction with Dr. Norman Pettersen from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, presented his expertise on improving hiring processes using the "person-organization fit (PO fit)." It was a complete success, thanks to our many clients and attendees who were present at the show!

SHRM Exhibition and Conference in New Orleans

EPSI will be an exhibitor for the second consecutive year at the prestigious SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) conference and exhibition, which is being presented under the theme "New Ideas." This opportunity allows EPSI to position itself more prominently within the international market, and offers a unique occasion in which it can present products and services to an audience of more than 13,000 professionals from around the world. At the conference and exhibition, EPSI will be able to promote its exceptional contribution to Human Resources on an international level. The event will take place from June 28 to July 1, 2009, at the Memorial Convention Center in New Orleans, with more than 750 participating companies in attendance. Don`t miss the update, featured in our next Newsletter, about EPSI's presence at this prestigious event.


What's Happening in HR!
This issue's featured HR tip: Several methods to deal with employee Internet abuse during work hours.

A U.S. study has found that 30% to 40% of employees use the Internet for personal use during work hours. In addition, 60% of all on-line purchases are made during work hours. Personal use of the Internet during work hours by employees can represent billions of dollars in lost revenue. In order to deal effectively with this growing issue, employers have several options to consider.

First, organizations may be able to set specific guidelines and/or policies that clearly indicate acceptable/unacceptable Internet conduct, as well as provide employees with guidance on the appropriate use of online behaviour. In addition, the guidelines must highlight the ways in which violations will be handled.

Second, organizations have the opportunity to apply the use of electronic monitoring software in order to discourage the possible occurrence of Internet abuse or to enforce existing policies.

Finally, organizations may also provide their employees with educational programs that help prevent and detect Internet abuse early.


EPSI Experts
Extensive experience provides for interesting and informative perspectives. Below are some thoughts from one of EPSI's Experts.


Dr. Larry Coutts, Director of Consulting at EPSI has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Windsor and is also a part-time professor of Human Resources Management at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. Dr. Coutts has taught full-time at both the University of Guelph and the University of Windsor, as well as part-time at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.

Dr. Coutts' experience prior to EPSI is extensive and includes positions with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the most recent in which he served as the Director of the Organizational Design and Job Evaluation Branch. He has also had extensive experience in other areas of the public sector, including his position as Chief, Assessment Services and Programs Division of the Personnel Psychology Center in the Public Service Commission of Canada.

Throughout his career, Dr. Coutts has had the opportunity to develop and teach graduate level courses in Human Resources Management, Personnel Selection and Organizational Development. He has had the opportunity to consult with various Canadian federal government departments, agencies and crown corporations in the development of assessment instruments and the processes for personnel selection and the structuring of large-scale assessment processes. In addition, Dr. Coutts has consulted in the private sector and internationally.

Dr. Larry Coutts, Director of Consulting at EPSI

Dr. Coutts is one of the authors of Applied Social Psychology: Understanding and Addressing Social and Practical Problems. Moreover, he has authored numerous book chapters, journal articles, conference papers and technical reports on personnel selection, organizational psychology and other research areas of social science.

Dr. Coutts' extensive experience provides an interesting and informative perspective. Below are some of his thoughts on the advantages of the teaching experience and the new challenges facing HR managers.

Teaching experience: an asset to consulting

Teaching personnel selection and human resource management at the university level helps a person understand the ways that the basic psychological principles of these fields can be misapplied by organizations and their managers. The advantage of someone with teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate levels is that he or she is able to clearly explain important concepts to managers and individuals involved in the hiring process.

It may be taken for granted that an individual understands the full implications of terms such as reliability, validity and correlation. The teaching of young scholars helps one gain both experience and an understanding of some of the more effective approaches to help clients grasp the psychometric principles underlying good personnel selection strategies.

Biggest challenge facing Human Resources

In today's market, young employees expect to be promoted quickly and move up the corporate hierarchy at a relatively fast pace. Therefore, a major challenge for HR and organizations is to manage these expectations in a highly competitive work environment while retaining talented employees and maintaining appropriate standards of selection.

EPSI's greatest strengths

The employees at EPSI have a very strong sense of professionalism. There is a real client service philosophy underlying their work; they are willing to go the extra mile to meet and surpass the expectations of their clients. The desire to continually adapt in order to meet managers' needs is apparent. Our people are concerned with providing a highly professional, client-oriented service. Our success in these endeavours is evidenced by the number of clients who provide EPSI with repeat business year after year.


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