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EPSI - Newsletter Autumn 2010
Editor's Note
Interview Builder
What would the Dr. Do?
Talent Acquisition
What's Happening in HR!
EPSI Experts
Placing an emphasis on Talent Acquisition


Talent Acquisition: moving beyond the gut feeling

As we turn the corner on 2010, organizations worldwide are facing various levels of pressure to uncover solutions associated with the widely acknowledged and upcoming demand and supply labour gap. EPSI FORUM All HR practitioners know that this condition will intensify the difficulties associated with key positions in their organizations and this rising demand for a skilled workforce that exceeds the projected availability of candidates will surely drive the cost of skilled talent to new levels and initiate a talent war. Consequently, this is why many avant-garde companies are developing Talent Acquisition strategies and integrating them into their long-term planning.

While some companies profess to benefit from using a Talent Acquisition strategy, or even employ numerous "Talent Acquisition Specialists," this practice goes beyond simply posting a CV, interviewing a candidate and basing a hiring decision on a "gut feeling." A successful Talent Acquisition strategy must meld into an organization's retention and developmental approach and must no longer simply rely on traditional methods of recruitment to fill a position. There is a proven science to selecting the right person for the job, and using recognized tools and products with a proven history will ensure a consistency in your selection results.

In keeping with this edition's theme of Talent Acquisition, we will provide you with global statistics and trends that may influence your future Talent Acquisition strategies, as well as innovative tools that may be used in your interviews to ensure that the conditions for a successful interview are met. We have also included the expert advice of our president André Durivage, Ph.D., a highly respected author and HR specialist in regard to a question we received on methods to select new employees who are more likely to stay with your organization. In addition, we will also present the prominence of social media in human resources and our "EPSI Expert" talks about the evolution of staffing in the federal government from EPSI's perspective.

As in every edition, we would like to thank you for your continued readership and the loyalty you have demonstrated in EPSI and our Compmetrica assessment products.


Franco Maimone
Director, Consulting Services and Business Development
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Structured interviews have never been easier!

interview builder

Companies need tools to assess applicants as part of the hiring process. The right candidate is not just the most qualified person, but also the best fit for the organization. Companies can determine this through several methods, including CV screening, knowledge testing, aptitude and other tests, references, etc. But the preferred method is definitely the interview. In fact, the most widely used tool for personnel selection across the world is the job interview.

Organizations place a great deal of importance on this method of assessment because it allows managerial staff (managers, supervisors, team leaders, etc.) to meet with the candidates in person before making a critical decision. Of all the different interview approaches, structured interviews provide the best prediction of future candidate performance. It is based on a skills assessment with two types of questions: behavioural and situational. These enable the candidates' competencies to be evaluated based on past experience (behavioural questions) and hypothetical job-related situations (situational questions).

Structured interviews have proven beneficial to the hiring process. But the complexity of these interviews requires companies to have a certain specific knowledge and expertise in relation to this method; otherwise, their effectiveness in predicting future performance may be reduced. Because structured interviews can be quite costly and time-consuming to develop and implement, firms specializing in psychometrics, evaluations and assessments are often used for this type of exercise. Compmetrica, constantly on the lookout for innovative selection assessment tools, has created a solution that enables organizations to obtain the best possible results from structured interviews, even if they do not have the in-house resources and expertise to develop a complete structured interview guide on their own.

The Compmetrica Interview Builder is a comprehensive technological platform with some 900 interview questions. This tool enables all types of companies to create a complete interview guide in a few simple clicks. Like the Compmetrica online testing platform, the Interview Builder is an innovative online tool that requires no specific software applications. The user-friendly interface allows users to create their own customized interview framework in just 10 minutes. This system for effective candidate assessments is based on competency indicators. Users can create a job profile based on business sector and job level, and then select questions related to the skills being evaluated. All of the questions were written by professionals in the HR field and were developed based on the Compmetrica Competency Model, which includes 60 competencies used in assessing all types of positions. In just four simple steps, users can create a complete interview guide containing additional information for selection committee members, such as interview instructions and guidelines, behavioural indicators and expected responses. Profiles in the user account can be created or modified to match the assessment needs of the vacant positions within the organization. The Compmetrica Interview Builder is a generic tool that provides companies with an effective, low-cost solution to assess applicants using a proven, reliable method. This innovative technological solution allows organizations of all sizes to benefit from skills-based assessments when hiring the most qualified employees.

By Mathieu Durivage
Assessment and Evaluation Consultant

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President of EPSI - André Durivage, Ph.DDispensing expert HR advice from EPSI's President, the highly respected author André Durivage, Ph.D.

Q: I'm a Director at an organization that has implemented a post-graduate university recruitment program as part of our human resources management plan. After reviewing our initial results, we realized that we are experiencing a higher rate of turnover than we would have liked. Are there steps we can take to ensure that candidates are more likely to stay with our organization?

- T. Forcellini
Vancouver, British Columbia

A: It's great that you are looking into this potential issue proactively as there are some simple measures that you can implement in your selection process to ensure that the post graduate candidates you choose are the best fit for your organization.

For example; using a method to identify candidates work values as part of the selection process and comparing them to your organizations values, you can chose candidates who will likely have higher job satisfaction and an increased intent to stay with the organization.

Studies have shown that when employees share work values (value congruence) with their supervisors and managers, the work environment is more likely to fulfill the psychological needs of the employee. Specifically a study by Edwards and Cable (2009) demonstrated that value congruence positively enhances job satisfaction, organizational identification and through these outcomes, intent to remain in the organization. Results indicated that this likely occurs in part because value congruence promotes trust and communication between employees. In the study trust was defined as "the willingness to be vulnerable to the actions of another, due to the expectation that those actions will not harm oneself" and communication referred to "the open exchange of information through formal and informal interactions among organizational members" (Goldhaber, et al. 1978) Essentially, by adding a small step to the initial selection process you can identify which new young employees will be more likely to identify with your organizations culture and values.

In addition, identifying your employees work values can be a useful tool for your managers to pre-emptively navigate the potential conflicts that may arise between various generations of employees in the workplace. These conflicts may present themselves due to the various generations distinct methods of approaching circumstances and not necessarily due to any fundamental irreconcilable differences between the two groups. The new generation of workers (referred to as gen "Y", Millennials etc.) may in fact share work values with their older generation counterparts (Gen "X" and Baby Boomers). These shared values can provide a jumping off point for managers to implement strategies to promote communication and cooperation between employees of all ages.

Each individual in an organization, regardless of age or corresponding generation, has their own personality, values and experiences that shape who they are and contributes to the diversity and productiveness of the workplace. Using a values test such as the Organizational Values Test (OVT) to identify an individual or organization's work values can prove to be an extremely effective tool in managing the changing workforce.

Edwards, J., Cable, D. (2009) The Value of Value Congruence: Journal of Applied Psychology, 2009, Vol. 94, No. 3, 654-677.

Goldhaber, G., Yates, M., Porter, D., & Lesniak, R. (1978) Organizational communication: State of the art. Human Communication Research, 5, 76-96.

To submit a question to be answered by EPSI's president André Durivage, Ph.D, please send an email to info@epsi-inc.com with 'Question for the Doctor' clearly marked in the subject line.

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Talent Acquisition

A glimpse of current global practices

talent acquisition

Logistics, equipment, sales, production, finances... So much goes in to setting up and maintaining a business! But there is no doubt that a key success factor of any organization lies within its people. In an era where the global economy is dominated by service sector activities (64%)i , hence more dependent than ever on human capital, an organization's HR department has come to play a more significant and strategic role than ever. If properly utilized, human capital can have substantial impacts on an organization's effectiveness as well as be a source of important competitive advantage in today's market. Our people are the ones who build meaningful relationships with customers, ensure the quality of the products and services we provide, maintain the image we choose to project and serve as a motivating force in maintaining and developing business locally and abroad.

How do we ensure that our organization benefits fully from the advantages resulting from a quality workforce? Talent acquisition activities incorporate a number of external staffing systems that govern the initial intake of applicants into the organization. These activities are the stepping stones to ensuring that an organization can function effectively. Most commonly, this portion of the staffing process will OVT incorporate planning for the number and types of people required, laying out job requirements, establishing rewards systems, conducting external recruitment campaigns, using selection tools to evaluate candidates, deciding on which applicants are the most qualified and finally putting together an appealing job offer.

The following paragraphs present a number of talent acquisition trends that have continued to grow in popularity worldwide over the past decade. Organizations from all over resort to recruiting foreign talent when local applicants don't have the sought after qualifications required for the posting. Many of the highest grossing CEOs in the Asia/Pacific region are expatriates. Indeed, this may be a good option when looking to hire experienced personnel or simply to generate a larger pool of potential candidates. However, one must consider the long list of associated expenses and the fact that such assignments require candidates to have not only the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities for the job itself, but require an equally important skill set relative to their cultural integration if they wish to be successful. When companies go so far as to seek out foreign expertise, they are often willing to offer substantial financial incentives as well, a practice which has been especially popular in the high-tech sector. Companies worldwide engage in bidding wars to ensure that their workforce acquires the most qualified personnel.

Others use different techniques to seek out highly reputable candidates; executive search firms have become more and more popular offering personalized and highly confidential services whereby organizations are provided with a list of the most suitable candidates, regardless of whether they currently hold a position elsewhere. The previously mentioned tactics are used mainly for upper levels of an organization, but as demographics are changing considerably in North America, talent acquisition activities are changing to adapt to these new environments and thus are having an impact of larger proportion. Demographic trends are reducing the general workforce so significantly that organizations are required to re-orient their efforts to appeal to a whole different range of potential candidates. Not only must organizations reboot their initiatives with regards to internship opportunities and new graduate recruits via job fairs and other such events, they must now appeal to the group of mature workers who are re-entering the workforce. More and more organizations are following in the footsteps of companies such as GM, GE, McDonalds, and Intelii ; acquiring talent that meet only the basic job/organization requirements and developing them internally so that they may grow within the organization. This method does not apply to talent acquisition alone, but can also be a means of acquiring additional knowledge, new skills, and key abilities through existing employees. A workforce lacking in either sufficient quantity or quality employees can mean lost business opportunities, scaled-back expansion plans, and an inability to satisfy customer demands and can eventually become a substantial threat to an organization's survival.

i CIA World Factbook
ii HR Magazine, Feb, 2000 by Russell V. Gerbman

By Ashley Bourque
Assessment and Evaluation Consultant

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news Read about what is new at EPSI and our experiences participating in various conferences across North America.


    San Diego, California

    EPSI Out to Conquer the US Market

  • San Diego Conference EPSI is very enthusiastic after returning from the largest HR conference in the world! This year, the 62nd annual conference of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) was held in magnificent San Diego. A total of 700 exhibitors were on hand to showcase their expertise, and we took advantage of this unique occasion to promote our innovative Compmetrica products to some 10,000 human resource specialists. In addition, participants at this renowned conference said they were particularly impressed by the wide range of our assessment products and by the user-friendliness of our platforms, including the Interview Builder and the Competency Profiler. We will be back at next year's SHRM conference under the bright lights of Las Vegas.

  • CHRA Congress - HR Without Limits
    Montreal, Quebec

    The CHRA Goes Global

  • From September 27-29, the CHRA Congress hosted the 13th World Human Resources Congress in Montreal, with the theme "HR Without Limits." In partnership with the World Federation of Personnel Management Associations (WFPMA), this congress brought together more than 3,500 HR specialists from around the world. Its goal was to strengthen the global HR community by providing a forum for human resource management professionals to discuss the latest trends and issues, such as expanding roles and increasingly complex HR responsibilities. It provided us with the opportunity to present our new multiple choice in-basket exercises, organizational values tests and other exciting products to present and potential clients. For those who are interested, next year's 2012World Human Resources Congress will be taking place in Australia.definitely something not to miss!


  • EPSI, Active Fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life

    Community involvement is key to EPSI, and that is why we actively participated in the Relay For Life fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. In the three months leading up to the Relay For Life, a group of fifteen employees organized different fundraising activities to reach the goal set by the team. To end the campaign, we participated in the 12-hour walk held on June 18 in Gatineau. It was a unique opportunity for the entire team to support one another and to celebrate, acknowledge and join in the fight against the terrible disease of cancer. The experience was extremely enriching, and we look forward eagerly to next year's event. In the meantime, we are looking for new ways to get involved in our local community!


  • 2nd Annual EPSI Forum: Friday October 22nd, 2010

    EPSI will be holding its second annual open house at its Gatineau office on Friday October 22nd. Our clients will be able to meet with our human resources consultants to obtain information in regard to hiring practices and to learn more about solutions for their HR challenges. The central theme of the event is "Diversity and Values, Beyond Theory and Into Practice." Interactive sessions have been scheduled, focusing on the importance of cultural diversity in hiring practices. We invite everyone to learn more about the changes taking place in the human resources industry today!

  • Switzerland Event

    EPSI will be in Lausanne, Switzerland on November 16 to host a workshop/conference in partnership with the firm Optentiel on the topic of New trends in skills assessments. This will be an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our experience to members of the Swiss French business community. Please feel free to visit our website for further information on this fantastic event!

By: Pascal Leguerrier
Consultant - Marketing Support

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The Networking Revolution

Sharing, Interacting and Updating a Click at a Time...

réseau social "The internet is viewed as a medium in which interactive experience, in the form of blogs, wikis, forums, etc, plays a more important role than simply accessing informationi."

Today, the web has become a method to facilitate information sharing that allow users to interact with the other members by updating, adding personal or professional content into various online social-networking sites.

Today, social networking sites allow users to interact, share ideas, interests, opinions and personal information instantly over the web. Facebook is an example of a social-networking site commonly used as a social utility to connect with people with friends, colleagues, peers and family. This social networking phenomenon has reached over 500 million users worldwide this year. Those who use this networking site are able to update their personal profiles, send messages to others and join groups that are organized by their workplace, school, community, sport association, etc. In addition to Facebook, there a wealth of other popular sites that allows users to update their personal information, opinion, videos, pictures, personal status, etc., such as Twitter, YouTube and blogs.

Social networking is an important aspect of millions of individuals worldwide, as it allows us to connect and share information with peers, friends, colleagues, professionals, etc. instantaneously. The social network takes many forms from personal to professional aspects.

A popular and widely used site such as LinkedIn which reaches over 50 million users worldwide allows professionals to share up-to-date information and expert advice on opportunities, best practices, solutions, career information, industry advice, etc. In addition, professionals are able to network and connect with other professionals, industry leaders, stay in touch with current and previous colleagues, and discover possible job or business opportunities.

Furthermore, social networking sites take other forms such as HR. com which is an online community dedicated to assisting Human Resources (HR) professionals by providing them with the knowledge and resources they need to manage effective organizations. HR professionals have access to a wealth of information to topics related to employee benefits, compensation, HR Management, HR outsourcing, leadership, etc. In addition, HR. com features "Virtual Events" which allows attendees to chat with representatives, attend live webcasts, expand networking possibilities and share information with peers.

Thanks to the Web Networking Revolution, professionals in all fields are able to be linked to millions of individuals and receive up-to-date information on multitude of subjects, and increase business opportunities by making contact with the right professionals.

Join us on our Web Networking Revolution by clicking on LinkedIn Group account!

EPSI on LinkedIn

Happy networking,

i Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition 2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009

By Natalia Camargo Santos
Assessment and Evaluation Consultant

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EPSI experts provide valuable, informative perspectives on various aspects of HR.

Frédérick Abott

All organizations are looking to hire the best and brightest, however given that there are so many ways to go about it these days, how are they to know what is effective?

Enter the human resources consultant; the individual who helps managers of all types navigate the oftentimes convoluted world of personnel selection. Be it internal, external, national, federal or private processes, everyone is in need of expert advice at times.

This Autumn edition of the newsletter features Mr. Frédéric Abbott, one of EPSI's experts in talent acquisition. Frédéric has over ten years of experience in the field of personnel selection with clients in numerous Canadian federal government departments, crown corporations, agencies and private organizations. The selection processes he has consulted on and managed have spanned different groups and levels from interview builder entry level to executives.

After years of experience in the human resources field, Frédéric is in a unique position to answer some of our questions in regard to changes and challenges managers are facing in selecting personnel and the solutions available to address these situations.

Have you seen any major changes taking place within organizations in regard to hiring or promoting the right employees?

It is no secret that many baby-boomers are retiring, resulting in many positions to be filled by a new workforce; due to this occurrence, organizations are now approaching their personnel selection differently.

For example, in my experience now, more than ever, the federal government is open to hiring individuals external to the organization. Hiring managers are rigorously ensuring that candidates have the right skill set for positions to be staffed, and they are broadening the pools from which they choose employees. Managers now are able to understand the competency approach and know that organizational knowledge can be learned once the candidate is an employee of the organization. Competencies are what distinguish the candidate as being the best hire and organizational knowledge is seen in most cases as an asset.

Are there any major challenges that organizations are facing in regard to selection processes?

A challenge facing many organizations is putting in place effective selection processes despite the current financial climate, as managers would like to implement the most effective process but obviously in a financially conservative manner. One way in which this can be accomplished is to examine the cost effective measures of using generic assessment tools that are as equally valid as the tailor-made tools that many managers prefer. The generic assessment tools can provide organizations with an option to create an effective and efficient selection process that may be more in line with their hiring budget.

In addition, as mentioned above, there are many changes taking place in the workforce as baby-boomers retire and other generations are hired or promoted to fill the positions being vacated. This generational turnover is creating a new set of challenges and opportunities for managers, and requires forward thinking strategies with an emphasis on career development, succession planning and the use of innovative assessment and evaluation tools.

You have identified certain changes and challenges organizations are facing, what solutions can they used to address these situations?

In order to effectively address organizational hiring needs, it is important to implement proactive strategies such as focusing on employee career development, succession planning, and creating large pools that draw on external people. For this to be a possibility hiring managers need access to people who have a certain expertise in human resources. In effect they require people who can provide them with the appropriate information; whether that is a human resources advisor internal to the organization or someone external such as a consultant.

That is why in my experience, as a consultant it is important that we understand that clients need someone to provide them with expert guidance throughout the process, not just products or services. HR consultants need to take on a role oriented towards providing clients will all available options. Managers have the judgement and ability to make decisions when it comes to hiring personnel, not to mention accountability for the selection process. That is why it is in their benefit and the organizations' that they acquire the appropriate advice when deciding upon the structure and tools of a selection process. As consultants it is not our job to decide for them, but to give managers the resources they need to make the right decision.

You mentioned that consulting work in the HR field should be oriented more towards providing clients with all available options. Can you provide us with a definition of what being a consultant means to you?

Being a consultant means providing the right advice at the right time, being able to support your client so that they can make the right decisions. You cannot aspire to be just a salesperson to your clients; you have to be able to adjust your approach to meet your clients' needs.

By Meaghan Huet
Assessment and Evaluation Consultant

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