Maximizing Insights

August 2, 2006 Vol. 5 No. 6

What About Austin’s Job Market? by Barbara Metzger

Ira’s article let me to consider what is happening in the Austin market. Are our employee base is reflecting the same concerns as the article.

One of my Austin clients using the on-line application processing system was accepting resumes (applications) and the first level of assessments for an administrative assistant position. We posted this on Monster, Craig’s List and the Statesman. In the last 15 days of July there have been 297 applicants.

297. These are not all unemployed people. One of these may be working for you and checking out their options.

297 – This is not for a high paying, executive position. And our job market is not desperate. When the economy was tighter, employees tended to want to hold on to the job they had. When it is doing better, it may seem less risky to look.

297 – 12% (36) of these were immediately disqualified by the system because they didn’t have the basic requirements in the questions asked on experience and skill levels.

261 qualified applicants, except 171 of them chose not to complete the assessment. We don’t know why. Maybe they weren’t that interested in the job if the application takes too long. Maybe they didn’t have high speed Internet connection. Maybe they thought their resume was so outstanding it wouldn’t matter.

The company looks only at the applications which are complete and this includes the assessment. This is a great way to filter out the applicants that may not follow through on the job either.

Several other observations. This on-line system has a built in request to complete questionnaire for an assessment that is benchmarked for the position. Only 50 of the 94 completed assessments have an 80% or greater match to the job.

This means only 50 of 297 applicants (16.8%) are qualified to be considered and a large number of them didn’t have resumes to be strongly considered. This brings to mind the 20/80 percent rule. How effective is your hiring process to get to the effective 20% to be considered for the position? What systems can you put in place to make sure? How cost and time effective is the method?

The company has narrowed it down to three and we ran two other assessments on each of them. With the new interview questions based on the assessments, the final one will be picked this week.

Are your employees looking? Are you looking for new employees? How do you know if you are getting someone else’s star or their problem? Are you taking care of your star performers?

Evaluate your people skills pool, screen candidates, and retain your top talent. To learn more about TotalView Assessment System and ASSESS Expert Systems contact

Why Executives Change Jobs by Ira Wolfe

Executives are bailing out of their companies to take new jobs at an alarming rate. Global competition and a growing shortage of skilled leaders offer temptations that few executives can resist.

But the proliferation of outside opportunities may not be the only reason that executives quit their companies.

Research from the Cornell Center for Advanced Human Research Studies shows that some managers are hard-wired for networking, self-marketing and responding to headhunter calls. These managers are much more likely to spend their time searching the market - no matter how much they like their current organizations. Says, Dr. John Boudreau, "Intelligence and personality are two significant reasons why."

Boudreau and his team asked 1900 executives with average annual compensations of $165,000 to complete a questionnaire about their job search activities, compensation levels and career ambitions, as well as their job satisfaction, job stress, and the success of their current companies. The researchers also measured five personality traits--agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism (tendency to experience anxiety, insecurity and hostility) and openness, using a Five Factor Personality assessment (the same model used by our TotalView Assessment System, ASSESS System, and JobClues.) The research team did a follow-up survey to determine how many of the executives in this group had remained in their original positions.

Analysis of the data suggests that dissatisfaction with situational factors like job responsibilities, compensation and perceived organizational success is the primary factor in an executive's decision to seek a new position. However, among executives who were equally satisfied with their jobs, those with higher intelligence levels were more likely to make themselves available.

The impact of personality is more complex. Executives with high scores on agreeableness (cooperativeness in TotalView system), extraversion, and openness (innovativeness) were also likely to search more frequently than equally satisfied peers. Surprisingly, conscientiousness didn't predict search, although prior research has shown this trait is related to job turnover among non-managers.

The research confirms what our clients have learned - cognitive abilities and personality traits do matter when it comes to predicting performance. Now they may learn also which of their best and brightest are most likely to skip out too.

In the war for talent what you do know about your employees may be your competitive edge. But what you don't know may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

Perfect Labor Storm Alerts #554 to #559

Fact #554: By 2030, 1 in 5 persons in the United States will be elderly. (Source: Census Bureau, National Institute on Aging)

Fact #555: The number of men aged 65 and older who worked in 1950 has dropped from 46 percent to 19 percent in 2003, while the number of women in the workforce remained constant. (Source: Census Bureau, National Institute on Aging)

Fact #556: Florida, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are the oldest states where 17.6 percent, 15.6 percent, 15.3 percent of the population is elderly respectively. (Source: Census Bureau, National Institute on Aging)

Fact #557: Three quarters of the 10.5 million older Americans living alone in 2003 were women. (Source: Census Bureau, National Institute on Aging)

Fact #558: In 1960, just 1.6 percent of older men and 1.5 percent of older women were divorced. By 2003, 7 percent of senior men and 8.6 percent of senior women were divorced and not remarried. (Source: Census Bureau, National Institute on Aging)

Fact #559: The percentage of elderly holding at least a bachelor's degree rose from 3.4 percent in 1950 to 17.4 percent in 2003, and is expected to top 25 percent by 2030. (Source: Census Bureau, National Institute on Aging)

The featured article and labor storm facts are written by Ira S. Wolfe, founder of Success Performance Solutions, and is distributed here by MaxImize with permission