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Top Technology Trends: Job Requirements and Location

April 26, 2011
In previous blogs, we’ve discussed how technology has affected the delivery and content of selection assessments. Not only is technology changing the way selection assessments are delivered and developed, but it is also changing the type of job and person who is being hired. Job requirements and location are being redefined as a result of technology.

First of all, let’s talk about the amount of information with which many workers are bombarded on a daily basis. I am sitting at my desk writing this blog while, listening to music, answering e-mails, instant messaging and answering the phone. In recent years, I/O Psychologists have begun to examine multi-tasking more thoroughly. Technology has made multi-tasking a job requirement for many people. Supervisors frequently discuss the need for “good multi-taskers” in today’s jobs and research has shown that some people are much more effective in multitasking situations than others.  Being able to process information from multiple sources and engage in frequent task switching is necessary for many jobs. For example, the standard call center representative must be able to talk to a customer, look up information on a computer, and type notes all at the same time. Building this multi-tasking ability into the selection process will help organizations to ensure they have an effective workforce in today’s high technology environment.

Additionally, organizations are moving toward hiring remote workers. In some jobs and industries, employees who have computers and internet access in their homes have the opportunity to work from there. Employees who work from home can have better work/life balance. Additionally, organizations can save money by not needing to provide the brick and mortar work space for the employee. As technology advances, the prevalence of remote workers will also increase. To stay abreast of this trend, Industrial/Organizational psychologists and human resource professionals need to better understand the characteristics that make someone more or less successful as a remote employee and how working from home can impact onboarding, work relationships morale and satisfaction.

As technology advances, selection and assessment must also advance to keep up with it. This year’s SIOP highlighted some of the important areas that will be affected by technological advances. Keep these points in mind when designing and developing assessment tools moving forward so that your needs and your clients’ needs are being met.

Amie Lawrence, Ph.D. Amie Lawrence, Ph.D. is the Manager of Product Development at PSI. She is an expert in the design, development and validation of psychological assessment tools. An integral member of PSI since 2000, Amie has led the development of numerous competency-based assessments, including online in-baskets, job simulations and motivational fit instruments.