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ABP Conference 2016 - Our highlights


The 2016 ABP conference was called 'The Future of Business Psychology'.

The future of work has been a common theme in the past year and there has been a lot of discussion about what will help to drive it.

This week’s post looks at some of our conference highlights.

App based assessments

With assessments becoming more technologically advanced and an increased focus on end user experience, there is a proliferation of new psychometric testing formats.

These include mobile assessments, virtual reality simulations at assessment centres and game based assessments.

As exciting as this may be, there needs to be more thought around if the assessments are valid and predictive of performance.

In addition, consideration has to be given to ensuring validity and reliability when taking tests on mobile devices. 

So that there are no blurred lines, The ABP will be providing guidelines for practitioners on what is best practice when designing assessments.


Machines taking our jobs?

Volker Hirch, technology entrepreneur, delivered a keynote session around Artificial Intelligence and jobs in the future.

Volker’s insightful (and sometimes concerning!) talk contended that robots replacing us in the workplace, is not a concern for the future as it is already happening today.

We already see self serving checkouts at supermarkets and driverless trains.

Among many others, some examples include self driving Ubers, robots replacing front desk hotel staff in Japan and Dominoes using drones to deliver pizza in New Zealand!

That being said, we can question what jobs robots can and cannot do. There are certain characteristics and skills that robots do not possess (yet) including passion, creativity, empathy and critical thinking.  

Tom Chatfield’s engaging keynote on Thursday morning was slightly more reassuring.

In ‘The future of talent in a digital age’, he concluded that we as humans have the power to control what we would like to automate and that things should not be automated just because it is possible to do so!



The future of talent

Over the past few years we’ve seen social mobility increasingly becoming an objective for governments and a priority for many employers.

As business psychologists, it is our role to help organisations to design selection methods to increase diversity and eliminate socio - economic status bias.

An interesting session from The Work Psychology Group outlined a project which aimed to increase social mobility, via implementing a Values Based SJT at the initial selection stage.

The session reviewed the statistics that privately schooled students gain higher A-Level grades than those from state schools, and how therefore, privately schooled students are more likely to earn places at the top universities.

Interestingly, some research has found that students from state schools are more likely to obtain a better degree result than their privately schooled counterparts.

Certain employers solely relying on selection methods such as UCAS points and those who just select from the top universities, are consequently gaining more privately schooled grads into their organisation.

On the whole however, industry and academia are beginning to wake up to the importance of everyone having the chance of an equal opportunity. 


Read previous posts about increasing social mobility and how employers are removing A-Levels as an entry requirement from graduate recruitment schemes.



ABP Training Courses, sponsored by Pearson TalentLens

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