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Talent Blog

Talent Insights Direct from Our Experts

Escaping Disengagement: An Employee’s Perspective

Nov 15, 2017 | by Ian Mirsch

You begin your day in a daze, silencing your alarm two or three times before letting out the inevitable sigh that forces you out of bed. When you arrive at work, you sift through tasks at a fraction of your original pace. You notice that you’re less energetic than before, both at the office and at home...In this blog, we will explore why that shift from engagement to disengagement occurs and how companies and employees can reengage to bring balance and fulfillment back into the workplace.

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Talent Is Your Biggest Cyber Security Strategy

Oct 25, 2017 | by Don MacPherson

In a time of incredible volatility and business uncertainty, it might be difficult to pinpoint your greatest business risks. However, according to Aon’s 2017 Global Risk Management Survey and its nearly 2,000 global respondents, the risk organizations feel leaves them most vulnerable is damage to reputation/brand. Read More

Quality Matters: Invest in Assessments to Grow Your Company

Oct 23, 2017 | by Ernest Paskey

Think about what your next big purchase decision might be. It could be a house, a car, a vacation, or even what school to send your children to, or where you will live in retirement. In making that decision, what if you focused on these factors? Read More

Why Are Women Not Making It to the Top?

Sep 18, 2017 | by Sarah Foster

It should be a given that elevating women to leadership positions in the workplace is beneficial to companies. In fact, companies with at least 30 percent of women in leadership roles can boost their net profit margins by about 15 percent compared to those with no female leaders (Peterson Institute for International Economics). The question of the hour isn’t, “Why do we want women at the top,” but rather, “Why are women not making it to the top?” Read More

Is Labor Day Dead?

Aug 31, 2017 | by Ken Oehler & Don MacPherson

It is the last hurrah. Across the United States, people will be celebrating the unofficial end of summer with picnics, college football, and the three days of vacation that is Labor Day Weekend. But what are we really celebrating? Read More

The New Hiring Frontier: Next Generation Simulations

Aug 23, 2017 | by Eleni Lobene & Tara Johnson


Each of these terms is loaded with meaning if you are working within the current hiring space. These Big 3 are changing the...

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Announcing an Aon Global Best Employer: IHG

Aug 3, 2017 | by Don MacPherson

Elite results require extraordinary talent. In the 21st century, this is an absolute certainty. Never in human history have employees been as creative, productive, and valuable than right now. This is why Aon created our Best Employers program. We want to acknowledge organizations that understand the power of their people and are committed to providing an environment where those employees can thrive. Read More

Emerging Trends in the World of Work, According to the Best of the Best

Jul 19, 2017 | by Eleni Lobene

In 2016, Aon Hewitt’s Assessment Group hosted our first in-person meeting with our Science Advisory Board. If you are trained as an Industrial-Organizational psychologist, you are undoubtedly familiar with the work of these all-stars:
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Succession Planning: Mitigate Risk by Building the Pipeline

Jun 29, 2017 | by Sarah Foster

Since the introduction of the “Leadership Pipeline” in the early oughts, it is increasingly clear that a deep succession bench is a critical differentiator for the most successful companies Read More

Captain the Ship Through Rough Waters: Senior Leadership’s Role in Employee Engagement

Jun 23, 2017 | by Christopher Adair

Conventional wisdom says that managers are the primary driver of employee engagement. And while managers no doubt play a role in the “engagement equation,” placing significant weight on the manager may not fully capture all of the complexities of today’s workplace. Read More

Checked in or Check Out: Hiring for Hospitality

Jun 20, 2017 | by Chad C. Parson, PhD.

Want to learn about what hospitable hospitality selection and development looks like all over the world? Well then, you need look no further. Read More

Nerdy Post Alert: Using Multidimensional IRT to Assess Ability

Jun 14, 2017 | by Kyle Morgan

Have you ever taken a test before getting a job? Have you ever taken one that feels like it’s trying to figure out how smart you are? That’s probably because it was.
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Help, Everyone is Being Hacked! Who Can Save Us Now?

Jun 7, 2017 | by Kate LaPort & Rachel Dreibelbis

The costs of cyber-attacks to organizations are staggering:

  • Target entered into an $18.5 million settlement with 47 states
  • Sony paid $15 million in investigation and remediation
  • 60% of small companies go out of business within 6 months of an attack
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But, I’m afraid remote employees will sip pina coladas by the pool

May 31, 2017 | by Eleni Lobene

Many organizational leaders are concerned about what employees will do, if they aren’t in an office from 9-5 every day. Aon Hewitt was just named a top employer for supporting workplace flexibility through teleworking. Read More

Employee Engagement: Think Pay Doesn’t Matter? Think Again!

May 26, 2017 | by Ken Oehler

We have all heard that pay is a hygiene factor – meaning, you have to get pay right but you don’t get discretionary effort for incremental pay. Dan Pink says intrinsic motivation is what really what drives motivation and performance.   Read More

The Modern Call Center: Where Only the Strongest Survive

May 24, 2017 | by Eleni Lobene & Tara Johnson

The modern call center environment is challenging. Breaks are limited. Hours are long. The number of customer interactions per day can be staggering. And, although it’s all on the phone, service should be provided with a smile… or at least a positive attitude. After all, call center representatives are the face of the organization and yield significant influence over the customer:

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Global Employee Engagement Is Down: What To Do About It

May 16, 2017 | by Don MacPherson

It’s rough to be an employee right now and even harder for the employer. We just surveyed more than 1,000 companies around the globe and the results – not great. Sixty-three percent of people are engaged at work, down from 65%, according to Aon’s 2017 Trends in Global Employee Engagement report, which measures employee advocacy, commitment, and desire to bring one’s best to work. Read More

Women in Leadership: Let’s Keep Advancing!

May 10, 2017 | by Eleni Lobene

There are a number of challenges that prevent women from advancing into higher-level leadership positions. One contributing factor is an increasingly recognized phenomena known by a number of terms including: “Just-like-me Complex,” “Similar-to-me Bias,” or – most officially - “Affinity Bias.” Read More

Meet Ernie Paskey

May 2, 2017 | by Eleni Lobene

You know it’s going to be a great interview when your interviewee is at an international airport purchasing Jelly Bellies as a preflight snack at the end of a long week. The scenario actually perfectly sets us up to get to know Ernest Paskey… efficient, productive, humble, and – importantly – fun. Read More

Revisiting Personality: Can you have too much of a good thing?

Apr 25, 2017 | by Eleni Lobene & Nicholas Martin

Among the very first analyses one learns as a graduate student in Industrial-Organizational Psychology is linear regression. In its most basic form, regression assumes a linear relationship between two variables.  In other words, as one variable increases (like hours spent exercising) another may as well (total pounds lost.) Read More

Giving Top Performers the Star Treatment: Is Meritocracy Overrated?

Apr 21, 2017 | by Seymour Adler

Researchers have recently argued for greater focus on star performers both in our research and in our practice1,2,3. They define star performers as those who, relative to average performers in similar roles, produce output that is far superior in quantity or quality (or both). Read More

I can’t apply for this job on my phone? Pass.

Apr 19, 2017 | by Kate LaPort & Chris Huynh

There is no doubt that mobile devices are an integral part of life for many people today. We wake up, snooze the phone’s alarm, check our emails, see who posted cute dog/kitten/baby pictures, and then consider rolling out of bed.  Why?  Because we can.  Mobile devices have found themselves at the center of our daily lives and for good reason.  We use them most frequently for texting, browsing the web, checking email, social networking, and every now and then a good old fashioned phone call home. Read More

Traditional Cognitive Testing Got You Down? Get Your G.A.M.E. On with Aon!

Apr 13, 2017 | by Nick Martin & Kate LaPort

Traditional cognitive ability tests have had a rough time in recent years. Don’t get us wrong, cognitive ability tests are still considered the best predictor of future success on the job (Schmidt  et al., 2016). Recently though, “best predictor” has been coupled with some not-so-flattering descriptions of these traditional tests:

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CATs are the greatest (and cutest) right?

Apr 5, 2017 | by Kate LaPort, John Capman, Caitlin Blackmore, and Michael McKenna

No, no, not this CAT.

We’re talking about Computer Adaptive Tests. These CATs are most often used in college entrance exam such as the SAT and the GRE. They represent the most sophisticated tests in employment assessment and selection.

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“Ain’t Nothing But a ‘G’ Thing!”

Mar 28, 2017 | by Nick Martin & Kate LaPort

The times, they are a-changin’! Dylan’s lyrics continue to resonate and not just on the social-political scene. Even within the world of assessment, change is afoot! Cognitive ability measures (g) have long been the cream of the crop from a performance prediction perspective extending this rein from the early days of formalized testing to today. Read More

Interested in simulations? Don’t miss the big (scoring) reveal!

Mar 21, 2017 | by Eleni Lobene & Bharati Belwalkar

Simulations are one of the most robust assessment methodologies available on the market today due to their ability to predict important work outcomes,1,4 and their ability to replicate high-fidelity work experiences1. What makes an effective simulation? Read More

Who—or What—Is a Humanitarian Anyway?

Mar 7, 2017 | by Eleni Lobene

Aon colleagues partnered with researchers at Purdue University and Elon University to investigate questions surrounding the personality and motives behind a special kind of work—volunteer work. Leveraging the ADEPT-15® adaptive personality assessment, a collaborative paper was written that will serve as a lynchpin in the rapidly growing Humanitarian Work Psychology (HWP) literature. But before we go into the details of the research, you may be wondering about the basics of this HWP thing—and we were too.

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Why Not Just Use My Gut and Save a Ton of Cash?

Feb 23, 2017 | by Michael Heil

I’ve had hiring managers tell me that they can save a lot of money by discarding selection assessments and following their gut when evaluating candidates. This claim has often been based on a belief that selection tests are not valid if they produce results that conflict with the hiring manager’s expectations. Bottom line: Someone they know and with whom they have prior experience did not score as well as expected, so this must mean there is something wrong with the test. Read More

Mitigating the Impact of Implicit Bias in High-Stakes Settings

Feb 15, 2017 | by Mike Heil

Our perceptions of people, which are not always positive, impact how we behave toward them. What choices will we make if we have a negative opinion of someone? Are we likely to be fair to them if we see them as somehow “less than”? Now, consider how we will behave if we do not realize that our biased attitudes even exist. Read More

Learning Agility, Take 2: Accelerated Learning

Feb 8, 2017 | by Rafi Prager

Let’s face it - work in today’s world can be exhausting. Employees are expected to keep up with the latest technology, rapid changes in the market and industry, geographic dispersion and global commerce, and to acquire new skills to stay relevant. It’s no wonder that a new buzzword has emerged in recent years: learning agility. Read More

How to Be a Working Mom in 5 Steps

Feb 1, 2017 | by Eleni Lobene

This title may be a bit misleading, as I don’t believe there’s any single way to handle the inherent grind and juggle of working full-time and being a parent. But, let’s be honest…we need more conversation. Read More

Are you getting candidate selection right?

Jan 23, 2017 | by Eleni Lobene

If you are asking this question, you’re on the right path. Why? Well, suboptimal hiring decisions and practices are costly to any organization… in the ballpark of $8,000 per day. Read More

Implementing a New Selection Process

Jan 18, 2017 | by Kathy MacKay

Organizations change their selection and assessment (S&A) processes for a number of reasons: jobs evolve, some try to keep up with or stay ahead of the competition, and some wish to align their selection process to advances in technology.  Regardless of the why, how does a company go about such a change? Read More

The Fairness Factor: Decoding Adverse Impact

Jan 10, 2017 | by Katherine MacKay & Eleni Lobene

Adverse Impact (also known as Disparate Impact) occurs when members of a particular race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin are systematically disadvantaged by an employment practice. Investigating Adverse Impact is how employers ensure that hiring practices, such as assessment usage and promotion systems, are fair. Critically important, right?

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The Silver Bullet for Successful Consulting

Jan 4, 2017 | by Kathy MacKay

Customers and clients come in all shapes and sizes. Some are fellow I/O Psychologists, others are not. Some are internal to your organization, and others are external. Some are at a level equivalent to yours, while others might be above or below. Regardless of how your paths cross, you are ultimately dependent upon one another for a product, service, or paycheck. However, a silver bullet has been identified and can make or break this symbiotic existence. Are you ready?

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Meet Eleni Lobene

Dec 21, 2016 | by Eleni Lobene

Eleni is an Associate Consultant in Assessment & Leadership’s Research & Innovation group. Eleni has been with Aon Hewitt since November 2014 and specializes in technology-enhanced assessment development – particularly high fidelity and highly engaging work simulations. Eleni came to Aon Hewitt from academia where she focused on game-based learning and intelligent-tutoring system research. We interviewed Eleni and thought you might like to get to know her a bit better, too. Read More

What's Your Favorite Band(ing) Method?

Dec 14, 2016 | by Jennifer Cavanaugh

No one is perfect, right? Well, the same can be said about selection tests. Can we really be upset with imperfect tests that are designed to help us hire the best people? Maybe a little, because these tests can be costly to an organization when qualified applicants are rejected or unqualified applicants are hired. Read More

Hungry for Hi-Pos

Dec 7, 2016 | by Rafi Prager

It’s no secret that having a strong bench of high potential talent provides organizations with a strategic and competitive advantage. But the competition for talent has only increased in recent years, and the shortage of high-quality talent is one of an organizations’ greatest concerns. Read More

Mobile Devices are the Gateway to Top Talent

Nov 30, 2016 | by Tara Johnson and Tony Boyce

When was the last time you went without your mobile phone for a period of time? Still thinking? Can’t remember? Rest assured - you are likely in the majority. Growth in smartphone ownership and use has surged in recent years, with mobile devices now surpassing personal computers (PCs) as the most popular device used to access the Internet.  Americans are spending approximately one-third of their day on their mobile devices and are now using them to accomplish more of the tasks they would have previously performed using PCs – social media, shopping, online banking, education, entertainment…and even applying for jobs.

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Testing When No One is Watching: The Good, The Bad, The Validity

Nov 24, 2016 | by Jennifer Cavanaugh and Sarah Strahan

When searching for new talent, are you or your clients still using paper forms and tests? While this was once the norm, the growing popularity and accessibility of laptops, tablets and smart phones has led many organizations to embrace online recruiting and selection tools.

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A Job Analysis without SMEs is like Water Without Oxygen

Nov 15, 2016 | by Mike Heil

Job Analysis……What is your first reaction when you hear that word? Does is bore you because you think it’s not nearly as exciting as engagement, big data, or leadership? Maybe it excites you because you love to learn about what other people do for a living and job analysis feels a lot like being paid to attend Career Day. If you’re a hiring manager, the term job analysis might evoke concerns about challenges with getting buy-in from both stakeholders and subject matter experts (SMEs) who may view it as a disruption. Read More

The Personality Behind the Energy at the Annual SIOP Conference

Nov 9, 2016 | by Eleni Lobene

In an effort to keep our I-Os up-to-date on the latest research, trends, and market needs, Aon Hewitt traditionally sends its entire staff to the Annual SIOP Conference... What makes SIOP so special?

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Uni-tasking and learning the difference between important vs. urgent

Nov 2, 2016 | by Paul Rubenstein

I don’t know about you, but I often feel pulled in a million directions. I work hard to be accessible, which means my IM, Text Message, Email and Phone area all going off at one. Like a game of whack-a-mole, I’m inclined to address issues on a first-in/first-out basis. The end result is that those things that require the most time and thoughtful attentions (which are usually the most important things) are put off… delayed… I will get to them when I have time to really think.

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A Disengaged Employee Point of View

Nov 30, 2000 | by Ian Mirsch

You begin your day in a daze, silencing your alarm two or three times before letting out the inevitable sigh that forces you out of bed. When you arrive at work, you sift through tasks at a fraction of your original pace. You notice that you’re less energetic both at the office and at home... In this blog, we will explore why that shift from engagement to disengagement occurs.

Read More