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Panel 7

How should Personal and Social Skills be Assessed?

Chair: Filip Lievens, Professor at Ghent University, Department of Personnel Management and Work and
Organizational Psychology, Ghent, Belgium
Vice Chair:     Klaus Jonas, Professor, Depart. of Social & Business Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Members:David Chan, Director, Behavioural Sciences Institute and Professor of Psychology, 
Management University, Singapore
Martin P. Charns, Professor of Health Policy and Management, Harvard University, Boston, USA
David Shore, Former Associate Dean at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA

Medical chairs’ personal and social skills are increasingly important for managing change and for managing up, down, and across departmental lines. However, medical schools are left in the dark about how to identify the relevant personal and social skills of medical chairs and about selection methods for assessing those skills. Therefore, we started by conducting a thorough review of the literature that identified taxonomies for parsimoniously grouping the various personal and social skills, namely (a) the Big Five personality traits and (b) a recent taxonomy of social skills with two main meta-social skill dimensions in the form of communication and relationship-building skills. Relying on basic principles and recent insights in the broader personnel selection domain, we next identified relevant selection procedures for assessing personal and social skills. Specifically, after “selecting out” candidates on the basis of factual criteria (e.g., research and teaching record) assessing medical chairs’ personal and social skills is best done via two main groups of selection procedures. The first group represents past-behavior-oriented selection procedures (accomplishment records, past-behavior interviews, and multiple reference checks from others). The second group comprises scenario-based selection procedures (situational interviews, situational judgment tests, and simulation exercises). Through using these selection procedures, search committees satisfy evidence-based personnel selection principles, such as relying on job analytic information, measuring both past accomplishments as well as forecasting future potential, standardizing the assessment, ensuring procedural fairness, using multiple information sources (self and others), and making predictions on the basis of multiple aggregated pieces of information. 

Fulltext of Panel 7 (PDF, 706 KB)

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