GLEAN January Event: Reducing Bias in Assessor Ratings

  • 12 Jan 2022
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Zoom (to be provided)


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GLEAN January Virtual Learning Event: Reducing Bias in Assessor Ratings

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Shane Pittman, PhD of HumRRO will present Reducing Bias in Assessor Ratings: Practical Info and a Q&A Session.  This event will be presented virtually on January 12 from 12-1p ET.

Given the virtual nature of the event, you do not need to be in the Great Lakes area to attend this event - all are welcome! Access information will be provided upon registration.

Registrants are welcome to submit questions that they would like addressed during the program to by Monday, January 10. 

Questions about this program? Contact Stef Urian with questions.

Session Overview:

This session will begin with an overview of assessor training and why it is important.  While assessment centers are used in a variety of settings within the public and private sectors, the public safety arena has gravitated toward their use as a result of litigation over the years that forced the issue of bias and fairness in the selection process.  Assessment centers were seen as a fair and job-related method of selecting individuals primarily for supervisory/management positions.  Therefore, the results of these processes have a critical impact on the future leaders of both fire and police departments ultimately affecting the communities they serve.  Frequently assessment centers/skills assessments give short shrift to assessor training, assuming that a brief orientation is sufficient for assessors to understand their job.  However, this is woefully inadequate given the nature of the assessor’s job and the impact that the results can have (primarily in a selection/promotion setting as opposed to developmental).  Assessors need detailed training in order to ensure they understand the impact of their decisions, how to avoid bias and how to follow the evaluation process for best results.

Implicit bias will be discussed in the context of its impact on assessor behavior and decision making.  While in general, people are aware of the potential for bias, they have not typically been provided with the science behind the bias and why it makes it so difficult to avoid at times.  Different aspects of implicit bias will be discussed such as first impression, similarity, confirmation bias and others.  Examples of how these biases can influence ratings will also be discussed.  Examples and videos will be used to engage the audience, through direct participation, in thinking about the challenging aspects of implicit bias (time permitting). While educating assessors on the types of bias that can creep into the evaluation process is necessary, it is a critical success factor to create processes that support assessor behavior in avoiding implicit bias.  Using structured, deliberative processes (Huffcutt & Arthur, 1994) to ensure a fair, impartial process for evaluating and judging others within the workplace is a critical goal for HR professionals and those I/O professionals partnering with them to develop and implement such processes. These best practices for use in assessment centers will be discussed using specific examples. 

About Dr. Pittman: 

Dr. Shane Pittman has extensive experience in the area of human resource development and assessment to include expertise in job analysis, selection processes, providing expert advice on high stakes testing in public safety, training, organizational analysis, barrier analysis, and survey research. She is currently the expert to the Court Monitor (and previously the Special Master) for the long running FDNY entry level selection process.  She has developed hundreds of public safety testing processes for both entry and promotion across police, fire, corrections, and sheriff in local, state and federal environments.  She has developed and conducted hundreds of training programs in such areas as assessor evaluations, implicit bias, performance appraisal, quality management, and customer service. Dr. Pittman is an accomplished process consultant and facilitator. She has been consulting for the past forty years during which time she developed and refined her client-centered approach. Dr. Pittman has served in numerous leadership positions, such as president of the Personnel Testing Council of Metropolitan Washington (PTC/MW). Previously, Dr. Pittman was president and co-owner of The Pittman McLenagan Group, LC and was acquired by HumRRO in 2019, where she is now a Principal Scientist.  Dr. Pittman received her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from George Mason University.

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