Why training selection panels can be a waste of time

Providing training programs for staff who wish to sit on selection panels can give a poor return on investment, particularly if you want some change in staff’s behavioural practices.

There are several reasons for this waste:

  • People do not readily change their behaviour. People generally default to existing behaviours, particularly if under pressure.
  • They mentally dispute or deny alternative views, and do not see the flaws in their own approach.
  • If they are not going to use the information in the near future they are more likely to continue what they have been doing.
  • There is no follow-up to reinforce key information.
  • There are no mechanisms to encourage compliance with new behaviours such as via managers’ performance management processes, HR guidance, or delegate scrutiny.
  • In rare cases, some may adopt a pay-back mentality for past bad experiences and no amount of training will make a difference.

If you are thinking of offering selection panel training then you need to make sure you gain value for money by:

  • Taking a just-in-time approach that puts the training close to when it will be used.
  • Considering incorporating the training into the selection process by including a coach on the panel.
  • Having follow-up strategies in place to ensure that the training is used.
  • Reinforcing new behaviours via performance management processes and skilled delegate scrutiny of selection reports.
Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.