Connecting the Dots Blog

The HR Problem 40 Years Ago Made Today Look Like a Holiday

I have a confession to make: I have been doing this HR thing longer than some of you have been alive.

Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.
― Mark Twain

Your Blog Writer Is…

My name is Joe Nowlin and because I’ll be involved in writing many of the 15dots blogs, I would like to share a bit about my background.

My partners call me “Doc” because I received my Doctorate in Organizational Behavior and Human Performance from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

I’ve always been interested in “what makes people tick” and the impact in an organizational setting. Translation: I’ve spent that time studying the behavior of humans in organizations (why they join, why they stay, what they do, how they learn, etc.).

Before I started consulting work, I was a college professor at the University of Delaware and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. I thoroughly enjoyed working with graduate and undergraduate students studying management and human behavior.

I also taught courses in the part-time MBA programs at both schools. Teaching in those programs was gratifying. The experience enabled me to see those students applying what we covered in their jobs.

From Academia to Reality

In the mid 1970s, I was serving as a professor and enjoying it. My senior dissertation advisor offered me some consulting opportunities where I could combine my interest with my knowledge, abilities, and skills. I happily took him up on the offer.

The passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act changed my life a big way (among other things, it also required employers to monitor the adverse impact of their hiring processes).

As a result of these new requirements, many large employers, including the forest products industry, received a great deal of scrutiny for hiring practices that were adversely affecting minorities.

The Million Dollar Loss Hiding in Plain Sight

The federal government targeted the forest products industry for selection process review because many organizations were using pre-employment tests as employee selection tools. Those tests were preventing minorities from getting jobs within the industry. Furthermore, the industry lacked the evidence to back up the job-relatedness or validity of those tests.

I teamed with attorneys to help many of those organizations validate their use of tests as job performance predictors. In many cases, the potential back pay liability for unfair discrimination was in the millions of dollars.

Winning, Reflection, & the Start of a New Business

We prevailed in every case.

After being successful in this remediation role, I decided that if I could help get clients out of trouble, why not be proactive and put together a rigorous selection process that could prevent trouble in the first place.

The Nowlin Selection™ Process

I designed the new selection process to generate evidence of job-relatedness or validity for the selection tools and methods to be used. This protected clients from selection process challenges. I called the new method the Nowlin Selection™ Process. It enabled organizations to consistently hire people that matched their job requirements.

The Work Continues

The demand for rigorous selection remains high despite the fact that I have worked for almost 40 years refining, designing, and installing the Nowlin Selection™ Process in many organizations.

Late in 2018, I joined an incredible team with a vision and skill set that helped revitalize and rebrand the Nowlin Selection™ Process as the 15dots Selection™ Process to 15dots. I was on fire with this new set of partners.

I am excited by the opportunity to enable organizations large and small to elevate, ah heck, revolutionize, their employee selection success.

What You Can Expect

Watch this space for key takeaways, stories, and practical action items gleaned through 40 plus years of employee selection process installation work. In the next few blogs, I plan to discuss:

  1. Job performance predictors and their validities
  2. The multi-million dollar capital investment you make with each selection decision
  3. Hits and misses and the true cost of selection errors

I look forward to sharing my stories and describing more about the ways to eliminate the guesswork associated with employee selection. I know that we will learn together. Get ready … this will be fun!

Joe Nowlin earned his doctorate from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

During the past 40 years, he has designed, tested, and installed proprietary and unmatched selection procedures for manufacturing organizations, transforming and revolutionizing the way they do business, the level of success in hiring personnel and the methods that companies can use to replicate his results.

He has now adapted these proprietary systems for use in medium-sized and smaller organizations.


Read more posts by Joe Nowlin

 Neenah, WI 54956
Email 15dots