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Misplaced Talent: A Guide to Better People Decisions by Joe Ungemah

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Chapter 4

Psychometric Assessment

Capability only tells half the story when it comes to predicting employee performance. Candidates may hold a vast array of knowledge, skills, and experience, but whether they deploy their capability for the benefit of the company is often described as a person's motivation. Pinder (1998) provides a basic definition of motivation as the “Set of energetic forces that originate both within as well as beyond an individual's being, to initiate work-related behavior and to determine its form, direction, intensity, and duration.” Motivation is so central to the relationship between capability and performance that most practitioners give it equal footing in the following equation:

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Employee motivation challenges the organizational perspective of capability, where experience and skills are demanded by the job. Motivation cannot be checked off a list, but instead is dynamic, ebbing and flowing in concert with the employee-employer relationship. What once motivated them as new hires may hold little importance for older and more established employees, due to the fulfillment of needs or a decrease in their relevance for personal satisfaction and well-being. How and why these changes occur rests partially in the employees' life experiences, but also with societal and economic pressures that lie outside of their control.

This does not mean that motivation should ...

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