Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology > Research & Publications > TIP > TIP Back Issues > 2018 > July
Meredith Turner
/ Categories: 561

Successful Practice Events at the SIOP Conference

Rob Silzer, Lynn Collins, Ben Porr, and Mark Morris

The Professional Practice Committee chairs and members delivered numerous highly successful events for SIOP practitioners at the Chicago SIOP conference.

Over the last several years many new programs and initiatives have been introduced and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Thanks go to the many SIOP practitioners who attended and supported practice events.

Here is an overview of the key events and attendance at Professional Practice events at the SIOP conference.

  1.  Individual Leadership Assessment Course

The Practice Committees have been working to introduce Advanced Professional Development for experienced SIOP practitioners. The objective is to provide extended professional training and development of Practice skills, expertise and knowledge. 

At the SIOP conference the first two modules of a six-module course on Individual Leadership assessment were delivered for SIOP experienced practitioners. 

  • Module 1: An Overview for Experienced Assessors  
  • Module 2: Interviewing Skills for Leadership Assessment 

The response was extremely positive.  Both modules completely sold out many weeks before the conference, and in fact were oversubscribed.  Additional conference attendees were eager to get into the course. 

There were 40 participants in Module 1 and 36 participants in Module 2.  They were a highly select and experienced group of practitioners with an average of 14 years of leadership assessment experience.  The participants expressed great appreciation both the advanced level of the course as well as the extensive assessment experience of other participants. Peer learning was an important and powerful part of the course.  They were able to learn from each other’s experience as well as the experience of the course leaders.  One participant stated “these are my people.”  The group was very interested in participating in the remaining four course modules and encouraged the development of additional advanced courses.

The success of this Leadership Assessment course launch clearly demonstrates the strong interest among SIOP practitioners for advanced professional development, particularly in I-O practice areas that are not taught in graduate programs.

The course leaders included Rob Silzer, Sandra Davis, Vicki Vandaveer, John Fulkerson, and Andrea Hunt, each of whom had 35 years of leadership assessment experience.  Thanks also to Gavin O‘Shea, Rob Michel, and Alyson Marguilies who coordinated the course modules.

A major thank you to the course leaders and the participants for making this a highly successful Practice learning and development initiative.

  1. Early Career  Practitioner Consortium (ECPC)

The second annual SIOP Consortium for Early Career Practitioners was held during the SIOP conference.  The consortium focused on the career needs and aspirations of practitioners who have up to 5 years of postdegree work experience. 

At the ECPC, 35 Early Career practitioners were joined by 12 experienced SIOP members who served as mentors.  The consortium was designed to help practitioners discover their own professional strengths and development opportunities, learn about the variety of career paths available to I-O psychologists and participate in small group mentoring sessions with experienced practitioners.

The highest rated aspects of the program were participating in the small group mentoring sessions (96% favorable) and learning about the variety of career paths (93% favorable).  Across the participants 80% would recommend others attend the Early Career Practitioner Consortium in the future!  

Congratulations and thank you to Vince Conte and Ashley Guidroz for designing, organizing, and delivering this highly success program.  Also thanks to the experienced SIOP members who served as mentors.

  1. Speed Mentoring

The successful Speed Mentoring program was back by popular demand!  The program was designed for early career professionals with fewer than 8 years of professional experience (with a limited number of seats available for student participants).   Participants had the opportunity to par­ticipate in two 30-minute roundtable topic-driven discussions.   It is a terrific opportunity for practitioners to seek guidance, knowledge, and wisdom from highly seasoned professionals.

We had a full house of 55 practitioners (and some students) who received mentoring from expert mentors.  The professional mentoring topics included: Innovations in selection, high potentials and future leaders, driving a high performance culture, talent analytics/big data, and internal versus external consulting.  The student mentoring topics included building a personal brand and transitioning from student to practitioner. 

The participant feedback was highly positive.  We are looking forward to the 10th annual Speed Mentoring event at next year’s SIOP conference at the National Harbor.

Thank you to Jerilyn Hayward, Soner Dumani, Michael Pate, and Donna Kingry for another successful Speed Mentoring.

  1. Speed Benchmarking

The Professional Practice Committee hosted a new Speed Benchmarking event this year at the SIOP Conference for midcareer and senior level internal/external practitioners.  I-O practitioners with 8 or more years of business or consulting experience had the opportunity to network and benchmark with other subject matter experts facing similar challenges and to share best practices. 

More than 50 experienced I-O practitioners got together to discuss these topics: performance management, big data/artificial intelligence, legal issues, succession planning, workforce planning, selection/validation, interviewing, surveys, coaching, and leadership development. 

Response to the event has been very positive based on feedback from both facilitators and participants.  One participant said “If I could dream of what I want SIOP to be, this is it!”  That certainly is a powerful testimonial for this program. 

We are looking forward to hosting A Speed-n-Benchmarking event for mid–late career practitioners again at next year’s SIOP conference.   Be on the lookout for upcoming communications that outline the highlights of these benchmarking discussions.  

Thank you and congratulations to Jerilyn Hayward, Soner Dumani, Michael Pate, and Donna Kingry for a delivering a highly successful new initiative for SIOP practitioners.

  1. Practitioner Network Reception

The 2nd Annual SIOP Practitioner Network Reception was held at the SIOP conference.  It provided a terrific opportunity for SIOP members to network and connect with each other in the middle of the conference.  The reception featured numerous fun activities including a friends and colleagues photo booth and a networking game challenge to earn a free drink. It also featured Chicago-style food such as the popular deep dish pizza, hot dogs, sausages, and popcorn.

Over 400 SIOP members joined the reception. Over 100 members successfully completed the game challenge and earned a free drink.  In addition 250 shot glasses and many other take away items were given out, and over 100 free shots were given out. It was a rousing success again this year and will definitely continue at next year’s conference.

Thanks and congratulations go to Emily Solberg, Jerilyn Hayward, Caitlin Cavanaugh, and Julia Leone for another great networking reception that was widely enjoyed.

  1. Great I-O Psychology Practice Debate

The Great I-O Psychology Practice Debate was held at the SIOP Conference.  It featured five leading I-O practitioners who addressed critical challenges:

  1. I-O practitioners should be psychologists and have psychologist training to provide some of the services in our profession
  2. Licensing or professional certification should be required to practice in I-O psychology
  3. There are major distinctions in the professional work and skills of I-O psychologists and other competing professionals
  4. I-O psychology practitioners will become more relevant and important to individuals and organizations in the future

The leading practitioners, Rob Silzer, John Scott, Doug Reynolds, Jeff McHenry, and Erica Desrosiers, participated in four dynamic and energetic debates.  The audience consisted of over 500 SIOP members, in a full meeting room and they stayed to hear all four debates.

It was a highly successful conference debate and the huge audience turnout suggests that SIOP members are eager to explore and better understand the leading professional issues for I-O practitioners.

Great thanks go to the presenters for their hard work and for exploring and sharing different views on leading Professional Practice issues.

Other Professional Practice Activities

There are now three Professional Practice Committees:

  • Professional Practice - Learning Resources Committee
  • Professional Practice - Career Development Committee
  • Professional Practice - Engagement Committee

These committees are hard at work developing and delivering ongoing and new programs and initiatives for SIOP practitioners.

Look for these current and upcoming activities, programs and services:

  • Professional Practice Update Newsletter
  • The I-O Psychologist Entrepreneurs Initiative (IOPE)
  • Practitioner Needs Survey
  • An initiative to connect with I-O regional groups
  • Additional offerings related to advanced professional development for experienced practitioners
  • TIP Bridge column: "The Bridge: Connecting Science and Practice”.
  • Practitioner Resources Videos posted on SIOP's Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn sites
    • New White Papers:  Employee Engagement by Jason Read
    • Data Visualization by Evan Sinar
  • New practice webinars such as the upcoming ones on training ROI and performance management
  • New Professional Practice books that are now in development

2018 Leading Edge Consortium

As you know SIOP will offer another major program for I-O psychology members and practitioners.  The 2018 Leading Edge Consortium will be held October 18-20, 2018 at the Renaissance Hotel in Inner Harbor Baltimore (workshops on October 19).

The topic is High Potentials: Identifying, Developing and Retaining Future Leaders

The Organizing Committee includes Co-Chairs Rob Silzer and Allan Church, and Committee Members John Scott, Lorraine Stomski, David Baker, Karen Grabow, and Raphael Prager.

The committee is working hard to develop an outstanding program with many learning and networking opportunities.  There will also some new innovations and surprises this year to enhance the consortium experience.  Look for announcements this summer.


Your involvement and support for these programs matters!   The future development and success of SIOP programs for I-O Practitioners depends on member support and engagement.  Please participate and get involved. 

See you in Baltimore.

Previous Article I-O Helping Make the World a Better Place: SIOP Collaborating With Other Psychology Organizations at the United Nations
Next Article Members in the Media
2146 Rate this article:
No rating