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Sylvain Rochon, September 5 2022

Giorgi Dzidziguri – Contemporary Applications of Psychometrics in Job Matchmaking

A CykoMetrix Spotlight production

Every week, the Spotlight shines on an amazing professional with a story to tell and lessons to teach.  Welcome to the CykoMetrix Spotlight.

The following is an adapted transcript of the exchange between Sylvain Rochon, CMO at CykoMetrix as host, and Giorgi Dzidziguri, PhD. Founder and Director of Human Resources Management Direction of Jobia LLC.  jobia.work

Sylvain Rochon: Welcome to CykoMetrix Spotlight. My name is Sylvain Rochon, I'm the Chief Marketing Officer at CykoMetrix, a SaaS-based psychometric platform where companies, service providers, can gather all the assessment they want to use with their companies, use dashboards, do data analysis, challenge all sorts of concepts and get all sorts of training suggestions that they can use to do continuous development inside their client companies. 

Today, in the CykoMetrix Spotlight, we have a special guest in Georgia. His name is Giorgi Dzidziguri. He's a PhD and a founder and director of Human Resources Management Direction at Jobia LLC. He's going to tell us a little bit about contemporary applications of psychometrics in job matchmaking, which is what Jobia does. Just a bit more about Giorgi before I let him speak.  He's the former head and professor of the Georgian Technical University Quality Assurance Service. He's the head of Human Resource Management at the public service bureau, a Georgian Public Broadcaster in the office of the parliament. A director of the Georgian European Policy and Legal Advice Center. He's been involved in more than 60 projects in the field of human resource management and 27 grant projects in Georgia and the Kyrgyz Republic. He's certified in human resources management tools in the European and UK companies. Welcome Giorgi to the spotlight. 

Giorgi Dzidziguri: Thank you Sylvain for this great opportunity to present our startup company, Jobia, which has a quite fresh product called in the similar way. It is Jobia.  It is a special platform. I'd like to bring some ideas what was behind this startup company. 

When we applied for the grant, because as a startup company we started with this grant, which we won in 2020. When we conducted a study on this direction, the situation in the employment world, we found out that according to the global surveys, by CarrierBuilder, 77% of employers name a lack of specific versatility traits and skills as a major challenge. Eighty percent also said that soft skills would be equally or more important than hard skills when hiring candidates. Consequently, the candidate's experience is no longer the main parameter of employment. This context of global labor market orientation reveals the priority of studying personal and business qualities and producing an appropriate database. 

Jobia is an innovative employment platform that instantly determines the level of a person fit for a job. A unique database is created that allows the employer quickly to find the required employee and the applicant, a suitable and interesting job. Such a database is formed due to the original test methods integrated into a single interface and the unique matching algorithm. This approach distinguishes Jobia from other reputable platforms. It should be noted that more than 70% of employers are interested in such information and use professional psycho diagnostics assessments. Due to the high cost of services, such services are used by medium and large companies and only when filling high level managerial positions. 

Our team has developed an original psycho diagnostics questionnaire that has been already used for assessing up to 20,000 job seekers. A year ago, we decided to digitize this tool to make product consumption cheaper, larger, and more affordable. Jobia allows for objective screening of preferred candidates in a matter of seconds and in this respect differs substantially from the products available in the global market. By the way, the name of the platform, Jobia, from the very beginning hints to the English-speaking user that this application is focused on solving problems with employment. However, for Georgian customers, this word has an additional hint as the Georgian word Jobia, translated into English, directly means “it is better”. So, this is a double meaning of Jobia, which is quite understandable from both sides for Georgian customers. We are currently in the process of developing mobile and web applications that include questionnaires for personality traits, interest inventory, and general aptitude tests. 

Before we have developed a series of non digitized tests that are based on years of accumulated data, experience, research, and insights from various fields of scientific community. In 1996 and 2006, our team members, with the help of international organizations gave the necessary knowledge in the field of psychology to adapt and develop personal questionnaires for the Georgian population. The questionnaire that forms the basis of our work were developed by reputable American and British companies for use in the workplace. Only the items which are directly related to the world of work have been included. This questionnaire combines a range of personality theories and management style constructs formulated by the researchers Hans Eysenck and Raymond Cattell. Our questionnaire measures 46 factors that do not go beyond the world of work either. 

What is interesting, it measures 46 psychological factors related to the world of work. Considering the test results makes it easier for the organization to make rational decisions on staff selection, individual promotions, consulting, team building, and training. Important is the fact that after answering all the questions, the tested person immediately receives information about the level of comprehension of their own personal profile with all the vacancies in the Jobia database. Currently, this questionnaire exists in Georgian, English, and Russian languages. However, by Azerbaijani and Romanian versions will soon be developed for our regional expression initiated. 

So maybe it'll be good just to say some words about the social value which is not only social value but maybe individual value of the platform which you created. In a modern society, the process of differentiation of labor and increase in the number of professions is progressively intensifying. Under such conditions the study of the individual skills and abilities of each person is of particular importance for society and for its individual members. Therefore, Jobia is a valuable product for both individuals in society. Under the individual factor we mean that the correct diagnostics or persons abilities, which helps to choose the right profession or job for each person, taking into account individual abilities and inclination. All this has a significant impact on increasing professional motivation and job satisfaction, which is one of the most important indicators of the happiness index. 

With regard to the social factor, it should be noted that Jobia has great potential to ensure labor market flexibility in the long term. Although the specifics of the global labor market are different, this product as a tool is useful for any of them. The developed methods and algorithms greatly facilitate labor market research for which companies spend quite a lot of money. In this regard, among other advantages, Jobia is a fairly economical product. That is what is our vision and how we'd like to use Jobia as a tool, not only for recruitment, but also for some statistical survey, which is very needed by different companies. Well, I am talking about the Georgian companies because they like to have the clear vision. “What's going on there? What is the situation right now? What's the post pandemic situation in the world? How to develop? In which direction?” So, Jobia will have all these data which can be analyzed in a very close future, and we will give very clear directions, not only for employment, but for development of economy and at least in Georgia. 

Sylvain: Yeah, I think because this was a very long presentation, I'd like for the audience to focus on something you said earlier about the core of what Jobia is. The differentiator. From my understanding, there are a lot of job matchmaking systems out there through the interne, but what you're doing is you're not matching hard skills, you're trying to match soft skills and values…

Giorgi: … taking into account hard skills, but they will work as filters from point of view of software because the number 1 matching algorithm is related to the soft skills. Also, we have a lot of parameters which we can filter and give to employers or recruiters the full picture of what is the situation about the individual or maybe about the society. By the way, it's very important that Jobia will become a multi module platform focused on automating the full cycle of human and institutional capacity development for organizations. It should include professional orientation for young people, determining the suitability of applicants for vacancies, job evaluation, performance appraisal, cause analysis and more. So that would be a very important part of this multi-module approach. 

Sylvain: There's an evolution to that because it's software. Your company started in 2020, same as ours. So, we're both very young companies and we're both interested in what is known in the industry as very important, the soft skills and determining soft skills fit, personality fits, and different things within teams using psychometrics, because if I understood correctly, you must use assessments to gather the soft skills of the people that are applying to put into the engine. My question specifically on Jobia is, are you doing it from the other side? Are the employers also asking for certain values or soft skills as part of that matchmaking service? What about the employer end of things in the system? Are they making asks? Are you evaluating their team to see what the gaps are in soft skills and things like that? 

Giorgi: Very good question. In fact, Jobia will be improving the practice of the labor market and with great international potential. Why? I'd like to explain now because I think this is related to your question. For the time being we have developed Jobia's first recruiting model. Although the performance evaluation model is under development and will be released to the marketing in the nearest future. Within this model the multi-method performance appraisal will be digitized. It will include management by objectives, 360-degree appraisal, and competency-oriented appraisal. That will be very available for organizations, not only from the point of view of measuring effectiveness, but also providing permanent validity studies. Because when we are talking about soft skills, these soft skills must be identified by employers themselves. How well they are doing that. What is the validity of factors which they identified as the important factors, and what Jobia can measure? 

In such a case, there is only way to find out correlation between the result of tests with the result of a performance appraisal. In such a case, we are bringing organizations in a discussion, what is better? Where to go? How it works. Why they help you do so, and you know of course there must be some consultancy between us and between employers and we are ready to run it. In such a case, these discussions probably it will lead to the correct setting of values, setting of directions, how to develop organizations, where to go, how to become the part of the world, society. Just not to do it separately. Not to say that, "Okay, I am quite happy with what I have right now. I don't like just to have anything else." Why when we can give you more than you have right now? Sometimes it'll be absolutely free, because in such a case, well, maybe this is a little bit marketing trick as well, because when they will understand what is correct and what is not, then again they have to come to us. 

Then of course that will be somehow profit Jobia. I don't know how clearly, I explained it, but this is some sequence of our relationship with the organizations. How we are going to promote our total. Also, I'd like to mention one thing, maybe something additional but it's quite interesting as well. These 2 models, I'm talking about the recruitment model and performance appraisal model. Together with another interesting application, which is called the doers and is also developed by our team, combined a single unique employment system, that's according to our knowledge, has no analogs in the world. That's why maybe shortly I'll explain what is the doers itself, because otherwise there could be a lot of pressure. What is the doers? As I try to explain, Jobia promotes long-term employment while doers focuses on short-term self-employment. 

Its purpose is to facilitate the process of offering, accepting various services. For example, car repair, car wash, construction, repair work, medical, or hygienic services, house cleaning, cooking, pet care, et cetera. 

Upon completion of the work, the customer evaluates the quality of service through the application, through these doers, as well as the personal skills of the performer. As a result, a ranking system of performance is formed. Which will have a significant impact on the intensity of receiving of new contracts by performers. At this time, the activity of users is the process of evaluating the performance and their ability of this process is extremely important. They have to rank it. They have to put some marks. 

Therefore, customers should be encouraged. Interesting methods of motivation is gamification. In general, people tend to do what they like. Gamification makes process attractive, increases productivity, accuracies, new skills, expands knowledge, innovation, and so on. Our team has a lot of experience in creating mobile games. When working on a product, special attention is paid to the elements of gamification. We believe that the use of gamification elements will significantly increase the activity of customers and their credibility when evaluating performance. So, the integration of Jobia and doers into a single system with allow the creation of a database of job seekers, which will determine the well of an individual in relation to various positions based on the experience and achievements of a particular person. In the future, we plan to use elements of artificial intelligence to monitor the users during the game and evaluate their personal qualities and various skills. 

Learning and identifying features will be both interesting and exciting. So, this is in general where we are looking in a quite close future, where we’d like to go. To bring our system which is now very modern just when we are talking about just some development in the world, what's going on there, it could be the part of metaverse as well. I'm not talking about it right now, but some elements we can foresee how we can be somehow that this is our general global vision. 

Sylvain: Well, it's something that we talk about at CykoMetrix. What is easy is to do assessments. You make psychometric assessments, it's self-assessments or 360s, and you gather the data in the system, and then you can build a matchmaking system or otherwise for jobs or gaining employment using that data. Like you said, what's interesting to build upon is to gather passive data - data that comes from games or gamified processes, from texts, from voice - even using AI on a continual basis by plugging to other systems through APIs. For the audience that are non-technical, an API is a way to plug one technical system to another so that it can share information. So, every minute or every hour you're gathering values and data about changes of moods or differences in personality dynamically so that the system continuously learns about a person's pattern over time, stress levels, everything like that. 

That is what you're referring to. The other advantage of this passive data beyond the frequency of just gathering data more often is that you're not bothering the individual with a test that they have to sit down and write or to answer. So, it's much more honest because it's also discreet. People are not aware that the sampling is happening passively. So now trying to say, "Well, I want to answer the question this way, because it'll look better." They sometimes want to game the system so that their values seem to be different. That's always a concern. So definitely this is an exciting space, thanks to the evolution of AI and all sorts of systems that allow connectivity between systems through APIs. I'm glad you're into that. That's good. 

From what I understood, and maybe you can clarify, Jobia is at least primarily matchmaking for employment, long-term or short-term employment. Part-time, or full-time. Which is the traditional model. Also, you're adapting to a change in a world where there are more and more people that are doing what we call gigs or individual jobs. They're doing a task for an employer that has a start and a finish like a contract. So, you're also evolving and trying to do matchmaking on that inside the system, starting off with a platform that would be similar to Indeed.com or Monster.com. Some of the traditional matchmaking for jobs, and something like Freelancer, which is a site that does contract matchmaking for different jobs, and putting that under one system that also takes into account soft skills. Is that a correct assessment? 

Giorgi: Yeah. They're absolutely right. You are correct. Also, we are thinking about bringing this because of this innovation itself to a wider audience. When we are talking about the classical measurement, just how to measure soft skills, what is the norms there, and what are the standard deviations, how to bring everything in at one point when you can already judge on it. What we have and how it was measured and how well and how relevant they are. Also, as we are talking about the platform and software, it must be attractive for users because it doesn't work without the users, without the participation of organizations and individuals as well. Bringing innovation to a wider audience is always a challenge, but I think we have created a much-needed tool and without it the hiring process will be soon inconvincible. I'm quite sure, at least for Georgia. Using our tool, jobseekers and employees will find each other with much less energy and with high accuracy than it is possible today. 

We are creating a product with a more diverse functionality compared to existing employment platforms in Georgia. Therefore, it is necessary to make its use as convenient as possible for customers. Complex processes take place in the logical part of the platform, but the customer does not feel it. We have already made the product intuitive enough, but we will continue to improve it in the future. We will follow the process of implementation, analyze the ideas, comments, wishes of the customers, and as a result of continuous development, we will create an advanced product, not only for Georgian, but we also hope that we will create product for global market. Several components require specialization in the analytical process. As a result, we have created a future that we are very proud of. Here are some of examples I can give you because you can find some of them in other similar platforms as well, but not all of them together. 

For example, notifications about new vacancies. Applicants do not have to waste time searching for vacancies. The applicant will select the categories relevant to him or her, and when a new vacancy is announced in any of them, one will receive a notification about this immediately without delay. This is the one thing. Another one, listing of pre-selected candidates. The employee interface solution also required a lot of analytical work to achieve maximum comfort. Once a vacancy is advertised, organizations will immediately receive a list of pre-selected candidates. The list will display the most important information about candidates in a way that makes it as easy as possible to compare them and identify their unique skills. During the initial selection, the likelihood of missing of a valuable candidate from the recruiter's vision is reduced. 

When the recruiters, on the lower level of recruitment, when the officers are shortlisting the candidates, the very interesting candidates very often are lost. Maybe because of their photography or maybe calligraphy or something, but this system doesn't allow just to lose any candidate, which could be very valuable for organization. We have something we can call it a closed profile. What do I mean? We also took into account that some applicants may not want to light up. Maybe this guy that is working for another company, and sure he doesn't like just to show to the employer they are going to leave the position. That's why they like to somehow to be hidden. 

Sylvain: It is a hidden profile or to become private. Yeah. Like a switch? 

Giorgi: They will be able partially to close their profile and appear only to the employer he needs. Freelancer search, job seekers will be able to assess the compatibility of their profile with the jobs they have never considered before, and discover new professions or positions that are suitable for them, because when the matching or just comparing of profiles with the jobs is on, then what kind of jobs we will have in our database for all these jobs, this individual will be compared. You understand what I mean, right? It's automatic. So, everything we have already created in just the beginning. In the future we will further expand the capabilities of our platform and more goals. We have already planned several steps. 

We would like to use the accumulated knowledge and experience to create products that will not only bring us financial benefits, but also contribute to the development of our environment. We like to have a lot of customers who understand what is the goals of modern management, how to be the member of world society. Where we are going? Well, I don't like to go to politics, but if there will be globalization, anywhere, this tool will be very useful. Even if you will consider this tool as only tool for one country or one organization, again, it is very important tool just to use from point of view to increase the effectiveness of the organization. Anywhere, it works. 

Sylvain: Absolutely. Now, I have a question for you regarding this bit. This is an online system. It's a software as a service, so that means it's available - you mentioned several languages. I remember Georgian, of course, Russian and there was a third one, or perhaps even a fourth. When it comes to psychometric assessments, to get reliable data, that is typically a challenge because the interpretation of the data, you can't just translate from one language to another psychometric assessment and have the same reliable data. So how do you deal with that challenge with multiple languages, many of which are not as globally common. I'm not sure about the quantity of research in those languages in psychometrics. So why don't you talk about that? How do you master that challenge? 

Giorgi: Okay. As I understood clearly probably, you're talking about not only interpretation but adaptation as well. 

Sylvain: Yeah. 

Giorgi: We mentioned about the Georgian, English, and Russian languages. Now we like to have it in by Azerbaijani and Armenian as well. We already have experienced it, and to say the truth, this is a quite headache because you have to translate it and the translation means that you have translate these questions, for example, from Georgia to Azerbaijani and then vice versa. From Azerbaijani to Georgia. So, translation and back translation. If you are receiving the same results, so how patients sound from very beginning, and when you are getting the final question, this must be as much as possible similar to the original one. This is one thing which is related to the translation. Also, we need a cultural adaptation, because when we are talking about the sentences, these sentences will be very good or very workable for one language, for one society, but not for another one because there are differences, for example, in religion or traditions or something you have to take into account this way. 

Third one is mathematical adaptation. Where we like to find the means and around this means how these points will go and what is the standard deviation of this population and other population, et cetera. So, this is a quite big headache. We cannot do it separately alone, because that's why we are saying that we already have English and Russian because it was done for these populations. For Azerbaijani and for Armenians, we need to cooperate with Azerbaijanian and Armenian organizations who are close to these actions, to these roles. You understand what I mean? 

Sylvain: Yes. We have the same challenge when we think about other languages. Again, this is for the benefit of the audience since we're deep in this. We were talking with a company in India where the primary language is indeed English. Same language, but these companies specifically test and recreates assessments for Indian English, because like you said, it's very sensitive. The culture is different, and the English is indeed structured differently. So, the questions can be interpreted differently. Therefore, you end up with differences in personalities, which shouldn't be there. So, it's very important for the audience to know there's a lot of work in creating reliable psychometric assessments in a specific language and to be accurate and to have reliability for it to give the right results in each culture in the same language. 

So, companies like Jobia and CykoMetrix and a bunch of other companies that do understand this, we work hard to create reliable assessments that can be used in the market. It's not just translating from one language to another, it's way deeper than that. There's even mathematical adaptations that need to occur as well. So, I think that's great. I love what you guys are doing. What you're planning to do with Jobia. That's how psychometrics can be used in contemporary times to facilitate matchmaking in a way that is not available in systems right now. Others only focus on the hard skills, placement and experiences. Which is the traditional way to do matchmaking. 

Thank you so much, Giorgi, for participating in this interview, to explain Jobia to us, what you're doing and how you're working it, in a place in the world, at least for us in North America, we don't hear much about. It's fantastic that you were able to participate. 

Giorgi: Thank you, Sylvain, so much and I wish you, first of all, a peaceful and a healthy environment, which is very important. Always, but particularly in this time. Also, a lot of success in your job. We appreciate to cooperate with you very much. Me and my team thank you. 

Sylvain: Absolutely. Thank you so much. So, everybody that's listening to this, check out Jobia. The links are in the description of the video or in the blog where you may be reading this or watching from this. Check it out. They may be available in your languages to offer the service over there. Thank you so much, Giorgi. 

Giorgi: By the way, Sylvain, just please take into account that within the 2 or 3 weeks, the Georgia version will be ready because we are testing right now. We are a little bit late because of Solidarity. About the English version, we will start as soon as we will have results from the Georgian version. So, by the end of this month, I hope so, that we will have a link and I'll send it to you. Okay? 

Sylvain: Yeah. This is by, for the people watching, you may be watching this in the summer 2022, therefore the Georgian version would be out soon and possibly you'll be able to see other languages available to you at that time when this video comes out. 

Giorgi: Thank you very much. 

About Giorgi Dzidziguri - jobia.work

Former Head and Professor of the Georgian Technical University Quality Assurance Service, Head of Human Resource Management at the Public Service Bureau, a Georgian Public Broadcaster in the Office of the Parliament, a Director of the Georgian-European Policy and Legal Advice Center.  Giorgi has been involved in more than 60 projects in the field of human resource management, and 27 grant projects in Georgia and the Kyrgyz Republic. He is certified in using human resources management tools in European and UK companies. 

About CykoMetrix - www.CykoMetrix.com

CykoMetrix is a leading edge combinatorial psychometric and human data analytics company that brings the employee assessment industry to the cloud, with instant assessments, in-depth analysis, trait measurements, and team-based reporting features that simplify informed decision-making around recruiting, training, and managing today’s modern workplace.

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Sylvain Rochon

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