Introduction to the Chief I/O Psychologist at Pinsight
We are thrilled to introduce Jaclyn Menendez, PhD as the new Chief I/O Psychologist at Pinsight. We are looking forward to the expertise and innovation Jaclyn will bring to our leadership assessments.
Innovation and analytics don’t always go together, but for Jaclyn, they are a natural pairing. Her expertise in Industrial/Organizational Psychology is centered on psychometrics and quantitative methods, but it is her stubborn creative streak that ultimately allows her to act as a bridge between the science of psychology and the art of delivering results. Jaclyn’s years of product development allow her to craft solutions that are rooted in complex predictive analytics, while her extensive experience in client partnership ensures that these solutions are practical, enjoyable, and easy to use in the real world.
Watch the quick intro video from Jaclyn Menendez, Phd below and scroll down to read the full interview with her.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background in industrial/organizational psychology?
Back in 2011 I received my Master’s in Organizational Management from the George Washington University. While I was there I volunteered in a research lab, investigating how to maximize the impact of workplace training initiatives. I loved this research and science side of the field, so I decided to pursue my PhD. I was lucky to work with a great professor who encouraged me to apply and gave me my first chance at research.
I went on to receive my PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Colorado State University. While I was there, I met Martin Lanik, an alumnus of Colorado State and the CEO of a (then) brand-new company called…Pinsight! I worked with Pinsight and several other organizations while receiving my degree, assisting in research and development as I grew my knowledge of psychometrics. I had no idea that over a decade later, I would be back at Pinsight! It is truly amazing to see how much the company has grown and what has been accomplished. Jaclyn Menendez, Phd
2. What inspired you to pursue a career in industrial/organizational psychology?
I was always fascinated by psychology in general, and I liked the hands-on applicability of workplace psychology. We spend so much of our lives at work, and everyone has a job. I was motivated by the idea of making small improvements to something that is so universally experienced. The workplace is just one big living breathing experiment, isn’t it?Jaclyn Menendez, Phd
3. What are your main areas of expertise within the field and how do you plan to apply them in your new role?
My main expertise is in assessment and selection. Whether it’s how to hire the right person, or how to know if someone’s ready for a new role, or anything in between, I work within that space of first knowing where to start with the right questions, then creating the solutions, and then knowing the right ways to statistically measure their outcomes. My passion within the field is getting to apply these principles to help employees who are traditionally underrepresented; specifically employees with disabilities. My dissertation explored how to increase fairness and perceptions of trust for applicants with disabilities during the assessment and selection stages of employment. I’m excited to bring my knowledge as well as this passion to my role at Pinsight.Jaclyn Menendez, Phd
4. What do you appreciate about Pinsight’s product and culture, and how do you see yourself aligning with our mission?
Fairness and the removal of bias from the assessment stage are two of Pinsight’s core values, and these are incredibly important to me as a researcher and psychologist. It means a lot to me to have found an organization whose mission is so aligned with my own.
I’ve also worked in this space for many years now, and there are definitely organizations out there that rely on marketing for assessments and selection but don’t have a strong science backing their claims. Pinsight stood out to me because the science is driven by PhDs trained by some of the best minds in our field. Their data and decision-making is rooted in research and best practices. I have been impressed to see this emphasis, which aligns with my own approach.Jaclyn Menendez, Phd
5. What do you consider to be the most important qualities of an effective leader, and how do you embody those qualities in your work?
The best leaders I’ve worked with are the ones who remain learners themselves. They don’t assume they know the right answer, and they rely on research and feedback to shape their perspective every time they start a new project. I think that also slots in nicely with my role here at Pinsight, because in order to create great products, you need to reinvent the wheel every time–you need to listen, and deeply understand what problem you’re trying to solve, and not assume that you already know the answer.
Hand in hand, you need a team that is aligned on the big picture and can help you fill in your blind spots. So a strong curiosity to learn and a highly collaborative approach are probably my two best tools in my toolkit. Luckily for me, the team at Pinsight is incredibly bright and aligned — I have a lot to learn from them, but I have no doubt that we’ll end up with something greater than the sum of our parts.Jaclyn Menendez, Phd
6. What are some innovative trends in I/O Psychology that you’re excited to explore or implement for Pinsight leadership assessments?
There’s never been a more exciting time to work in this field, specifically in the product development space! With the ever-increasing abilities of artificial intelligence, the very foundation of how we talk about leadership and successful performance is already starting to shift. Similarly, a silver lining of Covid is that it’s cracked open this Pandora’s box of remote leadership questions: how do we lead virtual teams? Do we need the same skills we needed before? Related, are the behaviors that represent these skills fundamentally different in a remote setting? So many questions related to remote leadership and global leadership, as remote teams can now span countries — will be addressed and answered by our tools, and I’m eager to help shape the direction of this research. Pinsight’s established expertise in the leadership assessment and development space makes my job so much easier—and I’m so excited to see how we all grow together from here.Jaclyn Menendez, Phd
We hope you enjoyed the introductory interview with our new Chief I/O Psychologist.
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