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Meet Casey Johnson, PhD, Senior Research Scientist

As Senior Research Scientist, Casey handles statistical analysis for the company. By staying current on advances in HR analytics, he helps clients better understand and solve their hiring problems.

Articles by Casey.

Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Gainesville, Texas—about 80 miles north of Dallas.

What led you into this field?

My undergraduate degree was in Public Affairs and Administration. This area of study was data heavy, and my senior project was a statistical analysis of the bureaucracy in universities. This led me to a graduate program in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Research, Measurement, and Statistics. After completing my master’s, I immediately went back to complete my doctorate degree.

For a researcher, the field of education is great because of the huge and diverse datasets available. The datasets I’ve been able to work with at OutMatch can rival these at times. The field has allowed me to do what I love—use the knowledge and expertise I’ve developed and actually make meaningful changes to the company and the world.

What do you enjoy most about your job? What do you find most challenging?

I love the people I work with. We’re a small company (and growing!), but it’s still possible to know everyone. My coworkers are the most eclectic, fun, and genuine group of people I’ve ever met. If you need help, there’s always someone who’s willing to lend a hand. If you’re looking for growth opportunities, there’s always somewhere in the company to go for a new experience.

What do you think it takes to be successful in your role?

It’s most important to be flexible. It’s also important to multitask, solve problems (or better yet—anticipate problems before they become problems), provide attention to detail, and be tolerant of criticism. And doesn’t hurt to be super intelligent. LOL.

What are some of the industry-specific challenges you see for the future?

Almost on a weekly basis, I’m asked, “How do we mitigate applicant impression management or cheating on assessments?” I’m also concerned with item saturation, which is the idea that an assessment question won’t always be a “good” question if it’s overused.

Both of these issues can be remedied with Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT). This essentially means that the sequence of questions is dynamic and will change based on responses to previous questions. With large item banks, and continually rotating items, item saturation will become a thing of the past. Impression management will still be an issue, but by using CAT, it will be easier to diagnose and mitigate.

What’s the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?

“There’s a difference between the best, and good enough.” There’s always a gold standard for “best” in almost every problem, but it’s a matter of learning where you can compromise and where you can’t.

Here’s an example of a problem I run into a lot: if we’re going to do a role validation, I would love to test every single employee, but it’s not feasible. From a statistician point of view, I’d like to have 500 incumbents in the study. Again, not easy to do, and we can still get good, statistically significant results with half that number.

What’s your most valuable professional tool?

R and R Studio. This is a powerful statistical software engine that allows me to handle any number of analyses. The software is free, and there are endless online resources. The language is a little difficult to pick up at first, but once you learn the basics, the possibilities are endless.

Passions? Hobbies? Interests outside of work?

I enjoy working with my hands. I’ve built many things, including wreaths, benches, dining tables, and a shuffleboard table. I’ve refinished furniture like chairs and dining tables. I find it relaxing. It feels good to have a physical and tangible accomplishment after all of the theoretical and digital ones.

What is something no one knows about you?

I hate being late. If I’m going to be late, I’d almost rather not go. If someone tells me to meet me at a restaurant at 8ish, I’d be annoyed by the lack of specifics, and I’d likely be there before 7:45.

Favorite TV show? Why?

Doctor Who. The show is witty and funny, while maintaining some action. Most episodes are suspenseful, and take until the last scenes before you figure out the twist.

If you could order anything for lunch at your desk, what would it be?

A bowl from Chipotle. I love those things. They’re the perfect meal to eat while you pretend to work at the same time.

You work hard, but personal time is important too. What’s been your best vacation spot ever?

Kauai, Hawaii. The island is beautiful, remote, and tranquil. You can truly disconnect there.

And in case you didn’t believe it, here is the amazing shuffleboard table that Casey built for the OutMatch office!

Shuffleboard side by side

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