Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #193
CE Offered: BACB
Recruit, Screen, and Intervene: Obtaining and Maintaining High Quality Behavior Technicians
Sunday, May 28, 2023
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Mineral Hall A-C
Area: OBM/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Paula Pompa-Craven (Easterseals Southern California)
Discussant: Rick Gutierrez (Easterseals of Southern California)
CE Instructor: Meghan Herron, M.S.
Abstract: Behavior Technicians (BT) are in high demand from organizations providing applied behavior analysis (ABA) services to individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Staff shortages can result in inconsistencies and negatively affect the quality of services provided. Organizations are in need of evidence-based interventions that can positively impact the recruitment ad screening of qualified candidates, and mitigate turnover. This symposium will review one intervention to increase recruitment of BTs, one intervention on accuracy of screening successful candidates, and two interventions that decrease turnover of BTs. One turnover intervention is providing guaranteed hours of pay as a benefit to part and full-time BTs. The other intervention reducing turnover is a peer mentor program for newly hired BTs.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Recruitment, Retention
Target Audience: The audience would benefit from existing knowledge on retention vs turnover defintions, thorough knowledge of both single case designs as well as group designs and how they control variables and demonstrate experimental control. Basic knowledge of statistical tests is also helpful.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will beable to: 1. Identify significant variables contributing to staff turnover and retention within ABA agencies providing autism services. 2. Identify four different interventions that can be used to improve recruiter contact at events, and decrease behavior technician turnover within these agencies. 3. Solicit feedback and perspectives of their own staff or supervisees that may contribute to increasing staff morale and retention.

Hiring Behavior Analysts: Free Gifts at a Booth Increase Verbal Contacts With a Recruiter, but Not Serious Job Inquiries

AMIN DUFF LOTFIZADEH (Easterseals Southern California/CSUN)

The job market for certified behavior analysts currently is excellent, which poses a serious challenge for organizations looking to hire such individuals. We evaluated whether the provision of small giveaways at a recruitment booth set up at two behavior analysis conferences and at a university career fair influenced the relative number of attendees who verbally contacted a recruiter for an organization looking to hire certified and prospective behavior analysts. We also examined whether the provision of gifts influenced the relative number of attendees who left an e-mail address requesting further contact about possible employment. An alternating-treatments design was used to compare the giveaways and no-giveaways conditions. The giveaways items significantly increased the number of attendees who spoke with the recruiter, but not the number who requested further contact. These findings provide support for the use of giveaways items to generally attract attention to a recruiter, but further research is needed to determine whether their use increases applications for employment.

New Hire Assessment Screening and Retention
PAULA POMPA-CRAVEN (Easterseals Southern California)
Abstract: ABA frontline interventionist retention is often an area of clinical and financial concern for organizations. The current job market indicates a lack of supply and increased demand for this position. In addition, the retention rate for this position is often low. The goal of this study is to use a data driven talent assessment tool to determine a process to understand what makes the frontline interventionist unique in their role and what are the key factors within the role that lead to interventionists who stay in the position. Offering the PeopleBest™ Assessment to all new interventionists within a six month period, a JobFit template was created to provide a framework for the position and a Fit score was obtained for a sample of 143 of 280 new hires. Both retention rates and Fit scores were established. The 143 interventionists who completed the survey had a 67% retention rate after six months. Of the 143, those who had a Fit Score of 50 and above, had a 78% retention rate. This presentation will review the use of the PeopleBest™ Assessment and the implications for its use as a possible tool to assist with the selection of new hires in the field of ABA.
The Influence of Base Pay Compensation on Behavior Technician Turnover
MEGHAN HERRON (Easterseals Southern California)
Abstract: Turnover of staff in the human service setting can result in disruptions to services and can negatively affect customer satisfaction. Research specific to turnover within the ABA field is scarce, but Behavior Interventionists (BIs) providing in-home ABA services to individuals with autism share many qualities found in other fields to correlate with high turnover rates such as part-time status, low wages, split shifts, and reduced hours due to client cancellations and availability changes. Previous studies have found that increased compensation can reduce turnover or intention to turnover. Caillier (2018) found that the availability of various benefits decreased intention to turnover and Buykx et al. (2010) report that both direct and indirect compensation (i.e., salary and benefits) is the most common strategy used to address turnover and retention issues. The purpose of the current study is to analyze the effects of a base pay compensation provided to those regularly scheduled at least 20 hours per week regardless of shift and appointment cancellations outside of the staff members’ control on intention to turnover and actual turnover rates of BIs providing in-home ABA services to individuals with autism.
The Influence of Peer Mentors on New Behavior Technician Turnover
RICK GUTIERREZ (Easterseals of Southern California)
Abstract: Peer support, peer mentorship, or peer coaching and its relation to staff turnover has been evaluated across health care fields. The cost-benefit analysis of these programs suggests that an organization can have a greater cost savings advantages when deploying such programs. Furthermore, it can also act as an abolishing motivation for staff turnover, as well as reduce the actual rate of staff turnover. Peer support is a form of peer mentorship. It has been found to be a key predictor of reasons for staff to stay with an organization. While peer support have been used across other industries, it has yet to be examined with new behavior technicians within the ABA industry. This is significant as many behavior technicians are recent graduates, early in their career, and are more at risk for turnover. The current study added to the literature on peer support by exploring the influence of peer support on newly hired behavior technician and the turnover rate. An experimental design was used to demonstrate the effect of peer support on staff turnover. The preliminary results of this research indicates that peer mentorship of new behavior technicians can reduce staff turnover.



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