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Use of psychometric tests by HR

Mature and professional HR in any organization realizes that its most important contribution to the organization is in finding the right people and more importantly, making the organization retain them. People are the most valuable resource in any organization, and nothing is more satisfying for HR than to provide the organization the perfect fit.

Resilience matters more than anything else

So, how does HR size up the “perfect candidate” for any suitable position? Of course, the usual parameters are skill sets, qualifications and experience. But there is something that is of paramount importance, something that is a far better indicator of a person’s suitability than all these, and that is the candidate’s temperament. While qualifications, skills and experience are more obvious, there is no hint in any of these that the candidate has the most important quality the organization looks for –tenacity. This is the defining difference between good and great candidates.

Something like IQ and EQ

We can draw a parallel between this quality and emotional intelligence. In the past, if a person had a good intelligence quotient (IQ), it was considered a hallmark of exceptional ability. But over the years, psychoanalysts came round to the conclusion that intelligence and knowledge in themselves were not a sufficient measure or necessary yardstick of a person’s ability.

They identified one quality that was far superior as a marker of their character, and that was fortitude. This is what is termed as emotional intelligence, or the ability to be intuitive and smart in crunch situations. This requires being able to think on one’s feet and come up with offhand solutions to any unforeseen situation, rather than rely on textbook knowledge, which cannot answer questions beyond a point.

Psychometric tests to gauge the candidate’s ability to withstand pressure

This, in a nutshell, is what smart candidacy is all about. Qualifications and experience do matter, but what is more critical is the ability to solve real-life issues, challenges and difficulties. A good psychometric analysis by HR will help identify these qualities in a candidate.

How does HR do it? One simple method could be to ask tough, or what are called smart questions at the time of the interview. A good candidate may have had a decade’s experience in handling and working on set systems, but the smart candidate is one who has known how to use common sense in resolving challenges. HR could pinpoint and ask for specific situations in which the candidate resolved issues using commonsense rather than application of rote knowledge. It could verify from its sources with the current employer if the claims were true. It could put a number of such posers to the candidate and come to some conclusion about this all-important quality of a great candidate.



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