See also related article on psychometrics:
I’d like to consider hiring as the inclusion of individuals which complement weaknesses and enhance the strengths of the organization. It’s a combination of psychological profiling (attitude), private investigation (background check) and skill fit.
We are also thought that Human Resources should be the strategic partner for each department and possess the know how and execution ability to provide professional career development as well as the creation of an “engaged” workforce. Engaged, as purported in the Gallup Corporation’s Q12 series of questionnaires.
Sadly, I’ve seen many organizations degenerate Human Resources into purely administrative duties that could easily be automated or outsourced away. Simple items like payroll, leaves, recruitment approvals, kpi reporting and training manifests still consume considerable amount of manual processing & tracking. They don’t even know who to promote, what’s the quantum of promotion let alone the skills to differentiate a SAP consultant from an office administrator.
The dumbest thing that I’ve ever heard was during a recent reorganization where HR issued their improvement plans on Recruitment Service Levels (note that previously, we had none):-
“Hiring service level is 6 months; however resignation notification period will still be 3 months”, smugly; as the HR Manager twiddled her pinky figure while adjusting her glasses. The whites of her eyes showing as she struggled to see beyond the horizons of the spectacle’s rim.
I guess some of you would have heard of psych profiling tools like Myers-Briggs, PAPI, Enneagram, the Johari window and such. The problem to me is that these tools are used to create prejudices prior to the actual interview.
“Damn, he’s a slacker, look at the score for expediency!” exclaimed the happy recruitment manager. (Till this day, I haven't the faintest idea why people find it amusing to find a slacker through tests that are conducted over a series of inane questions in the league of “what would you do if you see your uncle shagging a sheep?”)
Honestly, I’d recommend that you put aside the assessment results and proceed with an open mind. For the sake of humanity, you should at least greet the person without any predilections as to whether he’ll squeeze your hand, or treat it like a dead fish. It’s like assuming all fat people are lazy and cutting interviews short for ugly people. Seriously! It’s hard enough to cure xenophobia; we don’t need a tool that exacerbates our natural inclination to judge.
A better approach would consist of having the interviewee sit for the test, and hide the results from the interviewer until the interview is over. Go through your own interview questions plus a series of standard ones which walk through the quadrants of the psychometric assessment. Once you’ve gone through the questioning should you then begin to review the actual results for verification; and interview the candidate again for confirmation.
You are not only able to reinforce the line of questioning and gauge whether the guy is a wanker or a whiner (more on that later), you would eventually hone your individual assessment over the assessment provided by the test. Which brings me to the point, its only a machine, formed though statistical correlation of a sizeable interview set and presented to you as mere juxtaposition of the statistical sampling.
One thing that time has thought me about the nature of human character, there’s always exceptions and aberrations, a black swan if you may.
Worst, not only are we not able to feedback whether the coined machine assessment is accurate, some even swears by the tests and target the weak points like an Indonesian wife assaulting her husband over his Chinese mistress. (See what I mean about sounding like a racist)
Then there are the dark organizations that spend an inordinate amount of money on these tools, but fail to train any of the recruiting managers on how to interpret the results. The candidate takes the test, the interviewers look at them, and decide based on a hunch or how good looking and well of a speaker the person is. You staple the results with your assessment and no one gives a hoot about the test in the first place.
Heck, I’d be laughing to the bank if I have HR clients from those companies.
How does this relate to you, a dark manager? Easy, you want a candidate that’s pliable, prone to be stretched beyond his breaking point and brainlessly executing any desire while accepting all the blame for the failures.
A dark manager once told me that, breaking in a new hire is like how mother earth breaks down carbon into diamonds. I don’t know about you, but there’s dumb, and then there’s dark management meeting megalomania -> Disaster waiting to happen.