KB 32 Psychometric Testing

Issue No 32 | MARCH2011

a human r e s ou r c e news l e t t e r


Michelle Joseph

THE EVOLUTION OF PAPER RESUMES Michelle Joseph is a writer with Prevview.com – Asia’s first interactive video job portal. She specialises in communications and strongly believes that the current recruitment process needs to be more aerodynamic to ensure that no valuable talent goes undiscovered.

HIGHLIGHTSOF THIS ISSUE - Michelle Joseph elaborates on ‘The Evolution of Paper Resumes’ – a special edition - Prof. Vivek V. Phadke shares his insights on Psychometrics facilitating the process of employee development - Taysir Moonim opines on importance of psychometric testing for identification of people development needs - Khushnawaz Munshi emphasizes on investing in psychometric testing to develop people - Saman Khan gives a sneak peek into the world of psychometric testing at Atyaasaa Deeksha Jawa, Head – Project Management, Atyaasaa Consulting Private Limited, is a post graduate in Management HR and Green Belt in Six Sigma with a background in Psychology. She has a passion for behavioural sciences and combines her knowledge of psychometric testing with her management expertise to manage projects end to end and design & develop workshops in order to meet the changing needs of businesses. Over the last couple of years, psychometric tools are increas- ingly being used by HR departments across the globe. These tools enable the organisations to test the candidate's person- ality and behavioural aptitude. The trend has caught on in India over the last two years. The theme for this edition of Knowledge Beans is ‘Importance of Psychometric Testing for identification of people develop- ment needs’. Though the practice of psychometrics is just gaining ground among Indian corporates, this is expected to become an important factor for fitting the right person in the right job. Atyaasaa Consulting Private Limited is a leading Human Resource Training & Consulting Organization partnering with some of the best brands in the country and overseas. Atyaasaa has been a catalyst & a contributor in their quest for people development and business excellence. The core differentiator of Atyaasaa process is continual innovation, unique customization and use of state of the art technology tools implemented through Write to us For information : info@atyaasaa.com For contributing articles : atyaasaaeditor@atyaasaa.com For suggestions : feedback@atyaasaa.com THE EDITOR’S COLUMN Deeksha Jawa

If you’re still browsing through mountains of paper resumes, then lo and behold, evolution has birthed an interactive and innovative twist to the hiring process - Video Resumes - the answer to employers’ hiring woes. Picture the current dreary and time consuming practice, where you plough through a plethora of resumes, weeding out the incongruous while flagging potential candidates. (No thanks to resume-spam-aholics who apply for jobs that they aren’t qualified for, or without even bothering to read job descriptions). Next, comes the face-to-face interview process with the shortlisted candi- dates, where some personalities just don’t tally with their impressive paper resumes. Sure, they may have the ideal GPA, but their persona? - As bland as ‘Wheat-Bix’ and with the interpersonal skills of a robot to match.

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ethical and experienced operations and human resource facilitators having contribution as their core value.

a human resource newsletter KNOWLEDGEBEANS

issue no 32 | March 2011

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After wasting hours of precious time, that perfect candidate is still nowhere near the horizon and the wearisome process begins again. Sounds absolutely painful, doesn’t it?

Well, here’s how video resumes jump to the rescue: - Save money and reduce time by pre-screening candidates - View interviews anytime anywhere - Evaluate candidates’ personalities and communications skills and talent spot them - Alleviate the monotony of looking through paper resumes

So employers, if you are still stuck on paper resumes – why waste your time? Embrace the digital media wave and hire the right person for the right job without hassle!


Prof. Vivek V. Phadke

PSYCHOMETRICS – TO FACILITATE DEVELOPMENT Prof. Vivek V. Phadke is HoD, Human Resources Management at Vishwakarma Institute of Management, Pune. He is passionate about studying human behaviour and is a graphologist. Having worked extensively on psychometric tools, he is currently working on a research article on the same topic.

As a selection tool, these tests can be applied at the early stages of selection to screen-out candidates who are likely to be a misfit for the job or, using a more sophisticated approach, to provide guidance on career progression, to existing employees. As the results of psychometric tests are used to influence such important personnel decisions it is vital that the tests themselves are known to produce accurate results based on standardized methods and statistical principles. Advantages of psychometric testing - They lead to judgments, possibly more valid than judgments made by other means - The information obtained from test, might take several months of knowing and working with a person to obtain by other means - They are likely to lead to considerable cost-benefits in the long term From the industry perspective, psychometric tests can only aid and inform a decision, the psychometric tests should ideally be used in conjunction with other tools i.e. performance appraisal outcomes and personal interview.

Psychometric testing today is applied in a wide variety of settings and is used for a varied range of purposes.

They are like the tests in any other science, as observations are made on a small yet carefully chosen sample of an individual’s behaviour. Psychometric tests include both personality tests as well as the aptitude tests and are in the form of self-reporting inventory or projective techniques. The indicative or predictive value of a psychological test depends on the degree to which it serves as an indicator of a relatively broad and significant area of behaviour. Psychometric tests aim to measure aspects of your mental ability or personality. Tests of this sort are devised by occupational psychologists and their aim is to provide employers with a reliable method of selecting the most suitable candidates, by providing an insight into how well you may work with other people, how well you handle stress, and whether you will be able to cope with the demands of the job etc.

a human resource newsletter KNOWLEDGEBEANS

issue no 32 | March 2011


Taysir Moonim


Taysir Moonim is a final year Arts student at the St. Mira College, Pune. She is majoring in psychology and shares an interest in the development of psychometric tools. She wants to pursue her career in the field of people development.

administered. Most managers prefer to rely on their own gut feelings while recruiting and the HR departments are scantily staffed, they are there for administrative purposes rather than being seasoned OD professionals. Using psychometric tests is a scientific process by which companies not only screen candidates but also train, develop and motivate them without any bias. Thus, also increasing organizational loyalty, growth and decreasing attrition - a burning concern at present in the global human resources market. There are definite long term benefits, also keeping costs in mind, by matching the right employee to the right job.

Psychometric testing measures strengths in areas of aptitudes, behaviour, skills, and overall personality. Important in today’s increasingly corporate culture, HR heads can use tests like these as adequate assessment tools for selection, recruitment and lateral transfers or promotions for employees on the basis of their scores. The reality is that corporates in India don’t widely rely on or even use these measures. However, many MNCs are employing these methods extensively. The general perception is that such tests are only to be used for screening. They are considered overly expensive, lengthy and elaborate to be repeatedly


Khushnawaz Munshi


Khushnawaz Munshi is presently pursuing her MBA in HR from Vishwakarma Institute of Management, Pune and also working for Atyaasaa Consulting Pvt. Ltd. She is a keen observer of human behavior and loves to explore the dynamics of interpersonal relations. She is passionate about literary and oratory forums.

A psychometric tool at face value could seem like a cake walk. A piece of paper with a few questions, apparently structured to test your personality or your innate tendencies. But do not let this simple, seemingly effortless test fool you. This tool is an outcome of an extensive item analysis and detailed study. The end result has much more to it than what meets the eye. Can the intricacies of a psychometric tool be appreciated only by a trained student or a connoisseur of psychology? Absolutely not! Today the evolved corporate is making extensive use of these tools to assess the developmental needs for its employees. The optimal utilization of this tool requires comprehending its impeccability, and understanding its value.

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a human resource newsletter KNOWLEDGEBEANS

issue no 32 | March 2011

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This gives the organization insights into areas of employee development.

So what exactly does a psychometric tool do? A psychometric tool manifests an employee’s overt and covert traits. Depending on the nature of the test taken, you get to know about the employees’ areas of interest, suitability for a particular job, ability to handle various aspects of the job, etc. This tool is not meant to judge, but rather understand where a particular employee lies in terms of interest, personality and aptitude. This helps bridge the gap between what is and what needs to be.

By making use of psychometrics, you help your organization avoid falling into the trap of a ‘wasted’ employee developmental effort. By incorporating psychometric tools you have an unbiased approach towards assessing the development needs of the employees.


Saman Khan

Saman Khan - Associate Consultant - Coaching Division, Atyaasaa Consulting Pvt. Ltd. is an industrial psychologist with a post graduate degree in HR. She has a keen interest in exploring the human psyche. Her passion lies in learning and development initiatives. She is heavily into music and uses it extensively for soul searching. A SNEAK PEEK INTO THE WORLD OF PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING AT ATYAASAA

Psychometrics is the study of psychological assessment, leading to the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes and personality traits of an individual. The field of psychometrics has been the genesis of intelligence, personality and vocational testing. It has contributed to the emergence of new methods of psychological measurement based on the demands of society and the emergence of new technology. At Atyaasaa, our prime concern is to scientifically construct and validate psychometric tools. Psychometric assessments if used scientifically, play a key role in placing the right person in the right job/career and also ensure that they receive the appropriate training (through training need identification) to enhance their skills. With the evolution of HR practices, gone are the days when a standard Alfred Binet Intelligence test would hold good. Today, assessment tools are tailor made to suit the exact competency to be measured in context of the culture and population demographics. At Atyaasaa, it is our ongoing pursuit to customize tools as per our client’s needs and revalidate them. The workshop way of using psychometric tools is rather interesting. We use them as a support tool along with other forms of behavioural assessments such as simulations, role playing and outbound sessions. We are careful while developing tools and make sure of the following: - Adequate understanding (both conceptual and theoretical) of the competency to be measured

- Not letting bias creep in while constructing and conducting tools - Precise definition of each behavioural anchor leading to a particular competency - Quantitative and qualitative analysis of the results with a personalized report indicative of the test taker’s strengths and areas of improvement A psychometric tool could be good or bad depending upon whether it is being used or abused. Every psychometric tool should be chosen judiciously, administered professionally, scored procedurally, and interpreted objectively and skilfully.

For further details please write to info@atyaasaa.com.

BEAN STATEMENT “Growth is all about facing our darker sides.”

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