IDear Workforce-I Role of Psychology in HR

May 7, 2000

Dear Workforce:

In the light of the various changes the business world is undergoing (IT revolution, globalisation, etc.) how do you see the role of psychology in candidate selection changing?
-- Psych Wondering

A Dear Psych:

In the last ten years, several breakthroughs in psychometric assessment technology produced instruments that are quicker, easier to use, less expensive, and that measure core behavioral traits that basically do not change.

This meant that when these traits were viewed in terms of job performance, it was possible to clearly identify those individuals who were likely to struggle or fail at certain jobs. It was also possible to identify the jobs that offered the greatest likelihood for success.

These newer instruments are being offered via on-site software, online, and through ASP's. Most importantly, the trend is to eliminate or reduce the role of the experts or consultants that have previously been necessary to understand many assessment reports.

Look for the integration of these assessments into a broad range of business practices. Recruiting will use them to make hiring decisions faster with less risk. Companies involved in acquisitions and mergers will inventory their human resources assets, using the common denominators of objective assessment information.

This same information enables companies to quickly reconfigure work teams to meet changing situations in the marketplace. Behavioral information is usually the critical factor in understanding IT performance problems. With the emphasis being placed on technical skills, the connectivity of the people is often overlooked. Globalization and other forces have intensified competition with the market allowing for very few mistakes.

The right assessments, used effectively, provide a sustainable competitive advantage, by allowing a company to pinpoint solutions to performance problems, faster and with more certainty. Psychological assessments, in forms very different than the instruments of the past 40 years, will soon become everyday components of performance management and human resources.

SOURCE: Chuck Russell, author, Right Person-Right Job, Guess or Know.

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