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What is an Organizational Psychologist?

"Turnover is costing us a fortune! -- We need to select people more effectively.

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Psychological Evaluation:

The Indispensable Hiring Tool That Pays For Itself!

State of the Art Technology

You would think it absurd if a surgeon told you to undergo back surgery without ever having an X-ray of the area. While an X-ray shows only shadows of internal organs, we know that an expert can read those shadows as if looking inside the body.

Yet every day, managers hire employees with only a relatively cursory look at the "outside" of the candidate. The analogy to X-ray in the field of selection is the psychological evaluation. This picture can be read by the expert in a consistently effective manner.

The Employment Interview

A hiring manager is responsible for two things when interviewing a candidate:

  • Assessing technical knowledge and quality of experience, and

  • Measuring "personal chemistry" or "aptness of fit"

Research shows that companies are pretty good at the former and terrible at the latter. Most employees are "let go" because of personal chemistry (poor work habits, not fitting in, they don't learn from their mistakes, they don't get along with others, etc.), not because they lack knowledge and experience.

The reasons are obvious: - Your managers are professional at assessing work performance, but amateurs at measuring and interpreting personal characteristics.

Too Expensive to Rely on Amateurs

The cost of making a mistake in hiring key personnel is staggering - usually measured in tens of thousands of dollars. Here's the rule of thumb:

Cost of Hiring Mistake = Annual Salary x 2.5

This formula assumes that you discover the hiring mistake within six months of employment, and that disastrous consequences (such as the loss of a major customer) have been avoided. Calculate the cost of your last hiring error. Imagine how much it would cost if that individual were a high level decision maker!

A Systematic Approach

The psychological evaluation is not an isolated tool to be used "when the mood strikes" or for the occasional "tough case". It is an integral part of a well-thought-through selection system that takes into consideration the organization's current and future needs.

Before evaluations are used, two selection tools ideally should be in place.

First, a set of job descriptions for each key position should exist which adequately explains the range of responsibilities, interrelationships and expected results.

Second, a position model must be assembled which describes the position in terms of those personal characteristics necessary to succeed.

Our consulting psychologists will help you formulate these models and determine their validity.

Recruiting the Candidate

The candidate is recruited as normally for your organization, with the psychologist playing no role at all in the recruitment phase of the process. There is not even the appearance of bias. An appointment is made with the psychologist for an evaluation only after he/she has been successfully interviewed by the organization as usual.

The Evaluation Setting

Most evaluations take place in an office or a small conference room -like any other employment interview. The interview takes approximately three hours and includes a minimum of testing (a single math/vocabulary test is common). The candidate is informed that he will receive a feedback of the results with specific career development recommendations.

Five Critical Factors

Over 140 individual characteristics are assessed during a standard psychological evaluation. They are grouped into five general factors that relate to business activities:

  • Intellectual Effectiveness:
  • Quality, not quantity, of intelligence is of primary concern. The ability to think conceptually and the effective application of intelligence to the achievement of personal and corporate goals are assessed.

  • Personal Adjustment:
  • The unique ways in which the individual responds to the work situation is of primary importance. Emphasis is placed on the internal resources that the individual can summon to support their work effort. Emotional adjustment, aggressiveness and general character are typical constituent elements.

  • Human Relations Skills:
  • This is the area of interpersonal relationships. Basic attitudes toward people and ways of responding to them are the main focus. Social skills, communication, diplomacy and the ability to sell one's self are assessed.

  • Insight:
  • Two categories of insight are separated: a) How well you understand yourself and b)how well you understand other people. In addition, emphasis is placed on ability to apply those insights both for self-growth and for the development of subordinates.

  • Organization and Management Skill
  • General management orientation and the ability to lead and manage are the key evaluation factors. Management knowledge, skills and values, leadership potential and team abilities are evaluated with both a current and future orientation.

Recommendations and Conclusions

Every candidate evaluation has a specific, "yes/no" recommendation statement - an unequivocal professional opinion based on the data and the position model. The report ends with a synthesis of the information and a developmental plan

Benefits to the Company and the Candidate


No other selection tool is as cost-effective. The case can be adequately made purely on the basis of the avoidance of hiring mistakes.

Improvement in candidate selection ranges from 15% to over 100%. Hiring managers provide many examples of major errors avoided by utilizing the information developed in candidate evaluations. Since a psychological evaluation typically costs less than 1% of the expense of a hiring mistake. Even a tiny increase in hiring effectiveness more than pays for the entire program.

Better Employees

Upgrading the work force starts with better hiring. A position model is a good place to begin. Technical expertise and experience plus smooth interaction with a number of other people in different positions should be included in the job description. Managers often report that they often ignore such requirements because they don't feel capable of assessing them in an employment interview.

Aptness of fit is a critical issue. Good employees in the wrong job tend to fail. The manager feels badly about having to remove the employee - the employee has to live with the failure. Everybody loses!

The Peter Principle is real. Past performance doesn't guarantee future success. Matching a personas character and potential to the job requirements typically results in more success.

Selection PLUS Development

Evaluations focus on strengths and weaknesses. They are the starting point of a developmental program. The focus is not on the "yes/no" issue, it is on how to maximize the abilities of the person for them and for the organization.

Better Interviewing Skills for Hiring Managers

Evaluations help to improve the hiring managers interviewing skills over time. When meeting with the psychologist "post-evaluation" and being de-briefed, they discuss (within the limits of confidentiality) the difference between their view of the candidate.

Immediate Feedback

The psychologist makes an immediate oral presentation of findings to the hiring manager. This verbal report is frequently sufficient to use for a hiring decision. A written report is also sent to the company.

Partners in Selection

The recommendation is only part of the hiring decision. The psychologist works with the hiring manager to make the best decision and plan for its implementation. After hiring, both work to integrate the employee into the organization and facilitate career development. Over time, the psychologist becomes quite knowledgeable about the business and its people - resulting in even greater selection validity.

Experienced Professionals

Our consulting psychologists are experienced professionals - having worked in a wide variety of industrial and corporate settings. We are not "academic types" who vaguely understand the business world.

The business world IS our world. We understand it and enjoy it.

Your Competitive Edge

The world is extremely competitive. Existing competitors become stronger and new competitors spring up overnight! The single most significant advantage you can maintain over those competitors is consistently higher quality employees. Our experience has shown that quality people are the most durable profit-producing factor in corporate effectiveness regardless of economic or competitive conditions.

You Can Start Now !

Human Resource Development, Inc. can help you begin developing this competitive edge with your very next hiring decision.

For a free consultation - Call Us Now -- (770) 977 - 3875