In 1869, Francis Galton, a pioneer in eugenics and the phrase “nature versus nurture”, published a book titled – Hereditary Genius. It was the first social scientific attempt to study genius and greatness. It identified different characteristics people possessed, and how those characteristics made them fitter than others.
Why bring up Galton? Primarily to focus on the two words – genius and greatness. After all, who would not want one and/or the other in their organization? In the early 2000s, when prospects applied for jobs, a typo-free resume, interview smarts, and a few good references would often emerge as all they needed. But today, organizations are beginning to realize that landing a gig may very well come down to your, you guessed it – innate personality.
Enter Psychometric Assessments
In a 2014 trends report from the Harvard Business Review, 62% of human resource professionals used psychometric assessments for vetting candidates in the hiring process. Compare that to less than 50% in 2010, according to the Society of Human Resource Management.
“Look at behavioral traits, and by analyzing them, we can indicate competency for a job,” said Paul Gorrell, Ph.D., founding principal of development firm Progressive Talent.
However, do not forget Genius & Greatness
We are all familiar with Joker from Batman, popularized to astronomical levels by Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’. Imagine the Joker applying for the job of Gotham’s protector. Imagine a panel of interviewers checking his resume. On paper, he is a genius just the same as Batman, with the potential for greatness just the same as Batman.
Fortunately, for Gotham, superheroes never emerged from job applications. If they did, we would have a movie about a man in a purple suit and clown makeup, trigger-happy and massacring every petty thief on sight, eating a puppy every now and then just because.
In this case, the interviewer in all honesty has done no wrong. He or she looked for the best traits to find in a candidate, and found them. Joker was the perfect hire; unfortunately, he was not the hero organization’s perfect hire.
So, what have we learned, ladies and gentlemen? Put your faith in Psychometric Assessments. You have a better chance at dying in a crashing airplane, which by the way is the safest mode of transport, than going wrong with the Psychometric Assessments of today. It is a superhero to pushing the right genius to the right place.