EDUCATION PLUS

The psychological side of HR

ANALYSING APTITUDE: Vasanthi Srinivasan, Assistant Professor, OB and HRM Department, IIM-Bangalore; Rama Rao, Professor Head (Retd.), Department of Psychology, University of Madras, and Abhimanyu Acharya, director, C and K Management Limited, at the national meet on contemporary trends in HRD, in Chennai. Photo: K. V. Srinivasan

ANALYSING APTITUDE: Vasanthi Srinivasan, Assistant Professor, OB and HRM Department, IIM-Bangalore; Rama Rao, Professor Head (Retd.), Department of Psychology, University of Madras, and Abhimanyu Acharya, director, C and K Management Limited, at the national meet on contemporary trends in HRD, in Chennai. Photo: K. V. Srinivasan  



MEERA SRINIVASAN

The concept of HR has undergone a transformation over the years as was evident at the national conference organised by the Department of Psychology, University of Madras.

Human Resources has often been seen in a different light such as an academic discipline, job provider and a strategic partner in a company. Like other disciplines, it has been through several transformations, acknowledging those of the market. The national conference on `Contemporary trends of Human Resources Development in Business Organisations — A Psychological perspective' organised by the Department of Psychology, University of Madras, looked into some of the recent trends."In companies, what matters is not what they do, but who does it," said Abhimanyu Acharya, director, Chief Knowledge Officer, C&K Management Limited.Making a presentation on `E-HRD — Current Trends in Optimising People Power', Mr. Acharya explained how psychometric tests helped an HR person find out motivating/driving factors of a prospective employee. Deeming it as an "extremely cost-effective" tool, he said the tests also helped to identify gaps in learning.

Common psychometric tests

Disc profile: Measures the candidate's character in 25 different categories. Gives an insight into their personality traits, individual goals and commitment to goals. Career preference test: To find out if a candidate is realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising or conventional. This test gives an idea of how comfortable a person would be doing a particular job. Personal attitude test: Assesses the candidate's attitudes and reaction to a situation. Highlights important personality traits. Information processing style indicator: Indicates how the candidate is likely to process information. "But more important than the test is the interpretation of a candidate's performance. Understanding the test in the right perspective is of paramount importance," said Mr. Acharya. HR is about people and therefore, should be transparent. Virtual methodologies, though seemingly convenient, are quite disengaging, he said. "Companies are increasingly using the term `human capital' instead of `human resource'. HR has undergone a huge transformation over the years," said Munwari Padmanaban, HR Head, Tektronix. She took the students through different stages of e-HR, highlighting the relevance of each. Vasanthi Srinivasan, Assistant Professor, OB & HRM Department, IIM-Bangalore, said literature on management to a great extent incorporated sociological perspectives, but not as much psychological content. She traced the understanding of Human Resources from the 1960s."Though companies consider Human Resources to be a strategic partner, there are several challenges that come with playing the role. It could, at times, amount to doing that set of jobs that nobody else in the organisation wishes to do," she said.





Recommended for you