HR Psychology


   The cornerstone of any institution success is putting the right person in the right place. Any error in this process leads to heavy losses to society at both economic and social levels. On this Pierre Mornell states that if you make a mistake in hiring someone and you recognize and rectify the mistake within six months, you will lose 125000$ if this person salary was 50000$ a year.

   The right decisions concerning selecting, recruiting, planning, and developing are an important part of successful human resources management. Some even consider it the most important part of this process. Productivity improvement may drive the organization to change plans, improve training and develop a better design for jobs. However, errors in the recruitment process will preclude this. These changes, therefore, will have no effect. The training works best with the person who his qualifications meet the job requirements.

   The use of psychological tests in the field of human resources attributed to the binary influence of industrial psychology and management science at the end of the nineteenth century. Walter Dill and Hugo Munsterberg tried to identify the psychological basis for the problems in the workplace. However, the full recognition of the role of psychological tests started with the establishment of the National Academy of Sciences that established the National Research Council in 1916. The Council consists of distinguished psychologists who developed a set of tests and measures for selecting and recruiting the recruits within various divisions of the army during the First World War. The US government funded this project despite the objections of the military. Since then psychological testing found its role within institutions. At the same time, the industrial engineers encouraged the idea of using psychological testing in the process of selecting the individuals. After the First World War, the business has increased in the America and became more complex and competitive, which required the development of management systems and the application of scientific means to solve problems that occur within institutions.

   The use of psychological test increased during World War II. Many organizations such as Personnel Affairs Committee were established to verify the role of psychological testing in military efforts. During the war psychologists continued to administer psychological tests to select individuals, train them, and evaluate their performance. The effectiveness of psychological testing has been documented in military efforts. Many organizations have emerged as a result of such successes as The Office of Naval Research, The National Science Foundation, US Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, and The Air Force Human Resources Laboratory. Psychologists also continued to develop methods of selection and classification of tests. Example of the tests that were used at this stage include Air Force's competency test, Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and to select the recruits to recruitment them in the army divisions and training decisions.

   Personality tests have also been widely used although they although they did not receive support and acceptance as the aptitude tests. Personality tests were criticized for its lack of validity in selecting employees due to it was easy to fake which make them generally unsuitable for occupational selection.

   However, Over time these concerns evaporated and the use of personality tests increased. The personality tests were used in the process of selecting and evaluating individuals. It was used also in the planning and training process, especially when the test is part of an integrated assessment system. The use of Personality tests, as well as the cognitive ability tests, became one of the techniques that enhances validity and reduces the differential impact. On one hand, cognitive ability tests are considered a good measure of job performance, as the individuals with higher cognitive levels have the ability to gain knowledge of the job faster and better which leads to a better performance. On the other hand, some personality traits may enhance the individual's ability to benefit from own mental abilities, and other traits may limit this ability. Some personality traits help the individual in the future to be able to receive and use information and interact with others. Thus, the traits are an intermediate variable that helps the individual to employ his cognitive abilities into the work situations.

   After several decades of psychological tests have been a major topic to address. The attention was drawn to the role of psychological test in human resources field in the process of selection and recruitment, training and planning, or addressing the problems resulting from work pressures. For example, a survey conducted in the late 20th century found that 48% of employers used psychological tests in the recruitment process and 69% of companies in Great Britain and 74% in Spain also used personality tests.


Here is a list of the most important psychological tests used in the occupational field, which the corporation has standardized:

Career Interest test

Emotional Competency Test

Personality Traits Test

Intelligence scale

Social Skills Test (under standardizing process)

Leadership Competency Test (under standardizing process)



Career Interests Test:

   Career interests test is used to help the individuals to determine and understand their career interests. The test provides a detailed description that helps individuals to determine their goals and start their research to find a consistency between their interests and their future career. In addition, the extracted report from scoring and interpretation software includes a large number of professions that agree with the individual's tendencies, and a set of recommendations to help in the process of choosing a career.

   Psychologists can use the career interests test as a tool for educational guidance, career guidance, and occupational guidance. When it comes to career selection, the use of the career interest test offers tremendous help in making the decision. It also can be used as an effective and standardized tool to choose from a large number of applicants such as occupational training programs, through two stages: The first stage involves a preliminary selection. At the second stage, we can add tools that help in assessing the overall readiness to classify and select the best candidates. Group testing can be done either online or through manual administration.

   The test is available in Arabic and English. Also, the report is available in Arabic and English for each case whether the administration was in Arabic or English. This helps to ease the process especially if examiners or examinees from different nationalities.


Emotional Competence Test

   The emotional competence test helps the institutions to put the right person in the right place. Also, The test helps in developing the ongoing planning and development of the employees. Additionally, the test assists individuals in understanding themselves, recognizing their behaviors and interactions with others, and identify their strengths and weaknesses, which assist them in the decision-making process. Furthermore, This test is useful in psychotherapy and marital counseling.

   The test is available in both Arabic and English. The report is also available in both Arabic and English for each case whether the administration is in English or in Arabic. the individual can administer this questionnaire to self or other person, which helps the individual to know how he sees himself and how others see him or how he sees others. Therefore, the test is useful for institutions especially when it is required form an employee to assess someone in the institution. Also in marriage counseling, it clarifies the situation for the couples "how do you see me, how do I see you, and how do we see each other."

   Numerous research studies demonstrated that emotional competence significantly affects interactive competency and the ability to perform tasks. Individuals who show high levels of emotional competence have high ability to understand themselves and others. These individuals also have exceptional ability to make critical decisions and express their opinions. Also, they were able to effectively control their feelings and they have the sufficient enthusiasm, energy, and optimism that enable them to achieve success. In addition, they have the ability to respond to personal and institutional interactions and to be courteous to others with diplomacy and ingenuity. So they have extraordinary ability to adapt to complex environments. These individuals are experts in identifying the emotions of their colleagues at work or school, clients, supervisors or teachers and deal with them appropriately. Researches indicate that there is a significant correlation between emotional competence and well-being indicators, which include positive and negative emotional states of the individuals, satisfaction with life, and satisfaction in work and study.


   Studies show that the difficulty in identifying and describing emotions is associated with a large number of important outcomes in life. Individuals who face difficulty in identifying and describing emotions are more likely to use drugs and have multiple disorders such as eating disorders and symptoms that have no medical explanation. The difficulty in identifying and describing emotions associated with a variety of negative indicators of psychological happiness (depression). A longitudinal study found that difficulty in identifying and describing emotions associated with persistent physical symptoms for two years of follow-up.


Overcoming the emotion work (effort)

   Studies have shown that the emotional competence limits negative effects of emotion work. Emotion work can be defined as the regulatory effort to express organizationally desired emotions. It has been argued that emotion work is a source of work stress and that it taxes the psychological (and physiological) system of employee of the service sector. Indeed, research has repeatedly demonstrated the detrimental effects of emotion work for service employees’ well-being. Stress research has sought to identify factors in the work environment or in the person that buffer against negative stress effects. Although the existence of psychological resources with regard to emotion work may have important implications for personnel selection, training, or job design, research has only begun to address this issue in more detail. One variable that has been discussed by researchers in the field of emotion work as a person-related psychological resource is the employee’s ability to deal effectively with affective information, often referred to as “emotional competence.”


Dealing with customers

   Understanding the feelings of others is the best way to deal with them. As soon as the mental state of the customer assessed and understood, the service employee should develop a strategy to regulate the effects of the customer's emotions to the desired direction and act accordingly. Effective self-regulation is important for employees because this skill helps them to deal with their own mental state. For example, self-regulation is essential when employees get attacked by angry or irritated customers. As suggested by Grandey, service employees can use several strategies to regulate themselves, such as redirecting their attention toward the desired emotion (e.g., think about pleasant things) or by cognitively changing the meaning of the situation (e.g., appraise an unpleasant situation as a challenge).


   Many service organizations have rules or expectations concerning which emotions should be displayed by an employee when serving customers. In most service contexts, employees are expected to display positive emotions or certain blends of emotions (e.g., friendliness, excitement).


   In most of the work environments that provide services, the direct relationship between the employee and customer plays a fundamental role. The most important task for the employee to create a positive emotional atmosphere during the meeting. This positive atmosphere ensures smooth interaction with the client to reach positive results. Employees with emotional competence are expected to have high levels of sympathy and sensitivity towards emotional or social signals that serve as a basis for taking action concerning their clients. their ability to regulate their own emotion should be reflected on focusing attention and having a greater ability to self-control. Therefore it would be easy for the employee who has a high emotional competency to maintain a high positive emotional state in a difficult or tense situation (for example, dealing with an angry client). Furthermore, the ability to regulate the client emotions leads to using a better strategy in interacting. Especially when facing risky decision (as in financial services). Employees with emotional competency may use strategies that reduce the client's feelings of insecurity or anxiety before leaving the client to decide his final decision on the product.


Motivate others

   Meyer, Salovi, and Carson discuss that the individuals with high emotional intelligence are more skilled at motivating others to achieve their goals, objectives, and tasks. Emotions s convey information about relationships, so individuals with high emotional intelligence are socially influential than others in many areas.


Educational process

   Gulman stressed that emotional intelligence should be studied at schools. Gulman also discussed that if the education included emotional intelligence abilities, it would make an impact that can reduce the level of violence and abuse among young people and the communities will enjoy a higher level of social welfare. Hartley argued that the emotional intelligence is part of educational leadership. Kali, Longbotton, Pots, and Williamson found that the application of emotional intelligence theory in the classroom caused emotional and social changes within the classroom and contributed to the reinforcement of the esprit de corps within the school.

   Recent research shows that the introduction of emotional competence in the educational process will have a significant impact on the educational system as a whole. It also causes emotional and social changes in the classroom. It reinforces the esprit de corps within the school and reduces the level of violence and abuse among the young. Students with high emotional intelligence were more skilled at motivating others, achieving their goals and purpose, and performing tasks. These students also were more socially influential than others in many areas. They have the ability to undertake several tasks with regard to the order of priorities. They have the ability to solve problems and deal with situations with novel and innovative ways and they prefer to work with colleges. The emotional competence correlates significantly with the academic performance.  



Results of a survey conducted on employers in the United States of America showed the following:


More than 50% of the individuals who work have lack of motivation and continues learning and development in their work.

Four out of ten individuals are unable to work cooperatively with rest of the staff.

19% of the applicants only have enough self-discipline in their work habits.

Billions of dollars are wasted on development programs that produce less result than desired for investing in leadership training.

70% of change initiatives do not yield the desired results s because of the individual's problems, i.e. their ability to lead, work in a team, launch initiatives, deal with the change, etc.



Personality Traits Test

   It is a standardized test that is advantaged with a high degree of validity and reliability. It can be administered to individuals at age of 13 years and above. This test provides information about the basic domains of personality. It consists of five dimensions or factors: Emotional stability, Extraversion, Openness to experience, Adaptation, and Conscientiousness. Also, there are other 30 sub-dimensions that fall under these main factors.

   Personality traits test is used in the clinical and occupational assessment. This test helps the institution to put the right person in the right place. Also, The test assists in the process of the planning and continues development of the employees. In general, Personality traits test is useful in making individuals understand themselves, knowing their behavior, interacting with others, and identifying their strengths and weaknesses, which helps them in the decision-making process. The test helps the therapist to anticipate and understand the client's own experience, also the test provides a clear view of the individual's needs and emotions. Furthermore, the test assists the therapist to understand and anticipate the underlying problems in treatment, develop a practical treatment plan, and expect opportunities and risks of treatment.

   The test is available in both Arabic and English. The report is also available in both Arabic and English for each case whether the administration itself is in English or in Arabic. The individual can administrate the test to self or others, which helps the individual to know how he sees himself, how others see him, and how he sees others. Thus it is helpful for the institution especially when it is necessary to evaluate employees. The test can be used also in marital counseling, it clarifies the situation for the couples "how do you see me, how do I see you, and how do we see each other."


The abbreviated intelligence scale

   It is a cross-cultural scale for measuring cognitive abilities. The scale can be administered to individuals aged 3 to 80 years. Intelligence tests play a significant role in predicting performance at work. Researches and practical experience have shown that intelligence or general mental ability is a good indicator of career success. Intelligence interprets 30 to 70% of the variation in the individuals' work performance depending on the type of work and how the performance is measured (with the correlations between 0.56 and 0.84). For decades, large companies have used intelligence tests to identify the most capable employees. Many psychological studies support the relationship between high IQ and performance at work. As a result, employers use these tests to determine the best candidates.



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