Applicant Handwriting Analysis: Long Live The Pen & Paper

by Lisa Ann Burke and BrightMove Recruiting Software and Employment Software

Handwriting Analysis (aka Graphology) is becoming an increasingly popular recruitment and interviewing tool.  Handwriting analysis can be a realizable indictor of both personality and behavior and, as such, can provide both recruiters and hiring with a useful method of testing the appropriateness of a candidate for company openings.

The use of handwriting analysis combined with other recruitment methods can help recruiters and hiring managers target the most qualified candidates thereby saving thousands of dollars in costs. A recent study in the U.S. found that 90% of people are in the wrong job.  This represents a significant opportunity cost n terms of wasted effort. The use of handwriting analysis combined with other recruitment methods can assist recruiters to target the only most qualified candidates.

Handwriting analysis provides both recruiters and hiring managers with detailed personality profiles, along with a risk assessment in terms of work style. This allows recruiters and hiring managers to determine if the candidate will be a right fit before any hiring decision is made.

Graphology uses approximately 300 different handwriting features in its analysis. No one feature can determine anything specific; at the most a single feature can only identity a possible trend. It is the blend of handwriting features that graphologists are able to offer valid interpretations.

With handwriting analysis, the candidate does not know what exactly is being analyzed but consents to the test. This reduces inaccuracies due to the candidate’s either consciously or subconsciously attempting to influence the results. It is very hard to forge handwriting over an extended period.

Areas of considering during a handwriting analysis include:

Slant: A right slant is ambiguous and the writer may be attempting to communicate any one of a variety of emotions such as friendliness, control, affection, support, etc. An upright slant is indicative of an independent personality, while a left slant indicates a person who considers self first and can be resentful of others who desire more than they are willing to give.

Size:  Large size handwriting can mean the person is extroverted, outgoing and self-confident.

Small size handwriting usually means the opposite; that the person is shy and withdrawn with poor communication skills. . It can also mean that the person is a thinker and academically –inclined.

Other areas: Analysis of pressure, angle, word and line spacing, margins, and height of letters.

The analysis of each of these factors reveals over highly specific 40 personality traits and provides a comprehensive personality profile.

The Benefits of Handwriting Analysis Include:

  • Significant savings in both time and money.
  • Detect honesty and dishonesty.
  • Determine if the candidate is capable of performing the responsibilities of the job.
  • Whether the candidate possesses the necessary personality traits to enable them to fit in with company culture?
  • Identify mental health issues such as substance abuse or depression.
  • Identify and behavioral issues that may cause problems such as badmouthing, stealing, and quick temper, etc. Loss prevention is very important to most businesses. The use of graphology can enhance awareness and curtail future incidents.

Graphology is widely used in Europe, particularly France where over 90% of recruiters use this method to screen candidates. According to the Wall Street Journal, Handwriting Analysis is now being utilized by some of the largest companies, a trend which is expected to grow with the ever expanded candidate pool with apparently similar qualifications.

About Lisa Ann Burke

Lisa had been a full-cycle recuriter with a major staffing firm for five years and Career Coach for four. She transitioned into a full time writing career in 2009 and has composed a variety of material within the careers and human resource sectors for both print and online venues. She is also a contribuitng author for several career-related anthologies

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