How you dot your ‘i’, square your ‘t’ and offer breathing room between letters could determine if you are getting your next job. To make up for loss of face-to-face interviews in the pandemic, firms are turning to graphology to hire talent they can trust
Mangesh Surve, director at Envicare Technologies Pvt Ltd., a water treatment company in Pune, believes recruiting the right employees for your business is half the battle won. “It matters more for an SME [small and medium-sized enterprise] like ours because sometimes, we invest in a resource only to see them leave the company or fall woefully short of expectation.” What had compounded the problem is the absence of face-to-face interviews since the Coronavirus outbreak last March. This, say experts, is hampering the evaluation of a candidate’s attitude and preferences, as well as assess vital non-verbal cues.
Enter graphology. The term refers to the analysis of the patterns found in a person’s handwriting to identify his or her psychological state. Interestingly, the study of handwriting is now being used as a tool by many like Surve to help them read between the lines when choosing candidates. “We hired a graphology agency to help in the recruitment process. Since they are professionals, they are able to make a fairly accurate assessment by analysing signatures. We haven’t regretted our decision on candidates whom we hired using this tool.” Since 2020, Surve and his team have hired five staffers with the help of graphologists. Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune, ranked among the top 14 Institutions of India in Business and Management Studies, also used graphology this year to glean insights into aspirants. ECRIVONS, a startup founded by Amya Mada, helped panelists who interviewed the candidates virtually, in making the assessment.
Sudhir Kove is a Pune-based scientific logo designer and graphologist. According to him, graphology is also being actively employed in the jewellery making business and by companies involved in handling sensitive and confidential data. “A lot of money and information is at stake in both cases,” he says, “therefore, you need to make sure that the people you are handpicking can be trusted.” While integrative graphology focuses on types of strokes and their relation to individual personality, holistic graphology looks at the movement, form while writing, and space between words or sentences. “Although legit, it [graphology] is not an organised science; it has grown organically without extensive literature available on the subject. It’s technical because when we talk about handwriting, we are looking at angles, curves and pressure, among other things.” But what makes handwriting a robust tool is the fact that it is a neural activity, involving the coordinated effort of the conscious and subconscious mind, nerves, and muscles. According to a study performed at the Indiana University, the mere action of writing by hand unleashes creativity not easily accessed by any other means.
In many European countries and the USA, it is an officially approved science, shares Kove. And in India, people are now warming up to it professionally. Since the pandemic, his business has seen a 50 per cent growth. “There’s much more demand than before to learn about graphology, as well as hire handwriting analysis services; we have been unable to keep up. We’ve started conducting bootcamps on weekdays between 7 and 8 pm for people to learn the basics. Priced at R299 a session, it’s also affordable.”
Handwriting analysis not only identifies where our strengths lie, but also how we best channel them, thinks Chandigarh-based Sanjeev Chandhok. Last year, he founded My Disha-Guidance to Discover, a platform to assist students, professionals and homemakers thrive. Here, he uses a combination of graphology and psychometric tests to give people better focus and direction. Through the handwriting samples—at least one or two pages of lucid writing—they make a basic assessment. “You can gauge upbringing, character, state of mind, and even health conditions through your handwriting,” he says.
In the lockdown, he admits to having encountered umpteen cases of anxiety, confusion and depression among students and professionals. “Through our webinars, we are trying to help participants identify signs in their handwriting that could point to any of these. But first, we ask participants whether our preliminary analysis about them is correct. After we make the analysis, when they confirm and give their consent, we go ahead to provide ways to deal with the challenges,” shares Chandhok, adding that most often, people are astounded by the accuracy of the analysis, accepting suggestions on tweaking their writing and practice using mindfulness techniques.
According to Kove, graphology has the power to change lives. He gives his own example to drive home the point. “My parents were daily wage construction workers. Today, if I run my company, it’s because I worked on myself, and the way I write and think.”