XQ, a combination of intellectual and emotional quotient, is the new fad in HR worlds.
Marcy L. Shugert
X.Q. - you want to be hired? You have to pass this!
In the article in the June 22nd, 2015 Time Magazine by Eliza Gray entitled "Do you understand why stars twinkle? Would you rather read than watch T.V.? Do you trust data more than your instincts? And other strange questions you need to answer to get a job in the era of optimized hiring" (a whirlwind, I know!), it says that 2015's new human resources term is "XQ" (X, by the way, doesn't stand for anything) based on marrying the IQ (intellectual quotient) with the EQ (emotional quotient) rating, and testing people before they enter a job.
Sometimes the tests are there to ask you the same kind of question, but in a gnomic way (Do you work better in groups or individually? Do you appreciate constructive feedback from many people? Do you think meetings are useful?). One woman they interviewed was a biomedical engineer from a good university applying for what would have been a slam-dunk job, but she got tripped up on this very notion while she was answering their questions!
The world's largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, relies on XQ type of tests to try and figure out someone before they are on board. And when a person gets hired for a particular position, they are given a digital "baseball card" with their stats mirroring (what seems to me) LinkedIn-esque qualities - creativity, social awareness, their ability to learn from their mistakes, amongst many others. People are armed with their iPads in every meeting, and they rate a speaker by, for example, his/her organization, speaking, and collaboration skills.
Google has used this XQ scale too. However, in their engineering department, staff actually balked. While using the algorithm would work predicting promotions with 90% accuracy, the engineers said, "No." Lazlo Bock, the executive in charge of hiring said, that if a person has Asberger's or autism, they will test differently on XQ tests. Google wants to hire all types, and they will get screened out judging what XQ does.
I enjoy tests like those that they showed in this article which reflects XQ, but I would not want it advertised on my "baseball card" as done at Bridgewater. Though, it is done by LinkedIn, as I mentioned before, by having other people allocate their opinions of your work, it does not feel as though you are always being judged for what you do.
Perhaps I am not used to how human resources work in these companies, but I feel that this is too close to the bone by presenting a person like a chair that's for sale (Comfy to relax in! Feel like you are right at home! Sink right in!). So that you are ear marked one way based on opinions of your co-workers. What if Joe steals your yogurt every morning from the 'fridge, and he lies about it; you decide you are going to rate him poorly on the way he positions his product that he is selling because he is not honest with you (never mind he steals your breakfast!).
Companies - thankfully - are doing what they can in advance of hiring you to see how you would fare in their environment. It is just sometimes, no matter how you do it, some results can't quantify your success in somewhere you were not expecting to thrive in.