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What does my signature say about me?

In a previous post we talked about graphology but according to Charlotte Dugheyt, “No handwriting study should be conducted if the text is not signed and, likewise, no handwriting study should be conducted if the signature is not accompanied by a hand-written text”. So, to come full circle and as we didn’t do it before, this post will deal with the signature.

Height of the signature

Large (over 18 mm): tendency towards extraversion
Medium (between 12 and 18 mm): a focused, cautious person
Small (less than 12 mm): tendency towards introversion

Slope of the signature

Slopes heavily upwards: self-demanding and a desire to excel
Slopes upward: ambition and a desire to excel
Horizontal: a balanced person who accepts their successes and mistakes
Slopes slightly downward: indicates apathy, resignation

Shape of the signature

Curved or rounded shapes: kindness and good manners
Straight, angular shapes: discipline, order

Pressure of the signature

Light: a subtle, adaptable temperament
Intermediate: a practical, active temperament
Heavy: a strong temperament

Signature speed

Over 5 seconds: a cautious person
Between 2 and 5 seconds: self-controlling
Less than 2 seconds: an agile, dynamic person

Legibility

Legible: sincere, authentic
Some letters: moderately reserved
Illegible: very reserved, especially during first contact

Name/Surname

Includes both (complete or initials): shows a balance between the family and social role
Just first name: indicates a very strong, self-accepting inner “me”
Just surname: pride in the family and the social-professional roleb

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As Max Pulver (leading graphologist) would say, “the signature is an abbreviated biography”.

 

Ramón Rodríguez Lago
ACCIONA S.A. Human Resources Organisation Dept.

10 reasons to use Twitter when looking for a job

1. Presence: if you’re not on Twitter, you simply don’t exist for anyone searching for candidates on this network.

2. Learning: good use of this network will undoubtedly help you improve in other areas of professional interest to you.

3. Job search: a large number of vacancies are born and die on Twitter. Companies and employment websites publish their vacancies on this network.

4. Communication channel: Twitter should already be a part of your life, even if only as a communication channel.

5. Personal brand: Every professional should enhance their personal brand. This channel is excellent for doing just that.

6. Interaction with head-hunters: many recruitment experts fill vacancies with professionals who are on social media, and they also use it to search for candidates, stay connected and track specific professionals, etc.

7. Twitter and your CV: Twitter is part of your CV. Remember, if you’re not on Google, you don’t exist.

8. If you use Twitter, you know Twitter: Being able to use this network is a skill that many companies recognise.

9. Use of employment tools: certain employment tools can only be used if you have Twitter. For example: tuiempleo.com; tweetbeep.com; twitjobsearch.com

10. Mobility: Twitter is the social network best suited to mobile telephones.
Laura Alcaraz Escribano
Development Dep. Human Resources ACCIONA S.A.

The future of conventional offices

The traditional office concept is changing. The image of a place full of tables, cupboards, telephones, printers, etc. is becoming obsolete.

The technological advances of recent years mean that the way we work has changed significantly, as new technologies allow us to carry out our employment duties from anywhere at any time.

The direct impact of this flexible way of working – achieved through ICT – is not only a considerable increase in teleworking, with the corresponding increase in quality of life and work-life balance for employees, it also affects the management of space. In fact, more and more companies are opting for a different model, eliminating the traditional workstations assigned to a single employee to replace them with a higher number of shared spaces used for meetings and as meeting points.

In the very near future, we expect that each worker will no longer have a physical workstation assigned to them but instead will occupy any available workstation on the day they need to go into work. A gradual disappearance of conventional offices is therefore already upon us.

 

María Corces

Human Resources

Corporate Social Responsibility and Recruitment

If we understand Corporate Social Responsibility to be a set of business practices based on ethical values and on respect towards employees, communities and the environment, then people management is a very relevant issue and, of course, so too is the whole question of recruitment.

In a way you could say that an organization that is responsible with its employees begins with its recruitment policies. Hiring should be based on competencies and should on no account exclude applicants on the basis of their sex, age, religion or any other kind of social prejudice that could be considered discriminatory. That’s why it is fundamental that businesses analyze thoroughly the post they wish to advertise and that, using this analysis, they are clear on the know-how, experience and competencies necessary for meeting the needs of the post, but without describing the “type” of person they are looking for, thus helping to apply the principle of equal opportunity to every applicant.

Looking for a candidate on the basis of competencies means focusing our attention on a person’s skill sets, attitudes and knowledge, in an effort to ensure an objective and transparent evaluation, and to make certain that the new hires bring together the best possible characteristics in terms not only of training and experience but also competency and efficacy: in a word, talent.

A transparent recruitment process, one based on a company’s real needs, ensures a good and proper selection and the richness that no doubt stems from a diverse workforce whose correct management is one of today’s major challenges for HR departments.

“Good employers, responsible companies”.

 

Maria Corces
Human Resources ACCIONA S.A.

 

Language skills: a huge plus for job hunters

In today’s global economy, language skills are increasingly in demand when you’re looking for a new job or getting your foot on the first rung of the employment ladder.

English is the worldwide business language and it has become a vital asset in today’s highly competive environment. According to a study by Trabajando.com España, a candidate with advanced English language skills has 44% more chances of landing a job. Clearly, then, a good proficiency in English is a fundamental requirement for obtaining a job and for making yourself a more competitive player in the job market.

The number of people with a good command of English is on the rise, so job-hunting is relatively easier for candidates with a third language. Currently, employers are on the lookout for people with a proficiency in German, French and/or Portuguese, mainly because nearly 60% of Spain’s IBEX-35 listed company revenues comes from non-Spanish countries. Hence the importance of a second or third language. Chinese is another language that is in rapidly growing demand (by business and students alike) and is gaining a foothold in Spain, be it for China’s economic development or its attractive culture.

The same study also finds that 39% of Spaniards speak a second language and 21% claim to be proficient in two foreign languages. When asked how they think this affects their possibilities of landing a job, 89% of those who speak a foreign language said that their language skills increased their chances, while 11% thought that it made no difference at all.

So a second language is undeniably an increasingly valuable asset in today’s environment. If we want to be competitive in the workplace and in the job market overall, proficiency in one or two foreign languages is a must.

What do you think? Have you ever been selected or hired for your foreign language skills?

The value of the past in interviews. The STAR method

For many people, looking back to the past has been an important way of predicting the future. Centuries ago, the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551 B.C. – 479 B.C.) advised humankind to “heed the past to see what the future holds”. His words of advice have been followed by many people and in a number of fields of activity and knowledge. For example, stock market specialists use “Technical Analysis” to predict future stock market movements, anticipating future share prices on the basis of current and past ones.

In the field of Human Resources, and particularly in the area of Selection, many businesses use competency-based interviews, i.e. structured interviews that set out to identify critical incidents, resting on the basic assumption that a person’s past performance is the best indicator of his or her future performance.

In this kind of interview, the Selection Specialist asks the candidate about real Situations that define Tasks, Actions and Results. This is known as the STAR method.

Drawing on your own personal experience in job interviews, do you think that the situations that you faced in the past serve are a reliable indicator of how you are likely to act in the future? Or do you think that more factors need to be taken into consideration, such as specific circumstances, situations or moments, or an individual’s physical and mental state?

Ramón Rodríguez Lago
ACCIONA Selection Manager

IQ Scores: Myth or reality?

Back in 1904, Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon drew up the world’s very first intelligence test. The test provided a score by dividing the subject’s mental age by his or her chronological age and then multiplying it by 100. They called this score Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Since then countless other tests have been developed that provide IQs in many areas such as performance predictions in classrooms and the workplace.

However, the recent Príncipe de Asturias award winner, Howard Gardner, claims that intelligence is not a quantity that can be measured by a number and he proposes a Theory of Multiple Intelligences. In other words, he says, there is no such thing as a single intelligence but rather there are 8 cognitive skills. Along similar lines, an article that appeared on 20 December 2012 in the prestigious journal Neuron published the findings of a study carried out at Canada’s Western University which analyzed the results of 100,000 participants and arrived at the conclusion that there is no single element capable of quantifying human intelligence and that the latter is a multifactor phenomenon.

If intelligence tests evaluate the individual in a narrow range of a series of concrete subjects, leaving out other possible analysis filters, do you think they are an accurate predictor of an individual’s intelligence? Or, on the contrary, do you think that they provide information that is relevant to determining an individual’s level of intelligence?

Some thinkers go a step further and wonder if intelligence tests are really biased by Western thinking and culture. Other cultures value highly aspects such as creativity and social intelligence. Do you think that other filters should be introduced to make a more accurate prediction of an individual’s intelligence?

Ramón Rodríguez Lago
ACCIONA Selection Manager