Business News Wales talks to handwriting expert Christina Strang about analysing people’s behaviour and personality through their handwriting. She also shares her career history and gives her thoughts on Brexit and improving inward investment in Wales through technology.
Can you give our readers a little background into yourself and your role within Christina Strang Graphology
My business helps clients pick the best candidate for the job first time, every time by using handwriting to identify and analyse a person’s behaviour, skills, abilities and personality objectively. Over the years I have carried out analysis and profiling work for a number of major international companies through to SME’s from Liverpool Victoria Insurance, Tyco International, and Tata Steel to Dynamic Windows & Conservatories and Silverwood Books. I have been involved in graphology for 20 years teaching the subject at Adult Education Colleges and University in the South of England. In 2015 I was invited to be keynote speaker at the first international graphology conference in China and, in 2016 the HR Institute of New Zealand asked me to write an article about Profiling in the Workplace for their members’ magazine.
What are your plans for the next five years, and where do you see your challenges and opportunities?
The challenges have always been the same and will probably remain the same for the foreseeable future – with high quality research now being available from fMRI and neurology , information is being uncovered into supporting the psychology of handwriting as a scientific subject. Although handwriting analysis (graphology) per se has been around for centuries, very little was understood of its methodology; this gave detractors many opportunities to question its authenticity. Now with all the new research information that is available graphology can show how it is possible to identify the emotional and physical state of people’s minds.
With the costs of recruitment and training increasing, there are now more opportunities internationally to train relevant HR staff and management in graphology, a tool that is completely objective and easily learnt to aid personnel selection for careers, promotion, team building and also for redundancy.
Looking back at your career, are there things you would have done differently?
I would probably have “bitten the bullet” earlier and set up an online graphology college back in the “noughties”, in order to reach many countries that were still in the early stages of working with graphology like China and India.
What do you think are the most important qualities for success in business?
Determination, patience and an understanding of the market place
What are your top three tips for success?
- Hold true to your vision but be adaptable
- Know when to delegate
- Look after the clients
Do you foresee any issues that Welsh business will be facing in the short/medium/long term?
Possibly funding issues, supporting innovation and research; with the onset of BREXIT, Welsh businesses together with the Welsh government will need to make a good case to attract future funding from the UK to improve export and innovation success.
Do you have any predictions in regards to the impact of Brexit on your sector?
There is still a lot of discussion around the outcome of BREXIT on HR – some of the issues that have been considered are graduate recruitment, redundancies, and recruitment in the skilled sector where historically many have been employed from Europe. In all these arenas, graphology can be a source of objective appraisal in support of interviews and CVs identifying latent skills and abilities as well as behaviour patterns and has been highly used in Europe for centuries– France, Switzerland, Germany, Israel and Italy.
What do you think Wales’ strengths and weaknesses are as a place to do business?
Since 2000, £4bn EU funding has been given to Wales to improve communications, job prospects and town centre improvements. As a result there are now many more people that are highly qualified in the skills sector with ability to commute to work from areas of higher density population and lower house prices. As a result, the retail sector in those areas has been able to improve a little and quality of house stock is improving.
Although machinery and transport have high levels of export to Europe, very few other companies seem to be involved in export outside of the UK. Although improvements have been made to the road network, access to many areas of Wales where land and property is cheaper for businesses than the M4 corridor is still a long haul for trucks heading towards the Continent. Long haul means increased costs in fuel and staff.
What can Wales do to attract more inward investment?
Improve technology training to build a workforce suitable for companies wishing to base themselves outside of the Eurozone plus enabling them to improve their export reach outside of Europe.
Encourage more businesses to take on apprentices in all fields not just manufacturing and engineering. When we have a global workforce with suitable skills to plug the gaps then more inward investment will be a given.
What skills should the education system be promoting to the next generation?
It has long been promoted that a person should have a university degree however the number of graduates that have had to fill lower academic level type jobs has soared. What skills are needed in Wales? A 2.1 degree is now no longer an easy route to a career with job fulfilment and access to an executive role. Training in more basic requirements and skills means that a person can access work at a lower level, learn on the job and rise up the ladder, knowing the business and therefore be a very useful addition to any organisation.
How important is it for there to be a close relationship between business and higher education in Wales?
There has to be a close relationship, but with academia taking so long to update training and offer new courses so many opportunities are missed. The private education sector is increasing and offers many more opportunities to trainees, but many of these organisations are based outside of Wales.
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