30.03.2021 | Blog 1 |

The Hartman Value Profile – a revolutionary method in recruitment?

When it comes to making sustainable decisions in recruitment today, a crucial question arises: How do I identify the right candidate for a critical position? Do I rely on appropriate methods to achieve this goal? And to what extent can these methods help me ensure that a candidate can fully exploit his or her natural strengths? For most decisions in recruitment today, the focus is almost exclusively on technical skills. But are these critical to long-term, mutual job satisfaction?

Current trends in HR include numerous approaches that will permanently change HR. Two key areas are the use of artificial intelligence and psychometric test procedure. The range of these test procedures is very diverse.

One promising approach is offered by the Hartman Value Profile – a psychometric or rather value metric test – which is based on the science of axiology (science of values). The Hartman Value Profile focuses on personality values and thus draws valid and reliable conclusions about the individual personality traits of a candidate. In addition, a decisive distinction is made between cognitive potential (ability) and personal preference (willingness). Just because someone is theoretically good at something does not mean that he or she will enjoy doing it on a daily basis.


Scientific background

“I thought to myself, if evil can be organized so efficiently [by the Nazis] why cannot good be? Is there any reason for efficiency to be monopolized by the forces for evil in the world? Why is it so difficult to organize good? Why have good people in history never seemed to have as much power as bad people? I decided I would try to find out why and devote my life to doing something about it.” (Prof. Robert S. Hartman)

The Hartman Value Profile (hereafter HVP) was created in the 1960s by the German-American philosopher and logician Prof. Robert S. Hartman. Hartman dedicated himself to the research and definition of an efficient and scientifically based procedure, which focuses on the three central value dimensions of a person: Empathy, Practical Thinking, and Systemic Thinking.

Distraught by the atrocities of World War II, Hartman addressed the central research question, “What is good?” The quote above illustrates his motivation to address what is good and to bring it out more effectively over “the bad”.

In doing so, he established the axiom “Good is what fulfills its concept” entirely in the spirit of this theoretical research question.  He thus defined the basis of his mathematical science of values and went on to derive three dimensions of value: the intrinsic (human), extrinsic (factual) and systemic (formal) dimensions.

This theoretical approach gave rise to the Hartman Value Profile test procedure, which makes it possible to distinguish between different personalities on the basis of data and to work out individual thought patterns and natural strengths.


The procedure

The HVP aims to capture a candidate’s personal values by arranging 18 different statements. This enables the candidate to compare the statements with each other and to assess them on the basis of his or her own personal values. This allows a valid and reliable picture of the candidate’s value system to be drawn. The result of the arrangement provides statements about abilities (“acuity”), perception, personality characteristics and interests in the respective dimensions. Since the HVP is based on values and personal value attitudes change only slightly in the short term, the results are reliable and constant. At the same time, changes in a candidate’s value matrix can also be identified over longer periods of time.

The scope of application of the HVP is therefore not limited to the area of personnel selection, but includes other areas such as personnel development, the status quo of a company as well as specific team structures. Accordingly, the procedure can be used in many different ways.


The evaluation

The evaluation of the test is based on six personality dimensions, which are divided into ability and willingness. The term „ability“ is referred to general abilities of a candidate. Willingness, on the other hand, represents the current attention to the respective ability. In addition, the evaluation is differentiated into evaluation of the environment and evaluation of the own person, which ties in with the original subdivision of Hartman. The 6 relevant dimensions are here:

In external thinking (How do I perceive my environment?):

  • Empathy
  • Practical thinking
  • Structured thinking


In internal thinking (How do I perceive myself?):

  • Personal Needs
  • Success orientation
  • Goal orientation


The goal of the HVP is not to “pass” the test or to find out solely what a candidate can and cannot do.  The goal is primarily to identify individual thought patterns and personality types and to relate the individual data points to each other. This creates a unique “value-based fingerprint”.


The HVP – a real added value?

At first glance, the HVP appears to be “just” one of numerous procedures. Besides it, other test procedures differ in scope, duration, target group, but mainly in depth and significance of the result. So what sets the HVP apart from other test procedures?

The HVP is a well-founded scientific procedure that generates a picture of the cognitive abilities as well as the character-specific thinking and behavioral patterns of a candidate in just a few minutes. Applied to the challenges of recruitment, this means that it is possible to precisely identify the position in which a candidate can fully exploit his or her natural abilities. With this rational basis for decision-making, job satisfaction can be tackled in a data-driven manner, resulting in better, sustainable decisions in recruitment.

For a more in-depth understanding, you will find detailed articles on each dimension later in this blog.


Author: Dimitra Sismanidou, March 2021
Copyright: IAM Global GmbH