Biodata is a business Human Resources measurement and evaluation information base. It's based on a combination of skills. Biodata is used to assess work, education and life experience for various employment purposes.
Biodata principles are used most commonly in job applications. Based on the principle that past behavior is a predictor of future performance, it's used to both create profiles for job design and to evaluate candidates.
A job has certain natural requirements and characteristics, based on the profile created by assessment of previous position holders and development of the job design.
To create the profile, the functions of the job and required skill levels are assessed in consultation with supervisors, managers, and staff doing the work, in some cases.
For example, a job requires particular skills:
This is a description of a job with a consumer regulatory authority. The job requires several years experience in all these areas, with strong emphases on client contact. The job involves negotiation of disputes between merchants and customers to a large extent, and advising both parties of their rights.
If this looks very much like a description in a job ad, that's essentially what it is. It's the product of job design requirements. These are the essential job criteria, but expressed as the functional roles of the position. In terms of job design, it's an organizational description of the role of the position within the agency designed to perform multiple tasks productively.
As you can see from the skill set, this is also a role which is designed to fit into the organizational hierarchy. This is the sort of position where the person doing the job would be performing core agency business functions and would naturally progress up the organizational ladder. This type of job description would normally cover several people in the section doing the client contact jobs.
This biodata also creates a basis for comparison of job applicants. The required biodata for a successful applicant for this job will be assessed both at the application stage and at the interview.
Biodata translates into practical assessment capabilities:
Other roles of biodata
The strictly academic version of biodata is a formal study methodology. Biodata is also used for studies in the workplace, psychology, and other types of research into human situations.
Using what's called a 'biodata instrument', which is a questionnaire designed to provide a range of measurable results.
Studies in industrial and organizational psychology assess a range of factors which may include combinations of:
This is in effect an extension of the more familiar biodata gathering process, and the information is used as the basis of behavioral prediction. It's quite similar in some ways to market research, and employs some of the same information regarding personal data.