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How would you respond to the following statement: "Whenever possible, managers should hire people who display desired personality traits (personality profiles)".

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Introduction

(1) How would you respond to the following statement: "Whenever possible, managers should hire people who display desired personality traits (personality profiles)". Prior to 1990s, the use of personality testing was widely considered to be an ineffective method of employee selection. This was because various studies indicated that personality tests did not demonstrate adequate predictive validity to qualify their use in personnel selection. Over the last decade however, there has been increased optimism regarding the usefulness of personality tests in employee selection, as researchers now believe that personality does in fact hold some utility as a predictor of job performance. By using personality traits from the Big Five model of personality, this paper will examine whether, and in what cases, pursuing personality types is an effective strategy in employee recruitment. Personality is defined as the sum total of ways an individual interacts with others. There are several different theories on how personality develops. Some people solely subscribe to the heredity approach which argues that the ultimate explanation of an individuals personality is the molecular structure of the genes, located in chromosomes. Others believe that the environment also contributes to one's personality formation. Environment can include the culture in which one was raised; one's early conditioning, the norms one's family, friends and social groups; and other influences that one experiences. Thus, heredity sets the parameters or outer limits, but an individual's full potential will be determined by how well he or she adjusts to the demands and requirements of the environment. ...read more.

Middle

Agreeableness can also be beneficial to some professions, especially ones that require interpersonal facilitation, such as customer service. In addition, agreeableness is desirable in organization which emphasize team working, and where interactions with others is necessary. Similarly, if an organization's culture emphasizes employees taking a more passive role and agreeing with management (yes-men), then agreeableness can be beneficial. However, if an organization's culture emphasizes conflict for the purposes of coming up with superior solutions to problems, as would be the case with a problem solving teams, then scoring low on this might instead be desired. Similarly, if the organization wants employees to be competitive and aggressive, as would be the case with many law firms, then having someone with low scores in agreeableness is also desirable. Consciousness is arguably the most coveted trait by managers, as studies consistently indicate that it is one of the most valid predictors of performance for most jobs, second only to general intelligence. On the whole, employees who are dependable, reliable, careful, thorough, able to plan, organized, hardworking, persistent and achievement oriented tend to have higher job performance in most, if not all occupations. Similarly, employees who score high in conscientious often develop superior job knowledge because they are prone to exert greater levels of effort on their jobs than people who score low on conscientiousness. Consistent with these finding, evidence also finds a relatively strong and consistent relationship between conscientiousness and organizational citizenship behavior, while other studies have found that conscientiousness influences performance through its effects on such motivational variables as performance expectancies, self-efficacy, and goal setting. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus it is possible to change job characteristics in order to increase compatibility between ones personality and their job. It can also be argued that today, since jobs evolve and change so quickly with new technology, markets, and global requirements while individuals remain in it, that it might not make sense to seek out certain personality types because the long term needs of the organization are not known. Thus, an individual carefully selected and trained for a job at time A may or may not be suited to do that job at time B. And finally, regardless of the personality being sought, the effect of personality on performance depends on the work environment. This is consistent with Furnham's assertion that personality is more likely to make a difference on organizational performance in weak environments. On the other hand, in highly structured situations where there are strong cues and clear expectations for certain behaviors, then those behaviors will be elicited regardless of employee personality. Thus, the impact of personality is insignificant in such situations. Personality tests are widely used as a tool for employee selection by a growing number of organizations. This is because studies consistently show that personality plays a significant role in organizational performance and thus, should not be ignored by organizations. However, it is also important for the organization to not depend solely on personality dimensions for desired outcomes, as predictability depends on several contingency factors such as the occupation, the type of organization, position, and overall situation. Only when such situational factors are considered will organizations be able to get the most benefit out of personality tests as an accurate predictor of job performance. ...read more.

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