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The Challenges of Hiring in a Robust Economy and Competition for Talents

Question:

Discuss about the Importance of Personality in Matching People to Jobs.

The robust economy & competition for talents of employee has made it tough for employers to fill the positions which are open in the organization, & caused the hiring process to suffer. Companies are gradually willing to compromise good hiring practices to bring people on board as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon to use a single employment interview to make a hiring decision even for positions for professionals. The concerns of a “bad hire” are repeatedly overlooked in favour of simply filling a position.

Even when companies are concerned about the quality & fit of a new hire, the requirement for effectiveness in the process of hiring often prevents using measures other than a selection interview. However, a rational and efficient enrichment to the selection interview which increases accuracy would likely be well received.

Human personality is often defined in terms of traits. These traits are assumed to be generally characteristic of an individual and their tendency to behave a certain way across situations (Levy, 2016). The Big Five model of normal personality is thought to have five distinct dimensions: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness & Neuroticism (McCrae & John, 2012). The Big Five model is the most widely used and researched measure of normal personality (Gosling, Rentfrow, & William, 2013). While there has been variation in naming the five dimensions, it is generally accepted that the Big Five model is an effective tool for measuring normal human personality.

Each quadrant of the Big Five model suggests different traits and tendencies for the individual. Individuals rating themselves as open to experience are considered to be artistically sensitive, intellectual, broad-minded, original, curious, cultured & imaginative (Mount & Barrick, 2011). The individuals tend to prefer environments which assist them in learning new things (Judge, Mount & Barrick 2013), which are unusual (Rolland, 2012), & which assist them in becoming innovative & creative (Bateman & Crant, 2009).

Those rating themselves as conscientious are mostly considered persevering, achievement-oriented, hardworking, well-planned, organized, responsible, thorough & careful (Mount & Barrick, 2011). Individuals characterized by this dimension incline to be diligent, & have a strong will to achieve (John & McCrae, 2012), which are determined, in control of their impulses, & follow the rules (Rolland, 2012).

Those who see themselves as extraverted tend to be active, talkative, assertive, gregarious & sociable (Mount & Barick, 2011). Such individuals tend to be dominant (John & McCrae, 2012), charismatic (Bateman & Crant, 2009), & value big social networks (Eaton, Costa, Miech & Sutin, 2009).

Individuals that rate themselves as agreeable are defined as tolerant, soft-hearted, forgiving, cooperative, good-natured, trusting, flexible & courteous (Mount & Barrick, 2012). Agreeableness is characterized by a preference for work environments which inspire teamwork (Barrick, 2011) & social sensitivity (Bateman & Crand, 2009), & they value characteristics such as emotional support, nurturance & altruism (John & McCrae, 2012).

Individuals that rate themselves as neurotic tend to be insecure, worried, emotional, embarrassed, angry, depressed, & anxious (Mount & Barrick, 2011). These individuals tend to fear novel situations, view reality as threatening (Barrick, 2011) & desire steady environments (Slaughter & Greguras, 2014).

Defining Human Personality in Terms of Traits

By evaluating personality, researchers are able to categorize the public into generalized tendencies and thus are able to predict general behaviour. In the current study, the Big Five framework is used to assess how individual personality types vary in their attraction to different types of organizational personality.

While there are many variations in ways of describing of personality, proactive personality as a trait tends to function in a way that is unlike the Big Five personality types. As per the researchers, individuals with a proactive personality possess the propensity to pursue opportunities without permitting situational barriers to interfere with their objectives. These individuals are more likely to manage their careers by pursuing opportunities that allow them to perform most successfully (Seibert et al., 2009). They expect change, & they actively select, create, & shape their work environments. It has also been validated that proactive personality is associated with higher levels of career success. Individuals with proactive personality are valuable to companies because of their strong commitment & work ethic commitment to their careers.

Individuals with proactive personalities will pursue opportunities that they believe will move them towards their goals. Proactive personality has been demonstrated to lead not only to career success, but also to career satisfaction (Seibert et al., 2009). These individuals value learning new skills and believe that the better they become in their careers the more successful they will be in the long run. Because these individuals are drawn to opportunities that advance their careers, they are likely to be drawn to organizations that are growing successfully or to organizations perceived as rigorous, demanding, reputable, dominant, or growing.

Organizational personality is a component of organizational image. An organization’s personality is defined similarly to brand personality. Researchers define brand personality as the “set of human features accompanying with a brand” (p.347). Organizational personality is similarly described as the set of human characteristics accompanying with an organization. Organization personality perceptions are beliefs held by job seekers regarding potential employers, based on perceived human characteristics.

The present study investigates the relationship amongst organization personality perceptions and an individual’s Big Five personality and proactive personality. Specifically, this study investigates the degree to which people with different personalities are attracted to different types of organizational personalities. As mentioned above, this study varies from the study Slaughter and Greguras (2014) have recently conducted in two ways. First, the relationship between organizational personality perceptions and Big Five personality are independent of specific companies, and thus examine only the relationship between the two constructs. Second, this study examines the relationship between organization personality perceptions and proactive personality. This study proposes similar hypotheses as Slaughter and Greguras, in the attempt to retest the relationship between organizational personality perceptions and human personality using a different methodology. That is, I will examine the degree to which individuals with different personality types are attracted to different types of organizational personalities in a potential employer.

The Boy Scout dimension: The adjectives used to describe organizations perceived to be high on the Boy Scout dimension are honest, helpful, and attentive to people, personal, pleasant, family-oriented, friendly, cooperative, and clean. Target, Disney, and Johnson and Johnson are examples of firms that are described by this dimension (Slaughter & Greguras, 2014). These organizations are considered to be benevolent employers, and the people who work for these companies are considered to be kind, honest, and family-oriented (i.e. agreeable). Individuals that are team-oriented, soft-hearted, hardworking, and responsible (i.e. conscientious) may find organizations that represent the Boy Scout dimension to be attractive.

The Big Five Model of Normal Personality

Hypothesis 1 (a-b): Those who are more (a) agreeable and (b) conscientious will be more attracted to organizations strong in the Boy Scout dimension. Specifically, preference for the Boy Scout dimension will be correlated with (a) Agreeableness and (b) Conscientiousness.


The Innovativeness dimension. The adjectives used to describe organizations perceived to be high on the dimension of Innovativeness are creative, exciting, original, unique & interesting. IBM, PepsiCo, and Microsoft are examples of firms that are described by this dimension (Slaughter & Greguras, 2014). Innovative companies tend to push research and development of new products continuously. These companies have a reputation of excellence and are growing as part of their business model. Individuals who are ambitious and hardworking (i.e. conscientious), those who value novel experiences and creativity (i.e. open to experience), and those who value growth opportunities (i.e. proactive) may be drawn to innovative organizations.

Hypothesis 2 (a-c): Those who are more (a) conscientious, (b) open to experience and (c) proactive will be more attracted to organizations strong in the Innovativeness dimension. Specifically, preference for the Innovativeness dimension will be correlated with (a) Openness to Experience, (b) Conscientiousness, & (c) Proactivity.

The Dominance dimension: The adjectives used to describe organizations perceived to be high on the dimension of Dominance are active, busy, dominant, popular & successful. CocaCola, AT&T, Disney & General Motors are examples of firms that are described by this dimension (Slaughter & Greguras, 2009). Because these firms tend to be large corporations, they also tend to be very competitive and have strong histories of success. Individuals that value strong social networks (i.e. extravert) and opportunities to learn and advance through hard work (i.e. proactive) within the organization may be attracted to organizations characterized by the Dominance dimension.

Hypothesis 3 (a-c): Those who are more (a) extraverted and (b) proactive will be more attracted to organizations strong in the Dominance dimension. Specifically, preference for the Dominance dimension will be correlated with (a) Extraversion and (b) Proactivity.

The Thrift dimension: The adjectives used to describe companies perceived to be greater on the Thrift dimension deprived, undersized, poor, sloppy, reduced, simple, low class & low budget. .C. Penney, Meijer, Bob Evans, Subway & Wal-Mart are all examples of firms that are described by this dimension (Slaughter & Greguras, 2009). The Thrift dimension has only been demonstrated to show negative relationships with attractiveness (Slaughter et al., 2014; Slaughter & Greguras). Therefore, the Thrift dimension is only expected to have negative relationships with the Big Five dimensions. The Thrift dimension is perceived as low class, low budget, and simple; therefore the people who work there are perceived to be the same. For this reason individuals that are ambitious (i.e. conscientious), sociable (i.e. extraverted), and team-oriented (i.e. agreeable) may find these organizations less attractive.


Hypothesis 4 (a-c): Those who are more (a) agreeable (b) extraverted & (c) conscientious will be less attracted to organizations strong in the Thrift dimension. Specifically, preference for the Thrift dimension will be negatively correlated with (a) Conscientiousness, (b) Extraversion and (c) Agreeableness.

The Style dimension. The adjective is used to describe organizations perceived to be greater on the dimension of Style; individuals are stylish, fashionable, hip, and trendy. Nike, Reebok, Pepsi, and Motorola are examples of firms that are described by this dimension (Slaughter & Greguras, 2014). Individuals that are attracted to this dimension will prefer organizations that define style and create popular culture. These individuals will likely be creative, artistic, open-minded, and cultured (i.e., open to experience) and prefer organizations where they will have the opportunity to be creative and explore new ideas

Hypothesis 5: Those who are more open to experience will be more attracted to organizations strong in the Style dimension. Specifically, preference for the Style dimension will be correlated with Openness to Experience.

As recruitments are becoming more competitive, companies require attracting the forms of job applicants which best fits their requirement.

References

Aaker, D. A. (2011). Managing brand equity: Capitalizing on the value of a brand name. New York: Free Press.

Aaker, D. A. (2016). Building strong brands. New York: Free Press.

Aaker, J. L. (20014). Dimensions of brand personality. Journal of Marketing Research, 34, 347-356.

Barrick, M. R., & Mount, M. K. (2011). The Big Five personality dimensions and job performance: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 44, 1-26.

Barney, J. B. (2010). Organizational culture: Can it be a source of sustained competitive advantage? Academy of Management Review, 11, 656-665.

Bateman, T. S., & Crant, J. M. (2013). The proactive component of organizational behavior: A measure and correlates. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 14,103-118.

Cable, D. M., & Turban, D. B. (2011). Establishing the dimensions, sources, and value of job seekers’ employer knowledge during recruitment. Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, 20,115-163

Crant, J. M. (2015). The Proactive Personality Scale and objective job performance among real estate agents. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80, 532-537.

Devendorf, S. A., & Highhouse, S. (2014). Applicant-employee similarity and attraction to an employer. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 81, 607-617.

Kapferer, J. (2014). The new strategic brand management: Creating and sustaining brand equity long term. London: Kogan Page

Keller, K. L. (2013). Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity. The Journal of Marketing, 57, 1-22.

Leonard, B. (2009). HR squeezed by tight labor market. HR Magazine, 44, 37.

Levy, P. E. (2016). Industrial/organizational psychology: Understanding the workplace. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Seibert, S. E., Crant, J. M., & Kraimer, M. L. (2009). Proactive personality and career success. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 416-27

Slaughter, J. E., Zickar, M. J., Highhouse, S., & Mohr, D. C. (2014). Personality trait inferences about organizations: Development of a measure and assessment of construct validity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 85-103.

Sutin, A. R., Costa, P. T., Miech, R., & Eaton, W. W. (2009). Personality and career success: Concurrent and longitudinal relations. European Journal of Personality, 23, 71-84

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