Personality Tests in Hr

Topics: Big Five personality traits, Personality psychology, Psychology Pages: 6 (1351 words) Published: November 4, 2008
HR – Personality Test

-Most complex and rapidly changing topic in the selection field -Data can provide valid information for selection decisions -> Use of personality tests is rapidly increasing
-2005: 30% of American companies used personality tests
40% of the Fortune 100 used them
-Recent study in 20 countries:
Countries like New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden uses personality tests more frequently than the US

Definition and Use of Personality Tests

Personality refers to the unique set of characteristics that define an individual and determine that person’s pattern of interaction with the environment. Personality is more than social skills -> it presents a broad topic. Personality characteristics are essential for the job performance.

Pros for use of Personality Tests
-Personality characters can be grouped into five broad dimensions -> The big five: conscientiousness, emotional stability, agreeableness, extraversion, and openness to experience -Manager believe personality traits matter at work

-Traits can be relevant predictors of work performance
-Personality traits contribute incremental validity to the prediction of success at work -Scores are quite comparable across racial or ethnic groups or between man and women

Cons for use of Personality tests
-Predictive validities of personality traits are still quite low -Theoretical understanding of why specific personality traits are useful in specific jobs are still inadequate

Personality traits
-Traits classify and measure individuals according to some set of personality characteristics -Concept of traits is used to explain different reactions to the same situation -> Individuals have a different amount of traits

-Traits are viewed as the dispositional or relatively stable and enduring ways people tend to think, feel and act

The use of personality traits requires:
1.The specification of job tasks
2.The identification of traits that are linked to these tasks

Problem with specifying employee personality traits in particular is determining which personality traits to use.

JobPersonality traits
ExecutiveConscientiousness, emotional stability, extraversion, ambition (especially) SupervisorPersistence, endurance, emotional stability, nurturance SalespersonConscientiousness, achievement (especially), ambition, extraversion SecretaryConscientiousness, dependability (especially), emotional stability, agreeableness Computer ProgrammerConscientiousness, original thinking, openness to new experiences Insurance agentConscientiousness, extraversion, original thinking Newspaper writerConscientiousness, emotional stability, openness to new experiences CarpenterConscientiousness, dependability (especially), emotional stability

Interaction of Traits and Situation
-Powerful and weak situation
oPowerful situations: Individuals behavior is more attributable to the situation than to individual traits oWeak situations: Individual is uncertain about appropriate behavior -> he/she interprets the situation and acts in accordance with his/her personality traits oUse: Personality traits are more important for selection devices and job assignments in weak situations than in powerful ones -Relevance of the work content

oPersonality traits are only relevant in specific situations -Conclusions
oTraits vary greatly in the extent to which they influence behavior oSituation also has an important influence on individual behavior oSpecific personality traits predict valued behaviors at work only in relevant situations oOffers a partial explanation for the lack of uniform positive findings in the use of Personality data for selection

Measurement methods

Inventories in personality measurement
-Uses the written responses of an individual as the information for determining personality -Measures abnormal and normal traits, several personality dimensions and only one dimensions 1.Self-report questionnaire

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