Hiring new staff for a specific job in a company often requires important decisions to be made as the job applicant selected could affect the survival of the organization. It is commonly agreed by many psychologist and managers that there is a high correlation between the personality of workers and their job performance. Thus, in this essay, I will be analyzing and contrasting different methods of assessments which helps identify an applicant's personality, to ensure that their personality fits the job and organization they have applied for, as well as the importance of these measures. Also, I would also talk about "person-organization fit" and "person- job fit" and their differences. Additionally, I will be discussing how an applicant's personality could affect their ability to fit into a job or an organization. Finally, I will be using two interviews with managers from different companies on applicant selection, in order to aid me to analysis and demonstrate the methods they used.
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Firstly, it is important for us to understand the difference between "person-job fit" and "person-organizational" fit in order to understand how personality could influence these factors and ultimately, relating to the employee's job performance. Firstly, "person- organizational fit" describes the compatibility between an organization and its employees when one or more entity meets the needs of another, or the fact that they have similar fundamental characteristics. However it could also be both (Kristof, 1996). "Person- job fit" describes whether there is a match between the employee's skills, knowledge or ability and the requirements or demands of the job being offered. Alternatively, it can also be used to describe the link between the desires of an individual in an organization and what can the job offer them (Edwards, 1991; O'Reilly et. al, 1991). In this sense, the difference between "person- organizational fit" and "person- job fit" is clear, as "personal- organizational fit" approach believes that environment plays a big role in affecting an employee's performance as well as their behavior. For example, if someone had good job performance in one organization, we cannot automatically assume that he/she would be as successful in a different organization even if that person is given a similar job. In order to achieve high and quality work output and performance, the organization or the employees would need to share similar fundamental values or interest, as well as providing one with the needs of another (Edwards, 1991; O'Reilly et. al, 1991; Billsberry, 2002; Cowling et. al, 1981; Ludlow et. al 1991) . However, the "person- job fit" approach stresses and describes the importance in which individual's ability fits the requirements of the job. This means that employers would only need to specify the requirements of the job and less focus is placed on assessing the shared believes and value between the organization and the employee. Finally "person-job fit" takes into an account the applicants' skills, their levels of knowledge as well as their personality traits. "Person-organisation fits" differs as it is measures the congruence between the values held by an applicant and the organization. Jennifer Chatman measured this in her Organizational Culture Profile by looking at factors such as team orientation, Orientation towards people and an individual's attention to detail etc. (Chatman et al., 1991).
In order to study the extent of which personality and other non-personality factors that could affect an individual's job performance, I have interviewed manager A from a local groceries store as well manager B from a traditional Japanese restaurant. The interviews mainly focused on the ways and method they used to select a potential employee from a pool of applicants, whom they have decided that he/she fits the organization and the job. The interviews were carried out in hoping that I could relate these case study examples to any published theories on business, specifically in the fields of human resource management.
Firstly, manager A selects applicants from a number of ways. He stressed that personality of the employee plays a huge role in maintaining a successful business especially in the retail sector. This is because from past experience, in the past, when taking part in personality screening programs or personality assessment were not made compulsory before employing, they had a very high percentage of missing and possibly stolen goods, this leans to profit lost and shows poor work performance among the workers. Therefore, the owner of the store and manager A has started to integrate an integrity test within their recruitment programmed. The tests involves self- assessing questions in order to analysis their personality and to predict their behavior. This helps them to assess whether the applicant is honest or not and their conscientiousness. With honest workers, and their C+ conscience known as focus from the big five personality trait cluster (Bucahanan et al, 2010) would provide them with the ability to resist temptation to steal goods as they tend to be self-disciplined and organized (Bucahanan et al, 2010). Although the big five are not personality types, they do help to describe the "common elements among the sub-factors traits which helps cluster together according to Buchanan et. al, 2010. Therefore, in relation "person-job fit", the employee would fit the job as he has the suitable personality and ability to resist the temptation of stealing when handing goods. This directly mirrors the requirement for the nature of the job as keeping goods safe is a key ability required when operating a retailing business. This further illustrate the point of which personality affects job performance as there is a decrease in the number of reported missing in the following years according to manager A
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Manager B takes a different approach as he uses different selection methods. In order to ensure the individual fit their job of being a chef, for example, he would also ask the application to complete personality assignment using self-assessing questionnaires as well as observing an individual in group discussions. The psychometrics assignment could help determine which applicant is more creative than others in their personality trait. Manager B hopes to achieve high person- organization fit via this method. This is because as an organization, the restaurant would require new ideas for new dishes to be produced constantly to meet the demand of customers. Therefore, having a chef with creative personality would means that he/she will share a similar idea and fundamental characteristics of the organization. In this case, there is compatibility between the employee and the organization and both parties could provide what the other needs, as the chef provides creative ideas which the organization needs, while the organization could provide resources for the employee to create new dishes. Under these measures, the person- organization fit should be relatively high.
However, there are also a range of non-personality factors that can affect an individual's job performance. One of the example can be found when looking into the field of organizational and social situations which can affect an individual's job performance. For example, an individual factor could be due to the fact that an employee cannot cope with the demands of the job as there was lack of training for his job (Buchanan et al., 2010). Also other factors such as level of intelligence an individual has and the method of recording intelligence quotient is often used (Cohen, 2012). Intelligence quotient, or IQ is based on a tests measuring abilities such verbal, logic and mathematical, as well as memory(Cohen, 2012). In some cases, intelligent of an individual can affect job performance as people with good memory tends to learn quicker at work, thus producing better work outcome (J Wall, 2006).
In conclusion, personality plays a big role in terms of determining how they fit into their jobs and organizations. Personality can be assessed by various personality assessments that reveals the psychological qualities that helps build up the characteristic of individual's behavior trends and pattern. One systematic testing method can be referred to as the psychometrics approach (Buchanan et. al, 2010),
as demonstrated above by the interview with manager A, as they carried out integrity tests to assess an individual's personality, which could help predict their behavior and specifically, the ability and responsibility to keep the goods safe and the ability to resist temptation of stealing any goods, thus being able to perform well in their job, as well as meeting the high "person-job fit" criteria as they have ability that the job requires. High "person-organization fit" can be achieved by manager B's assessment method to get an insight of an individual's personal value and culture and to see whether it fits in with the organization or not. Not only does this means that the employees are more likely to share the same value as the organization for higher job satisfaction, but it also leads to improved job performance due to increased organizational commitment and increased tenure. Although personality plays a big role in affecting job and organization fit, as well job performance, other non- personality factors, for example, lack of relevant knowledge and specific skills required for the task in a job could also effects the outcome of the performance even if the employee has the required personality for the job. Therefore, to some extent, staff selection cannot be completely based on personality assessments.