Chief Learning Officer magazine is a trademark of Mediatec Publishing Inc. All clomedia.com and Chief Learning Officer magazine content Copyright 2013 MediaTec Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved. It is illegal to copy, reproduce or publish any information contained on clomedia.com or in Chief Learning Officer magazine without express written permission from MediaTec Publishing Inc.
The Problem With Personality-Based Hiring
Hiring based on personality rather than competency and accomplishment may not bring about the desired performance results without a blended, outcomes-based learning approach.
If an organization hires great people, but doesn’t get the business results it needs, there may be a good reason.Consider Greg Long, vice president of organizational excellence at RWD, a division of GP Strategies, and an aeronautical engineer who, at one point in his life, decided to take flying lessons. During a lesson, Long looked out his window from the co-pilot’s seat and noticed a corkscrew vortex on the wing tip. He described to the pilot the atmospheric conditions, wind speed and wing configuration that must align to make this sort of thing visible. His friend looked at him blankly, pushed forward on the stick to dip the nose of the plane and said, “Greg, all I know is, when I push the stick forward, houses get bigger, and when I pull it back they get smaller.” Long concluded that while hiring pilot candidates with the right personality traits and education is important, he would only put his fate in the hands of someone who he knew could actually fly, as opposed to someone like himself, who only knew about flying.Many organizations base hiring decisions on personality traits measured by tools such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Then they train to competencies defined for the roles new hires will go into, without paying enough attention to capabilities and, more importantly, to the accomplishments or job requirements needed (Figure 1).
An airline pilot and an accountant may have similar personality traits such as an “attention to detail” and “a reluctance to take chances.” When it comes to competencies, they deviate a little, but can still be quite similar. It’s not until the focus turns to what employees are expected to accomplish in their jobs that it becomes apparent why it’s short-sighted to stop at the competency stage. Personality-based hiring and competency-based learning won’t achieve what matters most to a business. It is not until an employee’s accomplishments are identified and used as the backbone for training that results become more predictable.
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
Get the Magazine