I’m speaking at next week’s AGR Recruitment Conference in Wales. I’ll be reflecting on the risks associated with using personality data as a “blunt instrument” in graduate selection.
Without giving anything away, I’ll be answering the question “Personality: can you have too much of a good thing?” with a resounding “yes!”.
Simply put, the unintended consequences of over-relying on key strengths. Without considering the potential downside or risk factors associated with the extremities of personality traits, organisations may be setting themselves up for difficulties with their newly-selected employees.
Organisations often use a “threshold approach” when it comes to personality. This means they look for candidates whose personality profiles exceed certain thresholds in terms of being (for example) communicative, confident, conscientious and so on.
Employers should also be mindful of the upper extremes of these traits, however. Being too confident can be as disruptive as not confident enough (some might argue even more so!). Over-relying on key strengths such as confidence can have negative consequences for both employee and employer.
My talk will cover how this over-playing of strengths can result in derailment and what employers can do to manage the risk of this occurring in talented employees. And it starts with how they use personality assessments during the recruitment phase.
If you’re coming to AGR 2013, do come and say hello. I’m presenting on Monday at 3:15pm and again at 4:45pm.