Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Research Reveals the Personality of a "Bad Hire"

Hiring the wrong employee can cost your company time, money and piece of mind! While the most aggressive "go getter" employees look great in the interview they may not be the person you want working for your company. Research shows that aggressive personality traits may impact their ability to work with others and may damage the long-term goals of your company.

The study sought to determine what type of personalities impacted workplace deviance. They analyzed 150 permanent non-manager employees in a Fortune Global 500 Company. They found that diminished conscientiousness (r.39, P<.05) and agreeableness (r.29,P<.05) was often associated with workplace deviance.

1. Conscientiousness and agreeableness are negatively associated with organizational and interpersonal deviance.

2.Organizational commitment partially mediates agreeableness and organizational deviance.

In other words, employees that ranked low on conscientiousness and agreeableness often displayed behaviors that were antithetical to running a strong organization. They argued, lied, manipulated, caused descent, took credit for work they did not complete, and damaged a productive work environment. In contrast, employees who ranked high in conscientiousness and agreeableness not only helped the organization but also had pro-social behaviors that improved their work environments.

As organizational mangers we often assume that those who are pushy are confident and those who show extreme confidence are result oriented employees. We hire them based on the outward behaviors that were designed to manipulate the interviewer in the first place. We fail to take into account that organizations are social networks that require polite, honest, and hardworking individuals.

Organizations that adjust their hiring and performance evaluations to include positive pro social behaviors will find that the "right" hire is someone who contributes to the organization and to the higher functioning of others. As we hire employees with these pro-social behaviors our organization begins to operate better through better social exchange and positive interactions that lead to informational and resource efficiency.

The study helps managers and strategic planners to better understand what type of personalities they should be looking for in their next employee. Organizations are collectives of transactions and people that work together to create organizational efficiency and thus rely heavily on pro-social behavior. Hiring to better ensure that internal transactions run smoothly and employee collaboration stay high is essential for long-term planning.

Russell, G., et. al. (2016). Why people harm the organization and its members: relationships among personality, organizational commitment, and workplace...Human performance, 29 (1).

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