PORTLAND, OREGON                                          BUSINESS NEWS FROM THE FOUR-COUNTY REGION                       ...
TESTS: Managers can find better positions for existing employeespotential employee and gives us an extra lookinto their pe...
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Employers Relying More On Personality


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Employers and managers need an "edge" for selection, coaching and mentoring

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Employers Relying More On Personality

  1. 1. PORTLAND, OREGON BUSINESS NEWS FROM THE FOUR-COUNTY REGION AUGUST 12, 2005 HUMAN RESOURCES H I R I N G A N D E M P L O Y M E N T L AWA glimpse at personality Employers increasingly rely on predictive indices and personality surveys to gauge the suitability of job applicants and existing employees. CHARLIE KLOPPENBURG / PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNALRestaurant manager Linda Addy uses a predictive index to assess job applicants’ personality traits. Personality tools aid the hiring processBY JODI HELMER someone who is upbeat and outgoing, has So in order to learn as much as possible aboutSPECIAL TO THE BUSINESS JOURNAL excellent customer service skills, takes instruction each applicant before making a hiring decision,W well and is a team player. Addy asks them to fill out a Predictive Index, or hen it comes to hiring servers for Salty’s Addy also knows that it can be difficult to PI, a survey that identifies the personality traits on the Columbia, Linda Addy knows assess whether an applicant has such skills by and motivating needs of applicants. exactly what she is looking for: viewing resumes or conducting brief interviews. “It helps us get a better perspective on a
  2. 2. TESTS: Managers can find better positions for existing employeespotential employee and gives us an extra lookinto their personality that we may not get in a 15-or 30-minute interview,” says Addy, the generalmanager at the landmark local restaurant. “It hasproven time and time again to help us in thedecision we are making.” Addy is not alone. A growing number ofcompanies are using personality profiles to helpgain insights into the personalities of prospectiveemployees. The reported advantages, whichinclude increased productivity and decreasedturnover, have made companies eager to addanother tool that will aid in the recruitmentprocess. Initially developed during World War II toassess the personality traits of successfulbombardiers, the PI was eventually developedinto a hiring tool that has been used by more than5,000 companies in 129 countries. Applicants areasked to check the adjectives that best describehow they perceive themselves and how they feelthey are expected to act at work. The resultingpersonality profile is presented to prospectiveemployers in report format and outlines variousstrengths and motivations. CHARLIE KLOPPENBURG / PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL “It is one way to help align individual MBank’s Trey Maust finds personality surveys useful for placing employees in the right positions.preferences with specific business goals,”explains Keith Emerson, the Pacific Northwest optimize productivity and increase job satisfaction overcome a lack of skills,” says Morgan, founderconsultant for PI Worldwide, the Massachusetts- among its current employees. of the Forté Institute in North Carolina. “But it isbased consulting firm that “It all boils down to putting the right people in one more tool that an organization can use to helpcreated the Predictive Index. the right positions,” explains Trey Maust, senior make its hiring decisions.”“The PI helps companies make vice president and CFO of MBank. “We In addition to using personality surveys tosmarter hiring decisions and understand which tendencies are compatible to assess applicants during the hiring process,once they are hired, it helps each position in the organization and as we companies are also using the results to facilitateemployers motivate their recognize staff with profiles matching those team building, resolve conflict and assessemployees in ways that suit tendencies we discuss potential avenues for employees for promotions.their personalities.” growth within the company.” Morgan encourages companies to have their Critics warn against relying Over the past year MBank has talked to several employees share the results of their Forté Surveytoo heavily on personality Emerson employees about moving into new positions as a means of learning more about each other.surveys in the hiring process, based on the results of their PIs. According to According to Morgan, discussing the results willnoting that it is difficult to judge workplace Maust, most have eagerly accepted the new help employees work as a team and developperformance, motivation and aptitude based on a challenge including an employee who moved solutions to conflict.short survey. from operations officer to financial analyst. Restaurateur Addy believes that using Diane Boly, co-founder of staffing firm Boly Another oft-used personality survey, the Forté personality surveys as part of the hiring processWelch Inc., has seen an increase in the number of Survey, was created by C.D. Morgan III in 1978 and ongoing employee development on theclients asking applicants to complete a personality to identify individual communication styles. Columbia has made a significant difference insurvey but she warns against putting too much Based again on a list of adjectives that the applicant employee morale and retention at Salty’s, instock in the results. checks off, the Forté Survey provides insights addition to improving its bottom line. “I think that the way an individual fits into the into how people adapt to their environment and “The cost of recruiting and training a newbusiness culture is almost as important as their how others may perceive them. employee is between $2,000 and $10,000 andskill set,” she says. “But I think these tools can be Morgan is confident in the accuracy of the having a tool that lets you identify the right persona little too black and white because there are so results of the Forté Survey, which has been used for the right position really helps you to safeguardmany variables that are not being factored into by more than 6,000 companies worldwide your profit margins,” she says. “A happythe results.” including Boeing, Sprint and Dell Computers, employee is a good employee and being able to Another PI Worldwide customer, Portland- but maintains that companies must look beyond play to their strengths gives them an environmentbased MBank, began asking applicants to the results of a personality survey when making where they can thrive.”complete the PI as part of the application process hiring decisions.in 2004 and immediately began using the tool to “No amount of personality profiling can portland@bizjournals.com | 503-274-8733 Reprinted for web use with permission from the Portland Business Journal. ©2005, all rights reserved. Reprinted by Scoop ReprintSource For more information about the Predictive Index, please visit our website at: www.piworldwide.com. To speak to the PI consultant nearest you, please call contact PI Worldwide at: 1-800-832-8884 or email us at: info@piworldwide.com