Thursday, December 27, 2007

"They want them to think that working really hard matters."

Here's an excerpt that will be sure to please those extremely bright HR professionals who are also extremely insecure:

Adler says he knows which personality traits help make for a responsive customer-service rep, which make for an eager salesman. (Rule of thumb: Throw the obsessives into operations.) That customer-service rep should have an agreeable, tolerant personality and one without deep ambition. “There’s no incentive pay,” Adler says. The salesman probably should be achievement-oriented, someone who needs to prove himself against measurable goals. In the same vein, another researcher reports that one law firm deconstructs its HR needs by personality traits. It insists on extremely bright employees who are also extremely insecure. “They want them to think that working really hard matters,” he explains. Through this prism, personality types can even be mixed and matched to make a team function more efficiently. Psychologist Robert Hogan, a pioneer in organizational psychology, says it’s a matter of balance; three basic types are required. “You need an ambitious person, someone who will step up. You need someone inquisitive and with ideas. Then you need one smoother-outer, a person who’ll keep on task.”


Anonymous said...

The problem with any such approach is, sooner or later the climers learn how to game the system. They start responding to the tests in ways which will improve their chances of promotion.

Michael Wade said...


You are absolutely correct. Create a system and people will learn how to "game" it.