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Week 3 Assignment 2

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Week 3 Assignment 2
Personality & Attitudes
1. What did you think of the profile assessment? How did you feel while taking it? I took it imagining I was a job candidate I felt nervous about it as do all job candidates. I also felt confident as I would have been shocked if I somehow “failed” the personality profile or assessment. One misconception we see in the general public is the use of the word “test” when they refer to profile assessments. A test you can pass or fail or fall somewhere in between, but what profile assessments measures are behavioral styles. You are a measure of the behaviors you use and adapt to. The only way to fail a profile assessment is to lie on it. There is a tremendous amount of value that can be learned about you from these tools. Chances are your assessor wants to use profile assessments to see how you would fit with different team members, whether you’d be happy doing the type of work required, or how they may work best with you. You can only fail an assessment designed to pick up on your behavior styles if you tell it you behave in ways you don’t typically behave.
2. Would you use this or another profile to hire/promote within your organization? If so, why and how? If not, why not? Profile assessments were developed during World War II, when there was a desperate need to find people capable of certain types of leadership. Companies then began adopting this process for recruitment. Their popularity increased, and now there's global interest in their use. They're a series of tests, activities, and simulation exercises that organizations use to select the right person for the right role. Usually, several assessors monitor your performance throughout the course of the assessment, which can last anything from a few hours to several days. That being said I would use profile assessments to hire/promote within my organization. Profile assessments are useful, for you as well as for the organization. Profile assessments allow organizations to see how you'd react in an environment similar to the one that you'd be working in. The tasks, activities, and problem scenarios you'll face should all mimic real situations; and your ability to work through these gives interviewers an in-depth look at whether you're right for the role. This process also benefits you – going through this sort of assessment helps you get a good sense of the knowledge and skills that you'll need in this role. It also serves as a realistic "job preview," which allows you to see whether you're likely to enjoy the work and the organizational culture. You can then decide whether you and the organization will be a good fit. Profile assessments can tell you things that even the applicant cannot articulate. If it is one thing an organization does not need is a needlessly “squeaky wheel.” You as a manager should know who will “fit” best into your organization and giving job candidates profiles and assessments is another tool used to assist in making that decision. Yes, the tests are flawed and should be used only as a tool not the final say in whether or not to hire someone. Organizations can use personality testing to reduce employee turnover. The result of high employee turnover is wasted time and money spent training and re-hiring. In fact, hiring an employee who is not adequately suited to the job can cost your company thousands of dollars. It will cost your company approximately 10 times the annual salary for a high paying position or 1-2 times the annual salary for a low wage position if you make a bad hiring decision. Employment testing can include tests for personality traits, business values, cognitive skills, integrity and motivation. Testing is often conducted by businesses to avoid hiring the wrong person. Using employment testing is a great way to save money and reduce turnover rates.

3. Are assessments like this legal to use within "your" organization? What caveats would you offer? Personality profiles and/or assessments have some have some legal considerations as more and more companies decide to utilize personality and emotional intelligence tests in the employee selection process, applicant faking and placating skeptics are not the only hazards a company can expect. If not constructed properly, the potential legal ramifications of these tests can be massive. The two most significant legal considerations in using personality and emotional intelligence tests are Title VII discrimination and discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). While intentional discrimination is certainly possible, the more likely risk for companies acting in good faith involves inadvertent discrimination through the use of valid and reliable instruments. A little history on this is in the first Supreme Court case that examined unintentional discrimination; Griggs v. Duke Power Co., the Court accepted a lower court finding that that the business was not intentionally discriminating against the plaintiffs based on race. The Court then shifted its inquiry to the employer’s use of two commercially available ability tests—both still in use today—and held that these facially non-discriminatory tests violated Title VII because the tests had a disparate impact on the African-American plaintiffs and the employer did not prove that the tests were related to job performance. The Griggs Court, however, ended its opinion with agreement that employee selection tools are extremely important to business, but that business needs to use tests that are designed “for the job and not the person in the abstract.” Presumably, if the employer in Griggs had conducted a meaningful study and determined that the two ability tests were related to job performance, then the Court would have found there was no Title VII violation. Today, the Court’s jurisprudence has been codified into Title VII. To prevail in a disparate impact case, a plaintiff must establish that at least one of two tests has been violated. The first test requires the plaintiff to prove that an employment practice results in disparate impact which, if proven, shifts the burden to the defendant to demonstrate that the practice in question is consistent with business necessity. The second test requires the plaintiff to prove that there was an alternative employment practice, the defendant refused to adopt it, and the alternative employment practice would have eliminated or reduced the disparate impact. Presumably, the employer must also have been aware of the alternate employment practice at the time the defendant was being considered for employment. Though most of the litigation involving alternative employment practices involves the use of employment tests, plaintiffs have rarely prevailed because their suggested alternatives were neither less discriminatory nor advanced the employer’s purpose in using the test. This leaves the first test—job relatedness—as the only significant disparate impact issue facing legal employers that use personality tests. To help government agencies and employers with a uniform understanding of validation, in 1978 the government created the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. The Guidelines provide options for establishing validity, though modern science is often opposed to the older science enshrined in the Guidelines. In one recent case rejecting disparate impact, the Supreme Court held that the City of New Haven, Connecticut had developed an examination that was job related, was necessary for the firefighting business at issue in the case, and had the requisite validity. This demonstrates the importance of validating tests before administering them.

4. Other thoughts regarding P & A...? Personality tests are designed to systematically elicit information about a person's motivations, preferences, interests, emotional make-up, and style of interacting with people and situations. Personality measures can be in the form of interviews, in-basket exercises, observer ratings, or self-report inventories (i.e., questionnaires). This information is used to generate a profile used to predict job performance or satisfaction with certain aspects of the work. Job performance outcomes are usually best predicted by a combination of personality scales. For example, people high in integrity may follow the rules and be easy to supervise but they may not be good at providing customer service because they are not outgoing, patient, and friendly. The personality traits most frequently assessed in work situations include: (1) Extroversion, (2) Emotional Stability, (3) Agreeableness, (4) Conscientiousness, and (5) Openness to Experience. While these are the most commonly measured traits, the specific factors most predictive of job performance will depend on the job in question. Another good reason to use personality tests is that it is not uncommon for a company to receive thousands of applications in response to an entry-level job posting. With these numbers, how can human resource departments efficiently sift through them and zero in on the right interviewees? Increasingly, companies are turning to various forms of personality and talent assessment. Personality assessments are sometimes used by companies to evaluate potential employees. Often, it’s because they’ve benchmarked their current top performers and pinned down what makes an employee in a given position successful, and are looking for someone similar to place in an open spot. It takes a lot of the risk of hiring out of the equation for hiring managers and makes them more comfortable.

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