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Personality vs. Portfolios: The Best Performance Predictor


Personality vs. Portfolios

Do thick CVs predict performance, or describe a precedent?

When looking to hire, Human Resources specialists and managers will look to the best fit between the candidate’s offer, his CV, background and achievements and the job’s requirements. It’s the natural string of events, taking into account urgency and the need for workforce.

This reductionist approach to time and performance rests on the notion that performance can be viewed as a sum of all precedents, which invariably leads to the following rationale: “If X had these achievements, then X will probably be able to reproduce the performance”. When stating this, a shade of inadvertence emerges: who says the record makes it real every time, anytime and anywhere?

I encourage you to take into account the fact that performance, like anything else, is contextual: it will vary, provided different circumstances and timeframes. By no means do I intend to say that a list of achievements should not be trusted. Naturally it speaks for potential, but it is clearly not enough for an accurate prediction.

So what’ve we left out of our performance equation? Personality! Why would it matter? Simply because personality is the best indicative for consistency. Without adhering to any school of thought, personality traits are a reliable measure for human behavior that give you the best answer to the “How?” and “To what extent?” questions, which need to be addressed when trying to figure out who’s the piece that would best fit your pattern.

Of course, one may be trained and capable of accomplishing tasks, maybe even in an admirable way, but is he willing to do so? Under what circumstances? What magnifies one’s potential and what disrupts it? Is that person inclined to work with others towards achieving excellence? How will all one’s aptitudes, acumen and accomplishment fair up to frustration? Can an admirable list of achievements grant you that the person you’ve just given your advised approval to, will be what your organization needs? Obviously not!

Should hiring be as simple as pasting together handiness and requirement, the job market would be a joyful place, where every need is met, where employees never leave and employers are always satisfied.  This is a reductive view, not to say utopic, that nourishes a vicious circle of hiring, firing, explaining and questioning, which overlooks the obvious.

Denisa Călin. Editor & Publisher. The KPI Institute

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