The summary(of the discussion) should summarize the article discussion (good points, bad points, problems, issues),1.The summary cannot exceed one page or under 300 words.2. At least three to four paragraphs3. Must be single spaced4. Summarize the article discussion (not the article itself) The article can be a supporting document 5.There must be evidence from the discussions in the one page summary such as (What was said? Where were the big issues? Did “sides” develop? What did people disagree on? What really good points were made?) a a response to those that will flow within the summary
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Part 1: Article Summary
The article focuses on the pros and cons of the use of personality testing in the
workplace, as a pre-employment tool, or as a measure of a worker’s suitability for
promotion in the workplace. The authors give a synopsis of the laws that
employers must abide by to make sure the tests are useful and compliant for the
jobs they are screening. Through the use of court ruling examples and reported
workplace success stories, the authors give the necessary sticking points for any
organization considering the use of personality testing.
Part 2: Article Analysis
The journal in question inevitably concludes that personality tests have a place in
the workplace, with the major caveat of the potential legal pitfalls. The industry
for testing has grown year over year to the tune of 10-15%, and the industry is
valued at more than $500 million annually. So, even with the huge potential for
litigation if used or administered incorrectly, the potential value to an
organization leads us to believe they will continue to become part of a standard in
the workplace.
In essence, some researchers believe that certain personality traits in candidates
will determine their ability to thrive in a particular environment or job role, and
employment based on traits versus competency has merit in certain jobs. One
example was with Xerox who reported a reduction in customer service attrition
by 20 plus days with applicants who tested high for empathy. On the other side,
these tests have the potential to exclude good candidates through sometimes
unintended consequences. People from different cultures, people with
disabilities, and minorities all could be discriminated against in some testing
methods. And, as shown in the legal cases examined, the outcome can be
disastrous for employers.
The article shows what a poorly designed test can do, and highlights the big
problem with the industry, no federal regulation. Reading the material created
more questions than answers. Little study can verify the complete accuracy of the
testing industry, and the correct framework for a test. We know some real facts
about workplace engagement but have very little long-term data on how these
tests help an organization in the long run.
Part 3: Human Resource Management Implications
Simply stated, personality testing and identification can be a useful tool for
human resource management, both during the hiring process and beyond. Key
personality traits can be used to identify the potential success or failure of a
candidate being considered for a role. In an increasingly competitive and global
job market, any advantage in the hiring process can be instrumental (if not
financially quantifiable) to the employer. However, the usefulness of this tool
must be balanced with potential legal implications. Certain uses of personality
testing have been proven to create discriminatory outcomes against protected
classes. Other usages have been deemed to violate individual privacy rights, in
addition to court precedent preventing testing that emulated a de facto medical
exam (specifically indicators of mental illnesses). Therefore, there are both pros
and cons to personality testing in the workplace, with implications on both sides
for human resource management.
Part 4: Action Steps for Managers
Practicing human resource managers can utilize a few key takeaways from this
article. During the hiring process, appropriate questions that are related to the
specific position can inform the hiring decision and potential success of a
candidate. However, managers need to beware of prioritizing personality traits
over competency and skills – a balance of the two is needed. For existing
employees, knowing personality traits can be useful when assigning specific tasks.
For example, a customer-facing role with a great deal of interpersonal interaction
would be very difficult for a highly introverted employee, and a different
assignment could provide greater employee success. Above all, managers need to
ensure that any personality testing is non-discriminatory. By knowing the legal
landscape, working with testing professionals, and keeping an eye toward
discrimination and privacy concerns, a human resource manager can ensure that
chosen methods of testing do not discriminate or have a disparate impact (even
unintentionally) on protected classes.
Part 5: Discussion Questions for Class
1. Pre-Employment: Have you experienced personality testing as part of an
interview and hiring process? If so, what testing was utilized? Did you see a
connection to the specific role you were applying for?
2. Current Employees: Have you experienced personality testing as part of your
current employment? If so, what testing was utilized, and how did it impact
your employee experience?
3. Professionally Speaking: Imagine you’re in the HR manager role. Knowing the
potential legal implications, would you utilize personality testing in the hiring
and employment process? Why or why not?
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