HR Management: Employee Ability or Personality?


When selecting applicants, it is advisable to establish a holistic approach that will measure attributes like aptitude, personality, and intelligence. In fact, those traits will provide a potential employer with intuition into how well an applicant will handle stress, work with other employees, and his/her ability to meet intellectual demands. Selection based on the ability will entail aptitude tests that consider an individual verbal ability, abstract reasoning, spatial ability, mechanical reasoning, and data checking. On the other hand, personality/fit includes short tests that ask about an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior in broad situations both at work and outside. In fact, personality testing is preferred to ability testing because it unveils an individual’s motivation and enthusiasm toward the work. In addition, it establishes how well an applicant will fit in the organization in terms of his/her attitude, personality, and general work style (Heller, Judge, & Watson, 2002).

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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Corporation

A virtual organization provides a better platform for workers to learn and acquire experience in an organization that does not offer stringent time commitments. The employees can work part-time in several organizations within a period since they do not have a long-term labor commitment in a given company. Hence, workers are exposed to multiple work experiences without having to stay within a single organization for many years. On the other hand, the management enjoys flexibility in shifting and acquiring new and cheap human resources, which reduces the company’s running costs. The management can engage their workers when it is necessary, for instance, when work is available instead of full-time engagement.

However, virtual corporation experiences challenge for both the side of employers and workers. Firstly, virtual teams lack everyday face-to-face and verbal interaction, which may lead to isolation. Lack of daily contact will hinder the effectiveness and innovation that leads to achieving the company’s goals. When teams interact severally, they create interdependent tasks and build up partnerships that give employees the goals to achieve as a team. However, this is not the case with virtual corporations (Qiu & McDougall, 2013).

The Role of Training in Employee Motivation

Employee motivation and retention are enhanced by training. They want to continue developing their career and enhance their skills, which is an opportunity offered by effective training. Therefore, they will appreciate the prospect to develop their skills and knowledge without leaving their workplace. Many employees will join an organization not just to acquire a job but also to develop a career. Training offers an opportunity for employee performance and retention advancement, a situation that motivates them to focus on how to achieve the company’s goals. Through training, employees’ level of responsibility and authority is expanded, motivating them to engage in more planning, make decisions, and show commitment and integrity in their business operations (Neves, 2009).

Seniority as the Basis for Layoff

The advantage of laying off workers based on their seniority allows the management to keep the most experienced ones. It assists the company to maintain high productivity levels and mitigate low performance, which is associated with shifting the workforce to a smaller number. In fact, experienced employees will require less supervision, an achievement that allows the company to focus more on other important aspects during the layoff, such as bill-paying strategies and the revenue stream. Next, using seniority as a platform for layoff allows the management to reward loyal employees. In essence, those workers who had stayed with the company for a long time and remained loyal are spared since it would be hard for them to seek employment elsewhere. Hence, loyalty improves the employees’ morale because they feel valued. On the other hand, laying off solely on seniority might not eliminate drags on the performance of employees, a situation that might aggravate poor interaction. In addition, the seniority plan will not help reduce the company’s running costs since the senior workforce usually receives higher salaries than newer employees (Griffin, 2005).

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Post-Traditional Family Unit and Career Development

The demographic changes across the developed and developing world are putting pressure on the private sector to implement and initiate creative solutions to integrate, retain, and educate the changing and diverse population. In fact, the aging population will continue to pose challenges for businesses. In this context, many older workers in developing and industrialized countries are willing to work past the required traditional retirement age. They would like to continue earning while pensions, social safety nets, and other benefits might not be available or adequate. Therefore, the management must meet those challenges by providing incentives to lay off the less committed workers. Next, the management should also assess and anticipate the training and new skills the older generation will require to make them feel comfortable working with younger colleagues. Those areas of training may include technology and communication (Whiston & Keller, 2004).

Career Development in Flat Organization

In the modern workplace, many organizations are all about being ‘flat’, a situation where all job titles, hierarchies, and traditional corner offices have been eliminated. However, many employees thrive in this setting. Still, for those workers who are aware of titles, promotions, and other prerequisites of vertical improvement, it becomes a potential drawback for their career advancement. To develop a career in a ‘flat’ organization, the employees need to look for rewards for their well-done jobs. Instead, they should pursue other ways of learning new skills, boosting their worth, and fulfilling their ambitions (Croteau & Wolk, 2010). Therefore, the employees should be a master of their trade, an act that will expand the breadth and depth of their knowledge without waiting for promotions. Indeed, the focus should not technically be climbing the ladder but grooming their career and adding skills for a better position.

Objective Data and Subjective Ratings

Objective performance assessment functions are not doing or doing any particular action. It entails measuring of productivity totals of an employee. Many employers use objective measures for those employees who have entry-level or repetitive jobs. The objective metric may ask whether a particular employee was late four times or not or whether she met her widgets per hour or she did not. Subjective ratings are not easily measured. However, employers use categories of measurement to determine its efficacy. In this case, a supervisor may offer a numerical score representing a perceived performance in a category like professionalism and teamwork. Then, a specific rating would dictate how well the employees have done their jobs. However, the question of whether a particular rating is the best is a matter of interpretation. Therefore, objective performance can only work when one employee’s performance is compared to another. Next, using objective data would not be prudent to use the same yardstick to rate full-time and part-time employees during a particular duration. On the other hand, subjective ratings allow an employer to exercise judgment about a worker’s performance even in complicated work systems (Rajan & Reichelstein, 2009).

Training and Career Development

Career development is achieved through those activities that an employee undertakes when inside or outside the work setting, which are aimed at growing their career capacity. Those activities include mentoring, exploration, networking, conversation, skill-building, and on-the-job experiences. On the other hand, the training ensures that employees are equipped with the right knowledge to tackle a particular job. Training may be boring, particularly when it is recurrent. However, employees who participate in training are likely to stay in their company only if they discover attractive advancement opportunities. In fact, they lose their loyalty to the company since their new skills will make them more attractive to other companies. Therefore, professional training without career development prospects will make the employees more employable by other firms. On the contrary, career development within an organization encourages workforce retention. The employees’ loyalty is boosted since their career development matches their goals and interests (Barrett, 2001).

Traits of a Successful Trainer

A successful trainer must exhibit traits that are essential in a training situation. First, they must have good character in terms of credibility and professional credentials. They must have passion for their career and adopt a sense of responsibility towards the young, enthusiastic trainees. The trainer should focus on the job more than they do on the anticipated income. In fact, if they focus on doing more than earning, they impress and influence their trainees more effectively. Secondly, they must have good communication skills. Despite having the necessary expertise and qualification, they should be able to communicate their knowledge to their trainees effectively. Lastly, they must have charismatic personalities that captivate and enthrall trainees with their powerful words. Being dynamic and charismatic will dramatically develop the trainer’s likeability and acceptability amongst his/her audiences (Ghosh, Satyawadi, Joshi, Ranjan, & Singh, 2012).

Performance Appraisal System

According to Toegel and Conger (2003), performance appraisal has become part of a strategic approach through which organizations assess their employees intending to enhance performance, develop their competence, and distribute rewards. It should be designed based on the outcome and behavior of an employee. Therefore, an employee’s behavior can determine an organization’s survival and success. At the same time, the outcome will prompt employee motivation through rewards and the management of their performance. In essence, a holistic approach when designing a performance appraisal system is an integral part of achieving an organization’s goals. The system enables the building of a high-performance culture for teams and individuals so that their responsibilities are undertaken jointly to improve business operations continuously. In addition, the employees’ competence is raised, and their leadership skills are upgraded.



Barrett, A. (2001). “Does Training Generally Work? Measuring the Returns to In-Company Training.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 54 (3): 647-662.

Croteau, J. D., & Wolk, H. G. (2010). Defining advancement career paths and succession plans: Critical human capital retention strategies for high-performing advancement divisions. International Journal of Educational Advancement.

Ghosh, P., Satyawadi, R., Joshi, J. P., Ranjan, R., & Singh, P. (2012). Towards more effective training programmes: a study of trainer attributes. Industrial and Commercial Training.

Griffin, R. W. (2005). Human Resources Management. India: Dream Tech Publishers.

Heller, D., Judge, T. A., & Watson, D. (2002). The confounding role of personality and trait affectivity in the relationship between job and life satisfaction. Journal of Organizational Behavior.

Neves, P. (2009). Readiness for Change: Contributions for Employee’s Level of Individual Change and Turnover Intentions. Journal of Change Management.

Qiu, M., & McDougall, D. (2013). Foster strengths and circumvent weaknesses: Advantages

and disadvantages of online versus face-to-face subgroup discourse. Computers andEducation67, 1-11.

Rajan, M.V. and S. Reichelstein (2009). Objective versus subjective indicators of managerial performance. The Accounting Review 84(1): 209-237.

Toegel, G., & Conger, J. A. (2003). 360-Degree assessment: Time for reinvention. Academy of Management Learning and Education2, 297–311.

Whiston, S. C., & Keller, B. K. (2004). The Influences of the Family of Origin on Career Development: A Review and Analysis. The Counseling Psychologist.

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