The Personality Factor

Richard Branson revealed that personality forms the basis of his hiring strategy: “Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality”.  As companies increasingly look to carry out their recruitment internally, more emphasis is being placed on the person behind the CV, while expertise and qualifications are coming in at a close second.

So, what do companies really mean when they say they are looking for personality?  Shane Atchison, the CEO at Possible, expertly sums it up: “Work personality is not the same as regular personality.  It’s not about how you behave at a party, but how you fit into a team”.  Evidence shows that teamwork can increase productivity and improve employee retention, so there is a business aim behind the buzzword ‘personality’ after all!

Personality Profiling…

Yet evaluating a candidate’s personality at the recruitment stage poses a significant complication, since subjectivity can seep into the equation.  In response to this, many organisations make use of psychometric testing to evaluate personality quantitatively.  As part of pre-interview screening, candidates are often asked to sit a variety of online questionnaires asking how they would respond to certain statements, such as “I enjoy meeting new people”.  These answers are then analysed, allowing the company in question to accurately weigh up the candidate’s cultural fit in the organisation.  Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), arguably the most popular personality tool used by around 80% of Fortune 500 companies, claims there are no right answers to the questions and that cheating is not possible.

Alas, if there is no winning technique to tackling these tests, then how can you score more highly in the personality stakes?  Answer: respond honestly to the questions and focus instead on improving your interview performance.

It’s Showtime…

The better your performance in the interview, the more agreeable your personality will seem to your interviewer.  The etymology of ‘performance’, deriving from the 17th Century, means the “action of performing a play”, in other words, a trade that can be practised and polished.  It’s probably common sense, but think of this when preparing for your interview: the more you rehearse prior to curtain-up, the more comfortable you will feel in your role as interviewee.

All in all, bear in mind that you can’t transform your personality and that there would be no point in doing so (you want the company to be a good fit for you too), but with more research and practice you can definitely give a more polished performance.

CV a-non-yme ?

C’est la question pertinente de la rentrée : les entreprises de 50 salariés et plus adopteront le CV anonyme ou non ?  On parle d’une loi votée en 2006 mais qui n’est pas encore entrée en vigueur.  Tout pourrait changer cependant, grâce au délai de six mois prononcé par le Conseil d’État en juillet de cette année qui pousse le gouvernement à agir.  Les opinions y sont divisées : un pas majeur vers l’égalité des chances ou une couche supplémentaire inutile de bureaucratie ?

La discrimination à l’embauche continue à affliger le processus de recrutement…

José Zamora en est victime exemplaire.  Cet article raconte sa lutte pour décrocher un entretien dans laquelle il a dû changer le nom sur son CV afin de recevoir des réponses.  Il reste ainsi certain que la discrimination à l’embauche est vraiment répandue.  L’adoption du CV anonyme éliminerait toute décision fondée sur le patronyme du candidat à la première phase du recrutement, ouvrant des portes à un système d’embauche plus neutre et objectif.  Nom, prénom, âge, photographie, date et lieu de naissance : chaque donnée inconnue.

Mais c’est là que réside le problème…

Sans aucune coordonnée, la prochaine étape de l’entretien relève de la folie.  À qui s’attendre ?  « Enchanté Monsieur/Madame/Mademoiselle Anonyme, comment vous appelez-vous ? »  C’est une scène maladroite qui ne peut ressembler qu’à une rencontre à l’aveugle.  En plus, la personne qui fait passer les entretiens finira par apprendre le nom du candidat et faire sa connaissance.  Si le recruteur est susceptible de prendre une décision basée sur des éléments discriminatoires, l’élaboration du CV anonyme ne fera que différer ce comportement jusqu’à la prochaine phase du recrutement plutôt que l’empêcher.

D’ailleurs, la discrimination positive ne sera plus possible avec le CV anonyme… 

Alors que la plupart des grandes organisations se sont engagées dans la lutte contre la discrimination en entreprise – ayant lancé des campagnes de diversité ou ayant signé la Charte de la Diversité – certaines mesures, telles que promouvoir le nombre de salariés issus de l’immigration ou féminiser une entreprise, deviendraient impossibles à l’heure de l’application du CV anonyme.  Comme l’indique une étude réalisée par le Centre de recherche en économie et statistiques (Crest), ceux qui sont issus de l’immigration, et qui manquent ainsi d’expérience professionnelle, seraient dans une position désavantageuse puisque le CV anonyme supprime toute possibilité de prendre en compte cette diversité.

Toutes choses considérées, bien que le CV anonyme paraisse ne pas être la voie à suivre, la décision de se battre contre ce type de discrimination répandue est fort louable.  Une piste d’amélioration serait peut-être de former davantage les équipes de recrutement sur les points sensibles afin de mettre fin aux préjugés à l’embauche.

À méditer et à suivre.  Qu’en pensez-vous ?  Laissez vos commentaires sous cet article !

Is the future of ‘the Cloud’ looking overcast?

Apple’s iCloud security system seemed to be in hot water last week when private photos of celebrities were published on the web and quickly spread through cyberspace.  Apple was quick to deny the allegations, stating that the hacker had retrieved the photos not through a breach of its security system, but rather through a persistent attack on passwords, usernames and security questions.

Nonetheless, concern has been raised over just how protected our data stored on the Cloud is.  And, more significantly, should ultimate liability for the security of our data lie in our hands or those of the company in question?  Given that our daily lives are forecast to be under the shadow of the Cloud forever more, how to use it securely to your advantage has never been more critical.  With this in mind, here are some crucial guidelines you should follow to keep your personal information as protected as possible and to avoid a cyberstorm.

Two-Factor Authentification

Most large companies, including Apple and Google, have introduced a security feature which is yet to be embraced by everyone: two-factor authentification.  Should you wish to access your account, not only will you need your username and password but also a code sent to your personal device, be it your mobile phone or iPad, which will shortly expire after login.  This security measure goes one step further than the mere use of passwords (evidently vulnerable to expert hackers) since possession of the handheld device connected to your account is also required.  To set up this measure on your Apple account, follow these instructions.

Password Protection

We’re ambushed by password advice: change it regularly, use a combination of numbers and letters (lower and upper case) and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.  Yet did you ever think about your security questions?  When filling them in to retrieve your password (‘What is your mother’s maiden name?’ instantly springs to mind), never supply real answers but use random combinations of words and numbers instead, such as RedDog145.  This could reduce the chance of your account getting into undesirable hands.

Keep It Offline

Yet, most importantly, if you don’t want it out of your hands, keep it offline.  It’s difficult for the non computer-savvy among us to keep up with the latest in high-tech security advice.  Better to exercise caution than to regret it later.  Ensure auto-sync to the iCloud is not set up on your Apple account because even once your documents are deleted from your phone or your laptop they may not have been eradicated from the Cloud.  Access this set-up under your iCloud settings and turn off documents and Photo Stream.

All in all, large companies have routinely relied on customer trust: do we really question what they do with our information or do we naively click ‘Agree’?  The latest attack might just bring about changes in the way companies explain the Cloud to regular consumers, which will hopefully lead to greater visibility for all.