The use of personality profiles in personnel selection: an exploration of issues encountered in practical applications
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The purpose of this study was to explore the issues that are typically encountered when using personality instruments for personnel selection. Cattell's Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) was used in the study to predict job performance in a small team-based manufacturing organization. Issues including the utility of the 16PF in this setting, the bandwidth fidelity argument (to use narrow or broad traits), and whether job-specific versus company-wide profiles provide better prediction success were addressed. The usefulness of the organization's current selection process of using the 16PF to generate interview questions was also investigated. Results indicate that the 16PF can be a useful tool for personnel selection in this setting and that the 16PF was able to correctly classify if an applicant was going to be successful over 86% of the time. Evidence for using narrow factors instead of broad factors was also presented, and the benefits of using job specific profiles were discussed. The limitations of this study were addressed, which included conducting this type of research with relatively small sample sizes. Additionally, this study provides suggestions for additional research in the future.
Shelton, Matthew Larrence (2004). The use of personality profiles in personnel selection: an exploration of issues encountered in practical applications. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from