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THE CHANGE PEOPLE PATTERN™ – SAMENESS
By Marilyne Woodsmall
HIRE RIGHT THE FIRST TIME:
THE CHANGE PEOPLE PATTERN™ – QUALIFIED SAMENESS
Remember that now more than ever, given the present state of the global economy, it is so critical in your hiring practice to choose the right job candidate who best matches the tasks to be performed. Employers cannot rely on traditional resumes and a person’s physical appearance in hiring the best people for specific jobs. Instead, when you use People Patterns™ in your hiring, you will save you time, money, and valuable resources. You will enhance your productivity since you will be hiring right the first time rather than wasting time looking for new people to replace bad hires the second time around.
Over twenty years ago, we created Profiling Plus™, our own behavioral assessment instrument that specifically targets hiring and personnel. This effective and practical behavioral tool is one that synthesizes our knowledge of behavioral change and typological research and models. In the context of these articles, we are simply focusing on one aspect of work.
People Patterns™ are so revelatory in understanding why people do what they do. Remember that knowing how a person thinks and how he or she behaves in a particular context in the execution of a given task is going to be much more informative as far as determining how competent a given individual is going to be in the execution of a certain job. I insist on reminding you of an important point. It is that the best predictor of future behavior is past history. What determines a person’s suitability for a job is best reflected by what the person has done in the past in similar situations. It is these very factors relating to past and present behavior that are revealed through People Patterns™.
In this article let’s focus on the second element of the Change People Pattern™: Qualified Sameness, as it relates to personnel and hiring. There are obviously certain tasks that are much better suited for individuals who are qualified sameness in orientation.
Interestingly, the average business person in the world is qualified sameness. Chances are that if you are the typically successful business person, you probably see the world and conduct your business through qualified sameness filters. Also, the military often appeals to those who are qualified sameness (as well as sameness people). If there is a lot of variety of task, as in special forces units or with the French Foreign Legion, for example, you will more likely find individuals who tend to have marked difference traits in their behavioral profiles.
What distinguishes a qualified sameness person from a pure sameness person is that although the former likes jobs in which there is some repetition of task, the qualified sameness person needs some elements of variety to be part of the task from time to time. Each qualified sameness person is unique in the manner in which the element of variety comes into play. For example, in sales, the individual may enjoy the sameness in terms of selling the same product line, although he or she may like to expand the customer base so that they are always seeing new people rather than focusing on the same list of customers they see all the time. Or else, they may be selling the same product and experience the difference element by traveling to different cities.
Secretarial jobs and executive assistant jobs are well suited to qualified difference in that there is usually a set routine of certain tasks that need to be performed on a daily basis such as going through mail, taking phone calls, making appointments, etc. The element of variety may manifest in the planning of events, in receiving different visitors.
In the typical business, most managers tend to be qualified sameness and they well suited to handle different types of people because they feel comfortable with repetition and variety to different degrees. I mentioned assembly work in a prior article about sameness and personnel selection. Often, it is the supervisor on a given shift who tends to be the qualified sameness (or qualified difference person depending on the tasks at hand) because he or she is the one who has to be able to deal with changes that may come up. These unexpected elements of variety may take the form of glitches in a system that have to be corrected or changes in scheduling, etc. Generally speaking, good supervisors of sameness employees tend to be qualified sameness (or qualified difference depending on the context and task in question).
The so-called seven year itch cycle applies to qualified sameness people when it comes to staying at a given job for a certain period of time. Unlike the classic sameness person who may stay in a job for years or for life, the qualified sameness person will remain at the same position or job from seven to nine years approximately. Often the time factor is dependent on how much variety the person likes to experience in the job.
The other factor that determines how long a qualified sameness person stays at a given job is often based on how long it takes the person to learn a new set of skills and increase his or her knowledge base in performing the task. As long as the qualified sameness person continues to learn new things on the job, he or she is more likely to stay at the same job. The moment that boredom sets in, then the qualified sameness person is likely to want a change of jobs.
Finally, remember that in the typical business world, most people will be qualified sameness in orientation. They will be most happy and most productive in their jobs when they have a combination of repetition and variety. The context in which the variety manifests will be different for each job and for each person, as will the duration needed for the difference factor to appear.
For practical purposes, when it comes to hiring someone who best fits a given position, it is not about a particular People Pattern™ being good or bad. It is simply a question of finding the right person with the appropriate Change People Pattern™ to fit the task or tasks needed for the job to be done with competence and ease.
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