Did You Do Your Background Checks Before Hiring? Here Is The Most Irritating Workplace Personality
Hiring the wrong person can be costly. Employers who conduct thorough background checks reduce the likelihood of hiring someone whose personality causes problems in the workplace. Self-centeredness, a personality trait known in the field of psychology as “narcissism,” commonly causes so much irritation that coworkers of a person with this trait refuse to work with the narcissistic employee. They may even decide to look for work elsewhere. Information below will help you recognize the narcissistic personality before it causes problems.
Signs of a Narcissistic Personality
Narcissism presents itself in several forms. In the business world, persons with this personality trait commonly are known as “prima donnas.” Because they think the world revolves around them, they often are undisciplined and vain. Not only do other employees find them difficult to work with, prima donnas find it hard to be contributing, cooperative team members. They continually want to be in the spotlight.
Because prima donnas are motivated to hog the spotlight, they may be are high achievers. High achievers who are not narcissistic will focus on the work others did in helping to reach goals. Narcissistic employees talk only of themselves.
Prima donnas who have been with a company a long time sometimes expect favors. They tend to think that they have a right to privileges that other employees do not have. For example, they may believe it is okay for them to come to work late or leave early because they have “done so much” for the company. They might start taking longer lunches than other workers, or they might sit back and let someone else do the work that they previously handled themselves.
The narcissistic personality usually is a manipulative personality. Prima donnas often learned early in life how to create a world that revolves around them. They know how to get their way and can be very persuasive.
The art of persuasion, used correctly, is a valuable trait. For example, a persuasive worker who is not narcissistic may use persuasion to help others make choices that are truly beneficial to the other persons. The prima donna’s underlying motivation in manipulating or persuading someone else, however, is the resulting benefit for the prima donna.
Tips to Bring Out Personality Traits in Background Checks
There are several ways to find out more about the personality of a prospective employee when conducting a background check. Here are a few ideas to assist in discovering undesirable traits.
- When checking references, ask detailed questions that are open-ended. An example is, “What were the employee’s strengths and weaknesses in working on projects as a member of a team?”
- Also ask a few questions that give the person providing the information a choice between two answers, such as “Were there instances where John Doe acted on his own accord to help another employee, or did he pretty much stay to himself?”
- Expand reference checks beyond those provided by the prospective employee. Check with former coworkers. Ask questions that will reveal how your prospective new hire came across to them. Did he or she seem genuinely interested in other people? How did the employee react when things did not go his or her way?