Personality Profiling - Individualism v Altruism and Familiarity Seeking v Novelty Seeking
This is the fourth article in this month’s series exploring Motivations, Aspirations and Values in personality profiling as a recruitment tool. The full series can be found at monarchpersonnel.com.
This month, our exploration of personality profiling has guided us through various opposing factors that influence our motivations, aspirations and values. The final factors are Individualism v Altruism and Familiarity Seeking v Novelty Seeking.
These factors tell us much about a candidate’s willingness to help others, their attitude to personal and group objectives, and how eager they might be to experiment with new ideas and approaches.
Individualism v Altruism
‘Individualism’ refers to being practical and realistic with a focus on personal objectives.
‘Altruism’ is the inclination to be concerned about people, generous with time and resources, and wanting to contribute to the greater good.
If a candidate scores highly on Individualism, they see more value in focussing on their own projects than getting involved in group endeavours. They are comfortable working in their own bubble but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to contribute. They just feel more productive when focussing on their own challenges. Suitable roles would be those in which there is a minimal need for team integration.
Altruistic candidates are keen to be helpful and supportive, and integrate their own professional goals with those of the group. They will be concerned about the wellbeing of colleagues and will actively support them when needed, with a determination to find solutions that help others.
These candidates would be suited to companies that actively encourage social responsibility and people development. They have a tendency, however, to ignore their own needs which can adversely affect their performance.
Familiarity Seeking v Novelty Seeking
‘Familiarity Seeking’ refers to being comfortable with the status quo and following proven methods, rather than embracing experimental approaches.
‘Novelty Seeking’ is defined as being inquisitive with an inclination to explore and experiment with new ways of doing things.
Familiarity seeking candidates are very much in the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” camp. They’re comfortable with what they’re accustomed to, shying away from change or experimenting with ideas and procedures.
Organisations that thrive on working to set procedures, and are not in the market for dynamic disrupters, benefit from the stability of a familiarity seeker. There is a tendency, however, for those who score highly on Familiarity Seeking to be uncomfortable with change. Their reluctance to adopt new methods of working can adversely affect the growth of the organisation.
Candidates who score highly on Novelty Seeking actively pursue change and innovation. They are inquisitive and like to come up with ideas and ways of improving established methods. Likely to take risks, they are always looking to learn new things and invent new approaches.
Novelty seekers thrive in changing and diverse settings that require experimental ways of working. Their ideal role is one where they are given the freedom to inspire others with cutting-edge ideas, and where they can apply their innovation and commitment to improving outdated practices. A potential weakness, however, might lie in their dismissal of flaws in new methods for the sake of doing something new.
Look out for the next article
The fifth and final article in the September series will be published next Wednesday, September 29th. This is one not to be missed! We will be taking a deep dive into our director Pam Steed’s personality profile to examine how it reflects her life and career.
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