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Hiring the right people to work with is often a challenging task. For varying reasons, employers prefer certain candidates over others. Generally, choosing to work with people who are similar to us has a good side as well as a bad side. This paper compares the effect of hiring a likable fool and that of hiring a competent jerk. To a large extent, managers hire individuals based on their level of competence or how likable they are.
Fool versus Jerk: Who would you hire?
While some people prefer working with individuals with a likable personality, others would rather work with knowledgeable and experienced workers, whether or not they are lovable. Arguably, some managers would not care about individuals who are great performers if such individuals are not pleased to work with (Casciaro & Lobo, 2005).
While it is generally difficult to choose between competence and likability, I agree with the authors of the article that working with individuals who are lovable has greater benefits for any organization. A critical look at the article clearly shows that solid relations at the workplace can easily be formed when management focuses on employing individuals with a pleasant personality. Without a doubt, such employees are able to work very closely with one another to ensure the realization of organizational objectives. In addition, they can collaborate quite well on joint tasks (Casciaro & Lobo, 2005). Arguably, most managers will choose not to work with a competent jerk despite the fact that such a person may be an excellent performer.
By and large, organizations rely on teams to be able to deliver effectively on work tasks. In order to create great teams in the workplace, it is important to have an environment where great relationships may be built and strengthened. The creation and development of such teams is, however, a big challenge if individuals can not socialize well. Undoubtedly, hiring likable individuals simplifies the process of creating teams that can facilitate the achievement of organizational goals. Working with individuals who are similar in the way that they look at issues also improves the decision-making process in organizations. While reaching an agreement in a diverse environment has its challenges, decision making is fast and easy, where employees are similar in their approach to issues.
According to Casciaro and Lobo (2005), an organization will prefer a competent jerk over a likable fool for various reasons. While a fool might not be very knowledgeable, it is apparently easier to get information from him or her than getting it from a competent jerk. Typically, competent jerks might know so much, but what is known to them may not be passed to any other person in the organization because of their personality. On the contrary, a fool may be happy to share with fellow employees what is known to him or her without any reservations. There are, however, drawbacks associated with hiring likable individuals. First, the overall quality of work may decline due to a lack of seriousness. There is a possibility that managers who hire people who are similar to them create a room for laxity. As a consequence, individuals may end up having so much fun and forgetting to work as expected.
Based on the arguments presented in the article and as explained in this paper, I would personally prefer hiring a lovable fool instead of a competent jerk. Hiring a likable fool makes it possible for an organization to create high-performance teams and simplify the decision-making process. Furthermore, ideas can be shared among colleagues very easily.
Casciaro, T. & Lobo, M. S. (2005). Fool vs. Jerk: Whom Would You Hire? Web.