Academic journal article New Zealand Journal of Psychology

Criterion-Related Validity of a Measure of Person-Job and Person-Organization Fit

Academic journal article New Zealand Journal of Psychology

Criterion-Related Validity of a Measure of Person-Job and Person-Organization Fit

Article excerpt

The Omnia Profile[R] is a popular tool used by organizations throughout New Zealand to assess job applicants' person-organization fit (P-O fit), person-job fit (P-J fit), and overall compatibility in personnel selection. Despite its popularity, however, this selection instrument has received virtually no prior research attention. The present study investigated the criterion-related validity of the Omnia Profile[R] using three criterion variables (job performance, job satisfaction and organisational commitment). It was carried out using a predictive validity strategy in two private-sector organizations (one in New Zealand and one in Australia). Results indicated that, contrary to expectation, the P-O fit measure correlated significantly with job performance, but not with attitudinal measures; and the P-J fit measure correlated significantly with both job satisfaction and organisational commitment, but not job performance. Combined overall compatibility scores failed to predict job performance (as used in practice), though they did predict attitudinal criteria. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

Organisations are using new selection methods in the interest of avoiding the increased cost and time in dismissing employees unfit for the position. Increasingly, firms are basing their selection decisions on standardized techniques and tests that practitioners believe will aid them in selecting the best person for the position and for the company. In the present study, we test the criterion related validity of the Omnia Profile[R], a popular selection instrument that assesses applicants' `fit', based on measures of both person-job fit (P-J fit) and person-organization fit (P-O fit).

The Omnia Profile[R] is reported to be a widely used fit measure for staff selection in New Zealand and Australia.(1) The test's distributor, The Omnia Group Inc., have indicated that, to date, the Omnia Profile[R] is used by over 10,500 client organizations in 20 countries (The Omnia Group Inc., 1987). The Omnia Group (NZ) Ltd reported that, in Australasia, the profile is regularly used as part of a standardized selection process by 150 organizations. In what follows, we review P-J and P-O fit literature germane to personnel selection instrumentation, and then review theoretical antecedents of the Omnia Profile[R] instrument.

P-J Fit and P-O Fit

The investigation of person-job fit has been a central concern in organisational research extending back 50 years. In a major review of person-job fit literature, Edwards (1991) came to the conclusion that the vast majority of empirical P-J fit research has focused on the fit between employee desires (i.e., the person side of the fit index) and job supplies (i.e., the job side of the fit index). With a few exceptions, most studies reviewed showed consistent positive relationship between P-J fit and work attitudes such as job satisfaction and organisational commitment (Dawis & Lofquist, 1984; Holland 1997; Locke, 1976; Tziner, 1987). The relationship of P-J fit with job performance has been less consistent, with a mixture of positive (Caldwell & O'Reilly, 1990; Tziner, 1987), and negative results (London & Klimoski, 1975; Porter & Lawler, 1968).

Many researchers have suggested that it is imperative to take into account the organization as a whole (including the organization's culture, climate, goals, etc.) and how the candidate will fit within it (Barrett, 1995; Bowen, Ledford, & Nathan, 1991; Chatman, 1989; Kristof, 1996; O'Reilly, Chatman & Caldwell, 1991). For instance, Bowen et. al (1991) have argued that selecting people whose personalities are compatible with the organisational culture creates a flexible workforce with employees who can be moved easily between jobs. In a major review of person-organisation fit literature, Kristof (1996) came to the conclusion that empirical results supporting positive consequences for P-O fit predicting job satisfaction and organisational commitment was extensive (Boxx, Odom, & Dunn, 1991; Chatman, 1991; O'Reilly, Chatman & Caldwell, 1991). …

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