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Personality makes the world go 'round. Depending on the people you come across, they can inspire great ideas or cause doubt or anxiety. When you brainstorm or need to problem-solve, it's often about finding the right person to collaborate with. That's how and why artists work together, to let ideas flow. That's how multi-billion Apple was born: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak's personality melded enough to create a great product.

Personality impacts everything on the job--from how they collect and observe information, their clothing choice, their relationship with colleagues, and what aspects of a job they’d enjoy (or hate). Personality doesn’t stop a single person An organization, a team, or the job itself can have a personality of its own. That’s why more and more companies, from Goldman Sachs to Disney, are assessing individual personality for job fit.

We’ve saved one customer, HappyCar, over 70% in time-to-hire for their recruitment team by delving into the personality of candidates.

Chances are you’ve heard of data-driven recruiting and hiring. 

Data-driven recruiting is ubiquitous and helpful as it uses statistics to inform every step of the hiring process, from selecting candidates to interviewing. Data assists recruitment teams to find talent, be more efficient, and reduce costs in employee turnover.

While teams should embrace data-driven recruitment strategy, it’s becoming clear that there’s another piece of the puzzle missing. In a new era of economic gain and high levels of education, employees are looking for something beyond a paycheck. According to a new report Making Work More Meaningful: Building a Fulfilling Employee Experience by PwC, 96% of employees believe fulfillment at work is possible. And they’re even willing to be paid less for work they find more fulfilling. 

If people believe---and want---to find fulfillment in their work, then what does data have to do with it?

Personality hiring


What does it mean to consider personality in the hiring process?

Personality makes a huge impact on the work life of an individual and a team. If a hiring manager decides to contract a more intuitive personality, they may be more comfortable working from home. Intuitive types are 52% more likely to be self-employed, for example. A “go-getter” personality would turn unmotivated if they were told to execute the status quo repeatedly. Differences in personality can be a competitive advantage. Learning about the personality of job candidates can bring the biggest impact. 

The extent to which someone is organized, works hard, stays on task, and perseveres to finish the job.

The extent to which someone is outgoing, assertive, friendly, and active.

The extent to which someone is cooperative, trusting, polite, and compassionate.

The extent to which someone worries, and is irritable, or easily stressed. The opposite of this trait is often called Emotional Stability.

The extent to which someone is curious, imaginative, flexible, and interested in trying new things.

Organizations turn to the Big Five Personality Model (also known as O.C.E.A.N.), to assist them in understanding employee behavior. For example, conscientiousness is the greatest predictor of how well someone will perform. This finding is consistent across a large number of research studies. 

Personality is a relatively stable set of characteristics that influence an individual's behavior. HR managers must be able to identify individual behaviors and traits so that they can understand workers' different personalities. Personalities should be discovered, helping companies and individuals apply their special traits and skills to the right role and ascertain job and cultural fit.

Personality Fit as the New Way of Hiring

Personality hiring

One person’s perception or motivation can make a ripple effect on how they make others think, feel, or prioritize tasks around them. John Dunne might as well have been talking about job fit and the workplace when he wrote, “No man is an island”. The modern workplace tends to need collaboration to some degree or another. If two people or more are working together on a task, this is “group level” work.

Individual personality differences can make a huge impact on how quickly and effectively a job is completed. It also makes an impact on how others feel around the work they’re being asked to execute. Everyone remembers small group projects at school: weren’t you terrified of being stuck with the kid who did absolutely nothing to contribute? Or being grouped with the control freak who did not allow anyone to voice their own thoughts? Focusing on the group level within an organization begins to show why identifying personality is so fundamental.

What a person values drives how they react on the team. Companies are on the hunt for that special formula that makes a team magic. Fortunately, science sheds light on how teams can perform. Deloitte’s national managing director Kim Christfort and Suzanne M. Johnson Vickberg performed a comprehensive study on team chemistry. They created questionnaires, similar to a pre-employment assessment, which contain business-relevant traits and preferences. Some teams consistently deliver high performance while other, seemingly identical teams struggle. They found that it boiled down to personality---and how differing personalities worked together.

Using data, they detected various markers across the personality spectrum. They found the ideal person was a “natural” leader” and a “charismatic connector”. They weren’t quite extroverts but they still felt comfortable approaching others to clarify and lead.

This study, led by researchers at MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory, found that personality made the difference.

That’s why it’s the new paradigm of hiring: because it means more engagement and more fulfilment for both companies and employees.


In the past, observer-based personality tests required human observers. Accordingly they occurred high costs and were prone to biases. Companies like Happycar rely on Retorio's AI-based observer ratings to solve these issues and gain faster and deeper insights into their talent pool. 

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Elizabeth T.

Written by Elizabeth T.

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