5 Important Personality Traits And Why They Matter

By Tom Wilde

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With cultural fit often cited as the reason why employees exit a company after only a short period, leaving you to start the time-consuming and costly recruitment process again (not to mention the lost investment you’ve already made in this employee) and it becomes clear why employers would want to assess fit at the interview stage. In this guest post, Pierre-François Verley, co-founder and CEO of Talentoday, discusses key personality traits you should look for in candidates, and how to identify these.

A recent study shows 78 percent believe personality is the most desirable quality in employees, beating out skill-set (39 percent) by a considerable margin.

If hiring managers took the opportunity to gain more in-depth insight into the minds of job candidates before making a hiring decision, they would find better fitting candidates and lower turnover. In fact, the majority of HR professionals (71 percent) indicate that personality tests can be useful in predicting job-related behaviour or organizational fit.

In general, there are five categories of traits that help define personalities in the workplace. Exhibiting higher levels of some traits will compliment some positions better than others, so it’s important to keep in mind what you’re hiring for.

Look out for candidates who possess traits within the following categories:
 

1. Communicate

Traits in communication include ease in public, opening up to others, diplomacy, and persuasion. Candidates who score high in communicate categories are open to new ideas and comfortable with sharing their own. If they fall on the low end of communication traits, they tend to avoid imposing their opinions on others.

How to spot: High communicators love to talk and grow their network. You can usually find them at a variety of events, both professional and social, either on stage or standing in front of a few people speaking monologues recounting recent experiences. Online, you’ll find them blogging, leading discussions, and constantly sharing interesting information.

Complimentary jobs: Candidates who score high in communicate categories fit well in jobs like public relations, marketing, customer service, and hospitality. Candidates who score low in communicate categories fit well in jobs like bookkeeper, accountant, and software engineer.

 

2. Manage

Traits in management include leading, taking responsibility, organization, and vision. Candidates who score high in these traits are comfortable leading others and are well-organized. They possess the vision needed to see a project through, always keeping the long-term goal in mind. Candidates who score low in management traits don’t like to lead others or be in charge.

How to spot: Typically, you’ll find managers walking with a crowd of friends trailing behind them. They are usually planners, as well as the go-to people when something’s wrong. If you’re at a networking event, you can spot a manager carrying a large portfolio binder with colour-coded tabs. You might even see someone stop to ask them for directions, mistaking them for an event host.

Complimentary jobs: Candidates who score high in manage categories fit well in jobs like project lead, general manager, event planner, and instructor. Candidates who score low in manage categories fit well in jobs like security guard, assembly line worker, cashier, and maintenance.

 

3. Dare

Traits in the dare category include self-confidence, an independent mind, creativity, and autonomy. Candidates who score high in these traits aren’t afraid to take risks. They are confident in their potential to succeed. These independent thinkers share their out-of-the-box ideas. Candidates who score low in these traits are more cautious and would prefer not to be placed in situations requiring risky decisions.

How to spot: You’re more likely to run into these candidates at entrepreneurial events looking for a startup to create or invest in. These inventors may also be found at tech or hobby conventions showing off or talking about their newest idea. Additionally, you may find them skydiving or talking about a mountain climbing expedition.

Complimentary jobs: Candidates who score high in dare categories fit well in jobs like entrepreneur, designer, department store buyer, and politician. Candidates who score low in dare categories fit well in jobs like librarian, receptionist, and data analyst.

 

4. Adapt

Traits in the adapt category include stress management, responsiveness, patience, and respect for authority. High adapters are quick to respond to an emergency and able to maintain composure while calming down others. They follow procedures by the rulebook and have a high respect for authority. Those who score low in these traits don’t like quick changes and tend to be easily upset by stressful situations.

How to spot: You might find adapters standing in a long line, patiently waiting while others grumble around them. Should an accident occur in the vicinity, the adapter will be the first person to the rescue, telling everyone to stay calm.

Complimentary jobs: Candidates who score high in adapt categories fit well in jobs like emergency medical technician, firefighter, doctor, and police officer. Candidates who score low in adapt categories fit well in jobs like engineer, lawyer, and computer programmer.

 

5. Excel

Traits in the excel category include determination, ambition, work ethic, and competitive spirit. Individuals who score high in these traits are highly competitive and possess unquenchable drive and ambition. They are persistent and unafraid of rivalry or hard work. Those who score low in these traits are more cooperative than competitive and don’t like to make sacrifices to accomplish goals.

How to spot: You’ll likely find these candidates cheering in the stands of a football game or playing on the field. If not athletic, they will probably enter other competitions at industry events. They speak with passion, and make bold statements as though they can determine an outcome by speaking it into existence. Additionally, you may find them repeating positive affirmations.

Complimentary jobs: Candidates who score high in excel categories fit well in jobs like sales rep, real estate agent, athlete, or coach. Candidates who score low in excel categories fit well in jobs like programmer, guidance counsellor, judge, and accountant.

 

Pierre-François Verley is the co-founder and CEO of Talentoday, a psychometric, social and data-driven career guidance solution. Connect with Pierre-François and Talentoday on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

 

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