Personality Hire: What is it and why is Important in the workplace

By Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder
Published: Feb 15, 2024
Hiring for cultural fit and soft skills is critical, yet most organizations struggle to quantify such traits during the selection process. In this post, we’ll define personality hiring and how it can help you attract and retain the right people.
A magnifying glass focusing on one of the paper cutouts of a person among a line of cutouts, representing the concept of scrutinizing individual personalities for a cultural fit in the workplace.

Hiring for cultural fit and soft skills is critical, yet most organizations struggle to quantify such traits during the selection process.

Personality assessments provide a solution – enabling companies to make more informed “personality hires” that drive higher engagement, satisfaction, and retention.

In this post, we’ll define personality hiring, discuss its workplace benefits, review top pre-employment personality tests, and share best practices for effectively screening candidates to find those poised to thrive in your unique environment.

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Personality hiring assesses candidates’ traits to ensure cultural and role fit, enhancing workplace harmony and retention.
  • Using personality assessments helps identify candidates with the right soft skills and cultural alignment, improving hiring decisions.
  • Implementing personality-based hiring leads to better job satisfaction, reduced turnover, and a more cohesive team environment.

Introduction to Personality Hire

A person in a blue sweater is participating in a video call with a smiling man on the screen, who is waving hello. There's a resume on the table in front of the person, indicating a possible job interview or meeting scenario.

Personality hire refers to the practice of assessing job candidates’ personality traits and soft skills during the hiring process to determine their potential fit with a company’s culture and values.

As organizations increasingly recognize the importance of soft skills and cultural alignment, personality assessments have become a critical part of the recruitment process.

Defining Personality Hire in the Workplace

Personality hire is the use of psychometric assessments and other personality-focused hiring tools to evaluate how well a candidate’s inherent traits, behaviors and soft skills align with an organization.

Assessing personality helps hiring managers understand if someone has the right mix of qualities to succeed in a role and integrate seamlessly into the existing team and culture. It provides data-driven insights to complement skills testing and interviews when making hiring decisions.

The Significance of Soft Skills in Hiring

Soft skills like communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and adaptability have become vital predictors of performance in many jobs.

Since these competencies are linked to personality, assessments help determine how candidates might apply soft skills.

For example, assessing someone’s level of extroversion can indicate their ability to work effectively in teams.

Testing for qualities like conscientiousness and openness provides insight into their capacity to take initiative, manage priorities, and adapt to changes.

Importance of Company Culture Fit

Every organization has a unique culture defined by its values, norms and unwritten rules.

Assessing alignment through personality testing helps ensure new hires embrace aspects like communication styles, pace of work, attitudes to risk, collaboration norms and leadership.

It safeguards against costly mismatches that undermine engagement, retention and performance.

The goal is to hire people whose natural mindsets and ways of working sync with the culture. This cultural fit allows employees to assimilate faster and achieve their full potential.

Why is it important to consider personality in hiring?

"A red game piece stands on a block with a checkmark, elevated above four other plain game pieces on a plain blue background, symbolizing standout qualities or selection."

Hiring the right people for your company is crucial for success. Personality assessments can give you invaluable insights into a candidate’s work style, strengths, and potential areas for growth.

Here’s why personality should play a role in who you hire:

Fits Company Culture

A pre-employment personality test can determine if a candidate will thrive in your company’s environment.

For example, if your culture is fast-paced and collaborative, you’ll want to hire those with high energy and teamwork abilities.

Assessments expose work style preferences to find optimal culture fits.

Predicts Job Performance

Research shows personality tests accurately forecast on-the-job behaviors.

Those with traits like discipline, curiosity, and composure often outperform.

Judging personality gives data to predict performance in specific roles. This enables informed hiring decisions.

Identifies Development Areas

While revealing strengths, tests also uncover development needs.

You can then create personalized training programs focusing on those areas. This promotes growth and helps employees reach their potential faster.

Boosts Retention

By only hiring optimal matches, companies reduce turnover costs and retain top talent longer.

Employees who align with the job and culture are more engaged, satisfied, and less likely to quit.

Carefully screening personality leads to better hires who drive results, fit your culture, develop quickly, and stay loyal to the company.

Skilled talent has a major impact, so take the time to understand who will perform best.

Why is personality important in the workplace?

A hand holding a magnifying glass focuses on a wooden figure standing atop a pyramid of wooden blocks against a bright yellow background, depicting scrutiny or evaluation.

Personality is crucial in the workplace because it impacts job performance, team dynamics, leadership, and company culture.

Understanding personality enables organizations to:

Boost Productivity

Employees who possess personalities well-suited to their roles and work environments tend to have higher job satisfaction.

This leads to better performance, less absenteeism, and longer employee retention.

Improve Teamwork

Diversity of personality across teams creates balance and allows members to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Shared personality attributes also enable better communication and collaboration.

Identify Leaders

Certain personality traits like confidence, vision, persistence, and influence are common among great leaders.

Assessing these qualities helps identify and develop future managers.

Maintain Culture

Hiring people with personalities aligned to company values and goals helps sustain a positive culture. Like-minded teams bond more easily.

Personality assessments provide insight to make better talent decisions during the recruitment process, and continued evaluation also enables personalized coaching and development opportunities.

Ultimately, the impact of personality cannot be ignored.

Embracing differences while connecting on shared attributes is key to an engaged, successful workplace.

Benefits of Personality Assessments in Hiring

A hand is placing a wooden block with a person icon in a row with identical blocks, on a blue background, representing inclusion or team assembly in the workplace.

Personality assessments provide several advantages during the hiring process.

When used properly, they can enhance candidate screening, reduce turnover rates, and improve job satisfaction.

Enhanced Candidate Screening with Personality Assessments

Personality assessments help identify candidates that best fit the role requirements and company culture.

They provide insights into soft skills that are hard to gauge from interviews alone. Assessments screen for qualities like:

  • Communication style
  • Work preferences
  • Conflict resolution tendencies
  • Leadership capabilities
  • Culture add

This additional data helps make more informed hiring decisions. You can better determine expected performance and alignment with team values.

Reduced Turnover Rates Through Personality Fit

Studies show that personality misfit is a top reason employees leave jobs.

Assessing for fit means finding people invested long-term, which saves money on continually recruiting and training new hires.

Retaining good employees also provides stability. Teams can focus on goals instead of managing turnover disruption. 

Improved Job Satisfaction via Culture Fit

Shared values and norms boost engagement and satisfaction. Employees feel welcomed when their personality aligns with company culture.

For example, outspoken people may struggle in quiet cultures. Assessments ensure people match the communication style. This leads to more collaboration and less frustration.

In short, fitting personality to culture creates an environment for employees to excel. This translates to better individual and team performance.

Pre-Employment Assessment Tools for Personality Hiring

A magnifying glass focusing on a group of pink abstract shapes against a blue background, suggesting close examination or analysis.

Pre-employment assessment tools can provide invaluable insights into a candidate’s personality, helping ensure an optimal hire. Tools like The Predictive Index, Talogy Caliper, Hogan Personality Inventory, and more evaluate traits like motivation, cognitive abilities, and workplace behaviors.

Integrating assessments into the hiring process promotes better candidate-job fit, as well as long-term job satisfaction and performance. This leads to reduced turnover rates and a more engaged, productive workforce.

The Predictive Index and Talogy Caliper in Action

The Predictive Index (PI) measures four primary drives that shape workplace behaviors – dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance. Understanding where candidates fall on these scales offers a window into how they’ll communicate, collaborate, lead, and make decisions.

Similarly, Talogy Caliper focuses on assessing overarching personality traits – assertiveness, sociability, manageability, composure, curiosity, and learning approach. Their scientifically-validated methodology predicts future on-the-job behaviors with striking accuracy.

Both tools provide simple, visual reports that allow recruiters and hiring managers to evaluate fit and potential culture alignment. Rather than relying solely on interviews and resumes, these assessments add quantifiable data to guide smarter hiring.

The Hogan Personality Inventory and HEXACO Personality Inventory

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) evaluates everyday behaviors central to job performance across seven dimensions – adjustment, ambition, sociability, interpersonal sensitivity, prudence, inquisitiveness, and learning approach.

The HEXACO Personality Test is another extensively researched option that measures honesty-humility, emotionality, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience.

These multidimensional analyses give comprehensive insight that interviews or references alone cannot provide. They quantify soft skills crucial for specific roles, forecasting how applicants will collaborate with colleagues, lead projects, resolve conflicts, and more.

Highmatch Assessment and SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire

For senior-level hires, Highmatch Assessment and SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) are particularly useful. Both leverage decades of research to pinpoint leadership behaviors that drive organizational excellence.

Highmatch focuses exclusively on executive roles, evaluating strategic thinking, composure, resourcefulness, and determination. SHL OPQ measures 32 different personality characteristics, mapping senior leaders’ capabilities to the most critical business needs.

Incorporating these high-level analyses allows businesses to benchmark talent, predict leadership success, develop rising stars’ capabilities, and facilitate smooth executive transitions.

Conclusion: Synthesizing the Value of Personality Hire

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Recap of Personality Hire Advantages

Integrating personality assessments into the hiring process can provide several key advantages:

  • Improved screening of job candidates to identify better fits
  • Higher employee retention rates from better culture matches
  • Enhanced onboarding and management with insight into work styles
Reaffirming the Impact of Personality Assessments on Quality Hires

Using validated personality evaluations enables hiring managers to select applicants that align with open roles and company values. Rather than relying solely on resumes, these tools provide deeper insight into candidates’ working styles, motivations and fit.

Carefully matching people to roles based on personality assessments leads to improved job satisfaction, performance and retention.

Best Practices for Effective Personality-Based Hiring

To effectively adopt personality-based hiring, organizations should:

  • Select reputable assessment tools that align with the company’s needs
  • Ensure hiring managers are trained on interpreting results
  • Use personality insight alongside other hiring criteria
  • Re-evaluate processes periodically to optimize use of evaluations

Following structured best practices can maximize the impact of personality assessments on hiring the right people.

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Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder

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