Can Your Personality Predict Your Job Performance?

Can Your Personality Predict Your Job Performance?


You are a recruiter, screening through a number of resumes to hire someone who will work hard and achieve more. Should you bother trying to know their personalities? This study by Murray Barrick and Michael Mount says you may benefit from doing so. It says that job performances can be predicted by looking at their Big Five personality dimensions. “Big Five” personality traits model describes five dimensions that are based on cross-language regularities in describing personalities, based on Lewis Goldberg’s work. These regularities, called lexical universals, are identified as: You can remember these easily by thinking of: Okay then, what does each dimension exactly mean, then? Openness refers specifically to the openness to experience. Think of characteristics like: intellectual, imaginative, and independent-minded. Conscientiousness is associated with characteristics like: orderly, responsible, and dependable. Extraversion is related to adjectives like: talkative, assertive, and energetic. Agreeableness is correlated to trust, straight forwardness, altruism, compliance, modesty, and tender-mindedness. Neuroticism implies a personality trait related to anxiety, hostility, depression, impulsiveness, and vulnerability. So what kinds of relationships did Barrick and Mount find, between these Big Five personality dimensions and job performances? Some findings were very specific, like: Extraversion was a valid predictor for job performances of managers and sales, whose interpersonal dispositions are important for the success. Openness to Experience and Extraversion were valid predictors of the training performances of the employees, which is influenced by the employees’ readiness to participate. However, one personality dimension stood out: Conscientiousness showed consistent relations with all types of job performances for all kinds of occupations investigated in the study. So it seems that by putting effort to learn about candidates’ personalities, you are increasing the chance of getting not only an enjoyable colleague, but also a productive one.

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