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Personality vs Behaviour: Which is the More Favourable Metric While Hiring?

Home » Personality vs Behaviour: Which is the More Favourable Metric While Hiring?

Big Five Personality Traits in Organisational Behaviour

Personality vs Behaviour: Which is the More Favourable Metric While Hiring?

Date: 15/4/2019 | Posted by: MeritTrac | Category: Behavioural Assessment , Corporate , Personality Assessment

Successful CEOs know how to build a team that performs in every situation. They hand pick each member based on individual personality traits. A strong and successful team has individuals with personalities that complement each other.

But what makes a personality and how our personal traits matter at work place? 

Can our personalities govern our behaviour too?

Which is a more accurate metric for recruiters? 

Let’s find out.

5 Different Personality Traits

Personality is a person’s distinct and enduring way of thinking, acting and feeling. You can expect them to react in a certain way. Many scientific theories have modelled our personality traits into different types. 

The Myers-Briggs type indicator identifies people into 16 different personalities. A more comprehensive model called Big Five Personality Model proposes that our personalities are made of 5 basic dimensions. They are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and emotional stability/neuroticism.

Why personality is an important metric for hiring

It’s easy to see how the Big Five Personality Models reveals favourable personalities and allows recruiters to choose the right personality mix for the given role. 

For example, a candidate with high extroversion (social skills) and emotional stability is best suited for customer relationship roles.

How personality is related to behaviour

Behaviour and personality are interlinked and one may determine the other. Our behavioural response to a certain situation or a series of situations is governed by our personality. How we behave is also influenced by environmental factors like the social setup we are in.

'Personality is what we are, and behaviour is what we do'.

As the collective organisational behaviour depends on how each team member behaves, screening the candidates for their personality is crucial.

Personality Vs Behaviour – Which one to choose?

It is easier to change and modify one’s behaviour compared to changing the personality which remains consistent. This is a strong reason for recruiters to choose personality over behaviour while screening candidates. 

Screen for personality helps recruiters make more accurate predictions about how a candidate will act in a given situation.

A study done by Academy of Management Journal in 2015 showed how personality traits accurately predict job performance in unstructured environment, establishing the need for personality assessment.

Theories of personality in organisational behavior

Personality refers to the sum of thoughts, feelings, actions, and characteristics that make an individual unique. Life experiences, heredity, culture, family background, and many other factors can determine a person’s permanent characteristics that form his personality. 

The personality or typical behavior can be analyzed by the way an individual responds to a situation, be it in their personal or professional life.

Does an individual’s personality matter when he or she works in an organization? 

Studies in organizational behavior have revealed that only individuals with the right personality traits can contribute to the smooth and efficient functioning of a team. This makes it very important to understand a candidate’s personality before hiring them for a job. 

Identifying personalities through observation alone can be a time-consuming task and is not very practical. This is why recruiters use assessments and tests to measure personality traits. 

One of the most commonly used personality assessment tests that give accurate results is the five-factor model or the Big five personality model. The test analyses the five dimensions that are considered important for individuals to function well in any job role.

Big five personality model in organizational behaviour

Top companies like Apple, GE, Citicorp, and more use the Big five personality model for recruiting candidates who have the right intent and complies with expected organizational behavior. Referred to as the OCEAN, this model helps to analyze five different personality traits.

O - Openness to experience

An individual who ranks high in the openness dimension tends to be more creative, curious, and fascinated by new ideas. They may be naturally learning agile and will also display a willingness to learn

An individual who ranks lower can be viewed as someone who is comfortable with familiar situations and has a conventional approach to things in life.

 C - Conscientiousness

A person who ranks high in the conscientious scale is determined to be dependable, organized, perseverant, and responsible. They tend to understand how the work they do makes a difference to the team and the organization they work for. 

A person who ranks low on this scale could be someone who is less organized, easily distracted, and highly unreliable. They may tend to ignore the importance of delivery work on time, maybe less considerate of team efforts, and may fail to see the larger picture when it comes to group work.

E - Extraversion

This dimension reveals a person’s comfort level when it comes to interaction with colleagues, clients, subordinates, and strangers. People who rank high on this scale can be considered as extroverts who are outgoing, friendly, and assertive. 

Extraversion is an essential quality for individuals in sales, marketing, and customer service jobs. People who rank low on this scale are shy, reserved, and may take time to analyze people and situations.

A - Agreeableness

This dimension refers to an individual‘s tendency to defer to others. Highly agreeable people are cooperative, affectionate, and trusting. This is an important trait for people who have to work in a team and collaborate with stakeholders. 

People who score low on agreeableness tend to be cold and disagreeable and may not be suited for jobs that involve working closely with other individuals.

 N - Neuroticism

This dimension helps to determine a person’s emotional stability and their ability to cope with stressful situations. People who score high tend to have positive psychological traits such as calmness and self-confidence, which are essential to do quality work. 

People with low scores are considered to have negative or poor emotional stability and may display characteristics such as nervousness, anxiety, and even depression. These factors may hamper their ability to deliver quality work.  

Tools for assessing personality

Leading companies like JP Morgan, Hewlett Packard, Citi-Group, Practo, etc. employ psychometric tests to assess the personality of a candidate. 

Psychometric tests can not only aid in better recruitment decisions, they can substantially reduce the cost of attrition or wrong hire.

Different types of personality tools include Generic Personality Questionnaire and Chat Proficiency Analyzer, both inspired by Big 5 personality factor theory, Dimension 8 inspired by 16 personality factor theory and Leadership Styles Questionnaire based on Blake Mouton Managerial Grid Model.

Behaviour assessment tools for post recruitment employee development is of crucial value for companies and can be inserted at entry, mid and leadership corporate levels.

The format and scientific outset of this test can also weed out fake and duped candidatures.

Create your winning team

MeritTrac’s suite of behavioral and personality assessments help organizations evaluate employees on various factors such as workplace thinking style, willingness to learn, leadership capabilities, generic personality, sales situational personality, and customer service orientation.

The suite has delivered over 3 million assessments delivered to date to 400 clients across the world. Assessment platforms such as Pariksha and SmartTest are enabling companies to deploy assessments with high validity and reliability scores to identify the right-fit candidates. 

MeritTrac empowers companies to create the right hiring strategy to transform their workforce with its many assessment products and solutions.



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