- Employees whose personality traits are finely aligned with those considered ideal for a job earn more than those whose personality traits are less aligned, according to a study published in Psychological Science, an Association for Psychological Science journal.
- Tilburg University researcher Jaap J. A. Denissen said the findings show that the combination of personality traits and job demands can be used to predict certain outcomes, such as income. The researchers questioned the idea that there's an ideal personality for a job, but concluded that a match or mismatch between a personality and a job is significant when looking at outcomes like earnings.
- The research results also showed the opposite; in some cases, people with less aligned personality traits sometimes earned more than those whose traits go beyond what's needed for the job.
Personality tests can have hit-or-miss results, like most tests. Recruiters might find studies like this useful in crafting job descriptions, although even the researchers don't think an ideal personality exists for a given job. But this study does give credence to the test's growing popularity as a recruitment tool, especially in the age of data-based recruitment techniques.
Be cautious when implementing certain language into job descriptions, however. Though in many cases not illegal, some observers charge terms like "culture fit" and "digital native" with perpetuating harmful stereotypes in recruitment. That effect could set diversity hiring goals back significantly, should applicants from certain backgrounds feel discouraged.
Employers need to follow recruitment strategies with ROI in mind, and that could include adopting sophisticated (or immersive) personality assessment tests. But they should be cautious about using such tests and refrain from depending on guaranteed results.