Job performance is multifaceted. To fully measure a candidate’s potential future job performance, we recommend leveraging a personality assessment. In this article, you’ll learn more about how measuring personality during selection can give you a competitive advantage.

It’s well-established that cognitive ability is highly predictive of task performance. However, performance is multifaceted. The other half of performance is contextual performance, which is characterized by prosocial behaviors, support of organizational initiatives, collaboration, and other essential behaviors that benefit the organization but may not directly relate to task performance. To best predict future performance, our experts recommend focusing on skills or abilities related to performance and measuring personality traits that relate to performance.

What is personality?
Personality is a measure of behavioral tendencies. Those used in selection focus on behavioral tendencies typical in the workplace (e.g., I keep my desk organized). Personality is stable throughout someone’s life. It also is predictive of aspects of task and contextual performance. For example, drive and order are predictive of task performance since it measures someone’s determination to accomplish goals and organization, respectively. This stable estimate of workplace behavioral tendencies allows organizations to identify the “soft” aspects of performance compared to direct skills and abilities.

The Personality Advantage
Using personality in selection has two key advantages: (1) predicts performance and (2) is customizable to job requirements or organizational culture. Personality predicts additional aspects of performance above and beyond cognitive ability tests. Thus, using a personality assessment adds value in addition to other assessments. Essentially, personality is able to provide additional information about a candidate’s potential performance, such as their organizational, collaborative, and social tendencies, to name a few.

Additionally, personality assessments, such as our Insight assessment, can easily be customized to fit the needs of a specific job or your organizational culture. While Insight measures 13 key dimensions of performance, we hone these to focus on 4-6 that are essential for success in your specific job. This allows you to focus on the most essential aspects of performance for your job. In the same way, we can customize the Insight assessment to measure success based on your organizational culture. We map these dimensions onto your global competency model, allowing you to identify those that would thrive in your organization’s culture.

However, if a custom approach doesn’t suit your selection needs, we also have off-the-shelf versions created by our Industrial-Organizational Psychologists to measure success in general roles, such as sales. These profiles can be quickly implemented off-the-shelf, allowing you to quickly gain an understanding of a candidate’s performance potential. Simply harness the power of this assessment without having to use a custom approach.

Performance is multidimensional. To gather a full view of a candidate’s performance potential, use multiple assessment tools. Leverage a personality assessment to predict contextual performance. That is a type of performance embodied by prosocial behaviors, collaboration, and other essential behaviors. Using a personality assessment allows you to have a fuller view of a candidate’s potential.