Had an interesting email this week which raised a few issues, not least being the question “what is personality ?”

PeopleMaps has developed a personality system to compare with SHL, Myers Briggs, Thomas International, DISC and the Enneagram. It lets you design customized personality reports by assembling relevant topics.

The PeopleMaps System was developed as far back as 2001 and 1.4 million people have completed the questionnaire. It’s there to do two things;

  1. Help you understand self
  2. Help you understand others

We also spend a lot of time on two other areas; recruitment and career development. These are two sides of the same coin and in reality both employers and candidates have the same objective. PeopleMaps helps both achieve this.

What is Personality in Recruitment and Interviews

When it comes to application PeopleMaps spends a lot of time working with employers helping them make better hiring decisions. We provide training called How To Hire How To Interview where we look more closely at personality psychology at every stage of the interview.

Let me be clear, I believe 100% in personality centric recruitment. I believe that personality is the bedrock of all good hiring decisions. I make no apology for this stance.

Even if an candidate ticks every other box in terms of skills and experience, if their personality is not a good fit for the environment you will place them in as their employer then it’s less likely to work out in the long run.

What is Personality in Career Development

When it comes to career development, I believe 100% in personality centric career development; in fact PeopleMaps pioneered it. Again I make no apology for this.

If you are to enjoy sustainable success then you should place yourself in a work environment that is in harmony with your core personality. You should work to your natural strengths and not spend a ton of energy peddling up hill.

I believe that when you are working to your natural strengths you are more productive and more creative. I believe that you will achieve more success for longer when working to your natural strengths.

C’mon Martin… Answer me for once… You never do… Last chance before I start to get really verbal and demonstrative about the touchy feeliness of Career Development.

I endeavor to answer everyone that contacts me. So let me deal with this question directly. I do not believe that personality centric career development is “touchy feely”, I believe it is the only practical and pragmatic way foreward. I believe that you should enjoy your work and find it personally satisfying. When your work environment and your personality are in harmony then you stand more chance of this happening. It’s hard to image sustainable success if you hate your work.

To succeed you will need to put in a lot of hours. You will need to do a lot more than you are paid for and the only way I can see this being sustainable is if you actually love the work itself.

So I do not see my approach as “touchy feely”, I see it is as completely pragmatic and effective.

What do I mean by personality

Here is an extract I received in an email this week, which has prompted me to clarify an issue;

I’ve worked in so Companies that went for the “best fit”.. Most “best fit” employees. in my experience, were inept at best but they were great at the Christmas Party.

what is personalityI think what is being confused here are the terms performance and personality. I embrace the entire personality spectrum. When I am talking about hiring on personality, I do not mean “personality =  good at Christmas parties“. I only talk about personality in the Jungian sense. There are an infinite number of work environments out there, requiring people from the entire personality spectrum.

One of the issues I deal with in the How To Hire course is all about knowing the difference between “the better interviewer” and “the better candidate”. I teach line managers how to hire the right personality for the job, not the personality they happen to like best and get on with best at the interview.

I believe many bad hiring decisions are made because they do not hire on personality but instead hire on performance.

The term “personality” means different things to different people. I wanted to clarify my answer to “what is personality ?”. I hope in this article I have clarified what I mean by personality centric career development and by personality centric recruitment.


Further Reading

You may also enjoy reading about how we made a Personality Test  that is easy to use.

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