The job market is filled with a diverse array of jobs suited for an equally diverse set of personalities. A sales associate probably won’t have the same personality as a software developer, nor should they. There are very few personality traits that are predictive of success across every type of position. However, extensive research has demonstrated that one personality trait is correlated with success in just about every job out there. That trait is Conscientiousness.
Conscientiousness is one of the five traits in the Big Five model of personality, one of the most established and studied personality theories. The Big Five has been around for a while, gaining wider acceptance during the 1980s. Since that time, researchers have painstakingly analyzed each of the five traits for correlations in all areas of life.
One consistent finding shows that Conscientiousness is the trait that has the strongest impact on employment. In effect, Conscientiousness is strongly correlated with productivity and workplace performance, meaning that people who score highly on the Conscientiousness scale are more likely to be successful and productive employees.
So what is Conscientiousness? In simplest terms, conscientious people are hardworking, reliable, organized, and deliberate. They are motivated and eager to achieve. They have a drive to get things done. At face value, all the qualities that make up Conscientiousness are highly desirable in any employee. But most importantly, there is extensive science to back up the role Conscientiousness plays in workplace success, and this scientific validation is what makes the trait so powerful. In fact, other than cognitive aptitude, Conscientiousness is the variable that is the most consistently predictive of success across a wide range of employment scenarios.
The Employee Personality Profile (EPP) is one test that measures Conscientiousness in job candidates, along with eleven other work-related traits. The test provides suggested score ranges for a number of different positions, but Conscientiousness is one of the most meaningful traits to look for when seeking insight into a job applicant’s work ethic and ability to excel in any position. What this means is that general personality tests that assess Conscientiousness are valuable for hiring just about any type of job, providing you with the predictive power you need to make more informed hiring decisions.