Personality Matters – General Employability

2 minute read


Dr. Robert Hogan spent his career working to prove that personality predicts workplace performance and helps businesses dramatically reduce turnover and increase productivity by hiring the right people, developing key talent, and evaluating leadership potential.

Hogan Assessments are widely used and valued in the identification, selection and development of leaders, and potential leaders. However, their important role in supporting selection and development for individual contributor roles has had somewhat less attention. This points to a potentially huge population of NZ employers who are not aware of, nor taking advantage of Hogan personality measures.


Predicting employee success for SME's

SMEs account for 97% of all New Zealand businesses, employ more than 630,000 people or 29% of all New Zealand employees, and generate 28% of New Zealand GDP[1]. By their very nature, every team member in a SME is highly consequential. The impact of a misfit in a small team is profound.

SMEs have traditionally relied on interviews as a means of selecting new team members. While these provide the personal engagement desired by most employers, they provide little in terms of predicting performance and fit. Even at the best of times, interviews can be biased against those who “don't have industry/NZ experience”, are “at the end of their career”, or biased toward those who “have a decent education”, “seem confident”, or “remind me of my younger self”. Faced with the current economic challenges, we are even more likely to be led by our ‘gut’ (i.e. our innate biases); yet the safer approach is to look for valid, reliable data. Valid personality measures provide that data and, importantly “…unlike interviews and IQ tests, well validated personality measures do not discriminate against women, minorities, or older people.” (Dr Hogan)

In 2013, Drs Hogan, Chamorro-Premuzic and Kaiser, developed a new framework to conceptualise the construct of general employability. Their framework used the acronym RAW: with R representing Rewarding - being rewarding to work; A representing Ability - the capability of learning and doing the job; and W representing Willingness - motivation to do the job. Hogan’s recently published General Employability assessment is based on this model. It provides an efficient, cost-effective way to understand if your potential employee has the fundamental attributes to be a rewarding, able and willing team member.

For further information on Hogan’s General Employability Assessment, contact Winsborough.

For further insights read Dr Hogan’s Q&A on the role of personality at work.

[1] MFAT – Supporting SMEs.

Photo by Windows on Unsplash