How behaviour trumps personality in recruitment

Have you ever considered the impact of behaviour in your business?

Have you ever considered the impact of behaviour in your business? Often the areas of biggest concern and challenge in a business are related to people and their behaviour.

When looking at pre-employment testing, personality profiling has traditionally been chosen over forms of behavioural assessment.

Whilst the insight into someone’s personality may be interesting, the fact that personality is static, means it is very difficult to do anything with that information. To put it simply – personality is intrinsically who we are, whilst behaviour is how we do something.

Dr Robin Stuart-Kotze, professor at Oxford says, “It has been maintained that personality becomes virtually fixed at about age five.” It is also our experience, that on the whole, it is extremely difficult for people to change elements of their personalities, i.e. who they are, however they can more easily alter their behaviour, i.e. how they do things, to flex according to the needs of a situation.

Behaviour impacts all aspects of our performance, including how we react to certain situations or handle feedback, and you need different behaviours to be successful in different roles. Being able to understand and identify certain behavioural traits and pair them with the right job roles, increases performance, and ultimately satisfaction, for both the employee and employer.

It helps to first understand what kind of behaviours would be best suited to the job role you are recruiting for. Key traits to look out for during an interview, and then compare to the requirements of the job role, may include:

  • Are they process driven, or do they like flexibility and options?
  • Are they driven by achievement, opportunity to take charge or affiliation with the people around them?
  • Do they look for the big picture or are they detail focused?
  • Are they solution focussed or more of a problem solver?

Laura Weaving, owner and founder of Duo Global Consulting said, “It is much easier to change how we do things, than to change who we are. At Duo, we believe in firstly finding and appointing someone with behaviours that fit a particular role, that will enable them to perform to their areas of strength, then coupling this with skills, knowledge and experience. If you recruit people with the wrong behavioural traits for your business, this could go a long way to explaining culture or performance issues.”

“We focus on how your people, and their dominant behaviours, contribute to your business growth. All of the work we do directly drives increases in productivity, performance and revenue.”

To find out more about how Duo Global Consulting can have a real impact on your business, visit

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The British Institute of Recruiters is the Professional Body operating The Recruitment Certification Scheme

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