Human resource managers are reevaluating their hiring criteria, placing a significant emphasis on the trait of agreeableness in the evolving landscape of the workplace.
A recent study published in Collective Intelligence highlights how this quality has become a crucial asset, particularly in situations marked by high levels of uncertainty.
Conducted over a 10-year period, the comprehensive study analysed data from nearly 3,700 individuals across 593 teams engaged in over 5,000 group tasks. These participants completed a detailed 242-question personality assessment, providing insights into their personality traits, including Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Conscientiousness, and, notably, Agreeableness.
The findings underscore the changing dynamics of hiring preferences. Historically, the trait of agreeableness was considered “mostly irrelevant” to task completion. However, the current research shows that this quality significantly contributes to higher team performance.
Randall Peterson, co-author of the study and professor of organisational behaviour at the London School of Business, remarks, “The pandemic really showed people the value in being this kind of even-tempered, cooperative type rather than the star who wants to put themselves in front of everybody.”
In today’s multifaceted work environment, challenges often lack a single right answer. This shift in emphasis towards agreeableness aligns with the recognition that addressing complex issues requires cooperative and adaptable team members. Dominance and individual competitiveness might no longer yield the same benefits as before.
“The world we live in is increasingly reminding us that the star system is not going to work for us anymore,” Peterson observes.
The study’s implications offer valuable insights for both job seekers and employers. Embracing cooperation and leveraging the strengths of agreeableness could pave the way for enhanced team performance and more effective solutions in today’s intricate work scenarios.
As businesses navigate uncertain terrains and seek innovative approaches, the ascendancy of agreeableness as a pivotal trait in hiring represents a noteworthy departure from traditional norms.