Hiring a humble worker pays off

February 3, 2012 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

We all love the outgoing, confident job candidate who knocks our socks off in the job interview. That may be the best person for a sales or managerial position. However, a new study says that humility may be a more desirable personality trait for success in certain jobs. In fact, looking for aggressive, overconfident employees for customer-facing positions may turn off more clients than keep them.

A New Trait on the Market: Honesty–Humility as a Unique Predictor of Job Performance Ratings,” reports that workers who are willing to admit mistakes and tell the truth do better in certain jobs than those who score lower in those areas. The Baylor University study surveyed 269 home healthcare workers who provided services to challenging patients. The study defined honest and humble workers as those who exhibited fairness, generosity, sincerity and modesty.

Researchers said that the honesty-humility trait has the most significant benefit in jobs that require servicing client needs. Someone in a sales or technical position may not be able to translate honesty and humility into a higher performance level.

So the answer still boils down to a deep understanding of what qualities are necessary to do a job. Then you have to decide how those traits will integrate with other departments in your organization.

For example, how will a customer service rep with high honesty-humility scores interact with a hard-driving, aggressive production manager? The service rep is striving to grant customer needs no matter what it takes, while the production team can only deliver based on their resources and time. Setting guidelines and boundaries for the opposing goals of various departments limits disagreements and the temptation to plant unrealistic customer expectations.


Entry filed under: Company Culture, Employee Engagement, HR Management, Recruiting, Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

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