Bringing a new employee into your organization is a complex process—and the idea of adding additional steps to your recruiting procedures can seem daunting. But adding a prehire assessment that can give you insight into a person’s workplace personality can not only help you choose the right applicant, it can help you decrease turnover by bringing in an individual who is likely to fit in well with your current employees and stay in seat long-term.  

InVista’s products are developed using the Big Five theory as the foundation of our personality-based assessment. But what is the Big Five theory and how will it help you find the right employee to fit your open position?

What is the Big Five Theory of Personality?

The Big Five refers to a widely accepted theory that personality is made up of five core factors. Each of the five domains corresponds to a spectrum of traits that are representative across different cultures and populations. The Big Five domains are: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.

A personality assessment can help you make hiring decisions by weighing candidates’ traits against the qualities needed for success in a given position.

Can the Five-Factor Model predict job performance?

Studies show the Big Five constructs that define personality are a reliable and valid predictor of job performance and risk of turnover.

The theory can be traced back to 1936, when Gordon Allport and H. S. Odbert initially focused on finding words that described people’s personalities with the idea that the most important trait differences would be encoded in language.

In the 1940s, Raymond Cattell analyzed the words from the original 1936 study and organized them into 16 distinct factors. Since that time, many researchers have continued to work independently with this personality theory, narrowing down to the same five factors.

Donald W. Fiske, Warren T. Norman, Gene M. Smith, Lewis R. Goldberg, and Robert R. McCrae and Paul T. Costa, among others, have studied the Big Five and its relationship to job performance. Drs. McCrae and Costa are the authors of the NEO, the gold-standard Big Five personality assessment, which is published by InVista’s parent company, PAR.

How do I know a test is reliable?

The science behind InVista’s assessment is universally recognized, adheres to the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection and Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, and is based on the most broadly accepted and validated model of personality—the Five-Factor Model, also known as the Big Five.


Learn more about how InVista’s assessment tools can help you hire the right person for your organization.



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