Even before the phrase ‘the war for talent’ came into being in 1997, having the right talent in the right roles was a prime concern facing all executives and HR professionals. And now, identifying and supporting talented individuals is so important (and at the centre of successful enterprise management) it could be a practice area of its own.


With high potential comes the possibility of personality traits that could potentially halt an individual’s long-term progress. These damaging personality traits can take the form of personality dysfunction i.e. aggressiveness or insensitivity to others, or a motivational dysfunction i.e. lack of energy or willingness to work hard. These two types of dysfunctions are highlighted as they can seriously affect the whole organisation. When managing different personality types, it is important to keep in mind these four tips:

1. Separate

Separate personality and motivation. You also assess them separately. With the module Page Executive works with (see figure) the competencies of a person are made up by knowledge/ experience (learned), capabilities/skills (learned), personality and motivation/ interest

2. There are no "right" traits

In general, personality is not wrong or right, but different personalities traits, and their indicated levels, highlight different “advantages” and “disadvantages”

3. Be clear

It is important to always clarify and define the requirements of a role. Which traits/behaviours are critical to success in that role? Therefore, you can have a personality that matches a certain role.

E.g. someone with a high openness is very curious, tries out new things, and is creative. This is very helpful in a role such as researcher, or certain roles in marketing, but will not match an accountant role.

4. Extravert or Introvert?

Extraverts like talking to people and are outgoing, so they fit very well in sales positions. However, if a person is quiet and reserved, a better fit would be where they don’t need to interact with people e.g. data focused position.

In the end, it is all about the fit and positioning of the right people in the right jobs to help them thrive and keep them motivated. Want to know more? Download the full report.



Stephan Surber

Senior Partner
T: T +41 44 224 2235
E: [email protected]