Understanding basic personality types in the workplace can facilitate the proper placement of talent and can foster healthy communication. By providing introverts and extroverts with the right type of work and working conditions for their particular strengths and weaknesses, you can make the most of your workforce and maximize their potential. But what about the ambiverts?
That’s right. My spell check just informed me that the word does not exist. Nevertheless, in addition to the opposite ends of the personality spectrum, there is a third personality type that shows the attributes of both groups evenly: the ambivert.
In the recruiting and hiring process, we are in the business of filtering candidates to fill vacancies. As nice as it would be to have every client apply for the job they are best suited to fill, this is rarely the case. Some people have a good idea of their strengths and personalities, while others need a little guidance.
By using personality assessments in the interview process, you can determine which of these three categories most applicants fit. While these personality categories are generalizations, understanding them can help in suggesting placements that will make sense for candidates’ work styles and personalities, saving you the grief of trying to train a confirmed introvert into an outbound sales rock star.
Introverts are often some of the most enigmatic individuals to us, as most HR personnel and recruiters are primarily extroverts. This personality type is energized internally. Introverts generally prefer analytical tasks and working alone or in small teams. An introvert tasked with work that requires lots of personal contact with strangers or public presenting will likely find this difficult.
These highly valuable workers do well in detail-oriented tasks, such as accounting or managing a shipping department. While a personality assessment can tell you a lot, a person’s track record should never be ignored in favor of it. If your introverted candidate won more sales awards on the West Coast than any other, obviously he or she has found a way to make personality mesh with work.
Extroverts are typically some of the easiest to spot. Even before an assessment, they may be chatting up the receptionist. You’re pretty sure they could do even your job from the confidence they typically exude. They shine in group settings and up-front tasks with lots of praise and attention, but they may wither if placed in solitary positions with little interaction.
Extroverts also tend to be more focused on the moment. While they can show extended success over time, it is the brief public presentations, sales meetings, and client interactions that they live for. Extroverts can be a distraction if improperly placed. Their nature demands an audience, and they will try to get it, sometimes at the cost of etiquette and procedure.
The true ambivert is the rarest of the three. This crossbreed personality may have a hard time fitting into your assessments. They have strong public-audience skills, but they can also be content during long periods of solitude. Ambiverts tend to thrive in positions where both types of work are required.
Psychologists compare ambiverts to bilinguals. They have a wider range of emotional comprehension and are often comfortable with groups at either end of the spectrum. Because of this, they make excellent managers. When tested, a high percentage of successful salespeople fall into this category because they can appeal to a wider audience.
These three categories tend to be established early in life. This makes the introvert/extrovert/ambivert dynamic a strong tool for recruitment and placement. By classifying candidates within these groups, you can save a lot of time and trouble and prepare your talent for success.
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