The No. 1 personality trait employers always look for, from a workplace psychologist with 10+ years experience: It’s ‘universally valuable’


As a seasoned workplace psychologist with extensive experience, my focus lies in assisting organizations in crafting positive experiences for their employees and job applicants. Through interactions with numerous executives and HR professionals annually, a recurring concern is how to address trends like "quiet quitting," but the paramount focus remains on recruiting top talent. Among the Big Five personality traits, conscientiousness stands out as the most valued by employers due to its impact on job performance across various roles. This trait transcends specific job requirements, making it universally attractive to employers as it predicts success regardless of evolving job demands.

Employers seek demonstrable conscientiousness in candidates, which can be showcased during the hiring process through pre-employment assessments rooted in the Big Five model and by responding effectively to interview questions that gauge organizational skills and work ethic. Noteworthy cues of conscientiousness include timely responses, punctuality, and professionalism, all of which are observed by recruiters and hiring managers. This trait continues to be assessed post-hiring through behaviors that reflect care, meticulousness, and proactivity.

For individuals looking to enhance their conscientiousness, and self-reflection, discussions with trusted individuals, or online Big Five assessments can be helpful. Emphasizing diligence and work ethic is crucial for those naturally inclined towards conscientiousness. However, for those who may lack this trait, establishing support systems and tools like digital assistants or time management strategies can aid in fostering organizational skills. Conscientiousness remains a valuable and transferable quality sought by employers, underscoring the importance of authenticity in the job search process.

It's important not to feign conscientiousness if it's not a strong suit, but rather invest in personal development to enhance this trait. While it may require effort, developing conscientiousness can significantly impact one's ability to secure fulfilling job opportunities.  

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