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TalentClick’s new research reveals 3 keys to job satisfaction


In a recent study, the Vancouver consulting firm TalentClick, hiring assessment and career personality test specialists, identified the most important links between personality and employee job satisfaction. The study results show that instead of looking at all areas of personality equally, the most important areas where personality should align with tasks are: (i) how detail-oriented we are, (ii) how dominant and competitive we are, (iii) how sociable we are. 

Past research has focused on what an employer stands to gain (eg. productivity, less turnover) by matching worker personalities with the right duties. But the TalentClick study, conducted throughout 2011 with 504 working adults in BC and Alberta, focused on the flip side—on how the employee benefits by being given responsibilities that align with who they are. And in a labour shortage, it is crucial for employers to think about what their workers need in order to be happy.

“If you’re an employer who wants to increase engagement and decrease turnover, then the three takeaways from this are important,” says Stephen Race, the study’s author and an expert in occupational psychology who has consulted for SAP, Accenture, Telus, and others.

Race provides some examples. “If you’re a highly detail-oriented person, the study shows your job satisfaction will be 28% higher if your duties relate to planning, organizing and following procedures, compared to people who are very spontaneous. Conversely, if someone is spontaneous and hates rules, they will wither in a role with many rules and rigid processes.”

In the second area of “fit,” participants whose assessment results indicated they were very dominant reported a 27% higher level of satisfaction with tasks related to competitiveness and taking charge. “If you put a dominant person in a follower role,” says Race, “they will be capable of taking orders for a while, but they’ll be miserable. And people who don’t have the inner need to lead others will be uncomfortable if they have to take charge all the time.” The problem is that companies keep promoting people into leadership roles who are not happy in those roles. And workers accept the promotion, believing that everyone is supposed to advance up the career ladder into management.

In the third area of importance, outgoing people reported a 23% higher level of satisfaction with social tasks, compared to reserved people.  “You can put an introvert into a relationship-building role, such as sales, and he might be able to fake it for a while,” explains Race, “but he’ll always gravitate back to his default setting, which is not to initiate that contact with others.”

“With everything that we’re talking about,” Race says, “it’s the difference between ‘Can the person do the job?’ and ‘Will the person enjoy doing the job?’ There’s a big difference.”

TalentClick is a Vancouver based consulting firm specializing in predicting human behavior in the workplace.  For general information, visit:

If you’d like to schedule an interview with Stephen Race, please contact Julie Allison at 604-682-5575 or    


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