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Should you hire an Introvert, Extrovert, or Ambivert? The answer may surprise you

Posted by Deb Muoio

Nov 25, 2015 10:26:43 AM

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“Everything in moderation” has always been the accepted axiom, even when it relates to social orientation. Unlike total Extroverts or total Introverts, “Ambiverts” enjoy the best of both worlds: They enjoy socializing and working with others, but are also comfortable tackling solo projects.

For HR managers, Ambiverts seem like the perfect employees. Why go through the trouble of trying to find an Extrovert for your more socially oriented positions and introverts for solitary work? Why not just streamline the hiring process and simply opt for an Ambivert, who can do both?

Well, recent research we conducted at PsychTests indicates that introverted personalities and extroverted personalities actually have a slight edge over ambiverts.

We collected data from 365 Ambiverts, Introverts, and Extroverts who took our Advanced Multidimensional Personality Matrix. Here’s what our study reveals:

Areas where Introverts outperform Ambiverts

  • 20% of Introverts thrive on other people’s approval, compared to 36% of Ambiverts.

  • 62% of Introverts have good attention to detail, compared to 57% of Ambiverts.

  • 85% of Introverts are conscientious decision-makers, and make sure to take the pros and cons of a decision into consideration before moving forward, compared to 76% of Ambiverts.

Areas where Extroverts outperform Ambiverts

  • 94% of Extroverts actually enjoy having a busy work day, compared to 80% of Ambiverts.

  • 78% of Extroverts display patience in even the most trying or frustrating situations, compared to 72% of Ambiverts.

  • 51% of Extroverts are confident making decisions, compared to 46% of Ambiverts.

  • 95% of Extroverts are viewed by colleagues as being approachable and easy to get along with, compared to 87% of Ambiverts.

  • 77% of Extroverts create to-do lists in order to stay organized, compared to 70% of Ambiverts.

Areas where Both Extroverts and Introverts outperform Ambiverts

  • 75% of Introverts and 81% of Extroverts achieve most of the goals they set for themselves, compared to 72% of Ambiverts.

  • 62% of Introverts and 65% of Extroverts are satisfied with their jobs, compared to 56% of Ambiverts.

  • 88% of Introverts and 94% of Extroverts are good at regulating their emotions, compared to 85% of Ambiverts.

There are a lot of HR-related articles on the web that claim companies will be better off hiring an ambivert over an extrovert or introvert. On the one hand, if you have a position in which tasks vary a great deal and employees are required to work on individual as well as team projects, ambiverts might be considered ideal. However, just because ambiverts share characteristics of both introverts and extroverts, that doesn’t mean they also share their strengths.

This isn’t to say that Ambiverts are not good employees; as our data shows, they are still strong performers. Yet even when we controlled for Emotional Stability, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness (four of the well known ‘Big Five’ traits) and looked only at the top performers, Introverts and/or Extroverts still exceeded Ambiverts by at least 5%.

The only areas where Ambiverts had an advantage – and only in comparison to Introverts – was their level of persistence when completing a difficult task (93% of Ambiverts vs. 86% of Introverts), their tendency to be optimistic (96% vs. 91%), and their ability to overcome the temptation to procrastinate (52% vs. 39%).

The bottom line is that each of these personality types has their own strengths, and areas that need development, so it’s very important to make sure that a job candidate’s competencies as well as his or her personality are suitable for a particular position.

Most importantly, don’t make assumptions about a person based on labels like ‘extroverted’ or ‘introverted;’ introverted doesn’t imply that a person is shy and socially awkward, and extroverted doesn’t necessarily mean that a person talks to excess and doesn’t listen. Take the time to get to know about the different facets of an individual’s personality – to get to know the real person.

If you’re interested in using AMPM - Ab - R2 (Advanced Multidimensional Personality Matrix Abridged - 2nd Revision) or other assessments for HR purposes, request a free trial for ARCH Profile here.image_in_blog_hum.jpg

Want to learn more about using psychological tests for hiring, leadership development, career development or talent retention? Download our free eBook loaded with down-to-earth information about psychological testing for HR purposes.

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Topics: HR Tips, Talent Retention, Personality Assessment, Pre-employment Testing, Team-building

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