How Your Personality Defines How You Fit Into A Work Culture

Are you an Eagle, an Owl, a Dove or a Peacock?

23/06/2016 4:29 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:54 PM AEST

How you fit into the culture of your workplace is pretty important when you consider how many hours a week you're spending with your colleagues. A major challenge of the hiring process is to ensure you get the right person, who will easily fit in, and get on, with everybody else.

Who wants to drag a tense, easily-stressed employee into a business that enjoys a relaxed environment with laid-back workmates? It won't work. But getting the cultural fit right in the first place is not as easy as it sounds.

Research by recruitment firm Robert Half revealed three out of four CFOs and finance directors have lost staff members due to a lack of being able to fit in with the company's work environment.

Most bosses say they've had experience with misjudging a job candidate's fit with the company's work environment. Thirty-eight per cent admit a face-to-face interview is the best way to get an insight into a persons' ability to fit in with the work culture.

David Jones from Robert Half said it's all about being mindful of how well a potential employee will fit in with the team.

"It can be tempting to solely focus on skills and qualifications but checking whether a candidate's personality matches the corporate work environment makes good business sense too," Jones said.

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It's possible to have a variety of personality types in the office that all fit into the culture together.

Mike Irving from Advanced Business Abilities told The Huffington Post Australia there's no point simply asking a potential employee what they're going to add to the company culture.

"That's impossible to answer; they don't understand your culture as they haven't been a part of it yet. Instead, you need to ask them how they handle themselves in a variety of circumstances and do thorough reference checks to find out what their behaviour is really like," Irving said.

"One of our researchers created an online assessment that will accurately predict how a person will behave at work. A huge percentage of people lie in the interview and also on their resume. So it's very important to have the system in place so you can determine how honest they're being."

Irving said there are four dominant personality quadrants. He explains, using a bird analogy.

The Analyser Logical is the Owl. They're the thinkers who want to know every single bit of detail about a decision before they'll make a decision.


The Controller Assertive is an Eagle personality. They just want to get things done, they're a hunter, happy to control people and they're very assertive with their staff.


Expressive Social is the Peacock, which is self-explanatory. There'll be a Peacock in every office.


The Support Empathy quadrant is the Dove. They're very caring and nurturing. The most important thing for them is relationships.


"You can't say one personality is more suited to the corporate world than the others. It's the way they all come together that determines how they behave. Also, a person will adapt their behaviour depending on the rest of the team," Irving said.

"Instead of asking a candidate, 'What are you going to add to our culture?' you need to say, 'Tell me about a time you struggled with a project at work?' Leave it at that. You can use their answer to analyse how they approach their work and whether they fit in with your work culture."

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