Organizations are increasingly turning to personality assessments and cultural fit evaluations in the quest to build high-performing teams and make data-driven hiring decisions. While the Big 5 Personality Test stands out as the only scientifically validated approach for assessing individual traits, it does not fully capture the crucial aspect of cultural fit. By combining the Big 5 with custom assessments that measure alignment with company values, leaders can gain a more holistic understanding of candidates and make informed decisions that optimize individual and team performance.

The Big 5 Personality Test

The Big 5 Personality Test, also known as the Five-Factor Model (FFM), assesses individuals on five key dimensions: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Extensive research has consistently demonstrated the test's reliability and validity across diverse populations and cultures [1]. In hiring, using the Big 5 can significantly improve candidate selection. A meta-analysis by Barrick and Mount found that conscientiousness is a strong predictor of job performance across all occupations, while other traits like extraversion and openness are more role-specific [2].

However, while the Big 5 offers valuable insights into individual traits, it does not fully address the importance of cultural fit. Cultural fit refers to the degree of alignment between an individual's values, beliefs, and behaviors and those of the organization. Research has shown that employees who fit well with their company's culture tend to have higher job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and job performance [3].

🔗 Free Big 5 Personality Test

Culture Assessments

To assess cultural fit, organizations can develop custom assessments that measure candidates' alignment with core company values. These assessments may include scenario-based questions, value-ranking exercises, or open-ended prompts that elicit insights into an individual's beliefs and behaviors. It is important to note that assessing cultural fit does not mean seeking homogeneity or perpetuating bias. Rather, it is about identifying individuals who share the organization's fundamental values while bringing diverse perspectives and experiences to the table [4].

Integrating cultural fit assessments into the hiring process alongside the Big 5 can yield significant benefits. A study by the University of Iowa found that employees who fit well with their organization had higher job satisfaction, superior job performance, and were more likely to remain with the company [5]. Furthermore, teams with shared values have better communication, collaboration, and overall effectiveness.

🔗 Check out, a culture assessment tool for hiring and team-building.

Beyond hiring, the Big 5 and cultural fit assessments also offer valuable insights for team building and development. Understanding team members' personality profiles and value alignment can help leaders tailor their management style, communication, and feedback to individual needs. For example, highly agreeable individuals may thrive in collaborative environments, while those high in openness may excel in roles requiring creativity and innovation [6].

Debunking Unreliable Psychometric Tests

While the Big 5 Personality Test has been scientifically validated, not all personality assessments are created equal. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), for example, has been widely criticized for its lack of reliability and validity [6]. Studies have shown that individuals' MBTI results can change over time and that the test does not consistently predict job performance or other important outcomes [7].

Other popular personality tests, such as the DISC assessment and the Enneagram, also lack the scientific rigor of the Big 5. These tests often rely on self-reported data and have not been subjected to the same level of empirical scrutiny as the Five-Factor Model [8].

When considering personality assessments for hiring or team building, organizations should prioritize tools that have been scientifically validated and demonstrate predictive validity for the outcomes of interest. The Big 5 remains the gold standard in this regard, offering a reliable and evidence-based approach to understanding individual differences.


Building strong, cohesive teams is essential in knowledge work. By leveraging the scientifically validated Big 5 Personality Test and incorporating custom cultural fit assessments, organizations can comprehensively understand candidates and make data-driven hiring decisions that optimize individual and team performance. This holistic approach to hiring and team building can drive job satisfaction, performance, and retention, ultimately leading to greater organizational success.


[1] Costa Jr, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Four ways five factors are basic. Personality and Individual Differences, 13(6), 653-665.
[2] Barrick, M. R., & Mount, M. K. (1991). The big five personality dimensions and job performance: a meta‐analysis. Personnel Psychology, 44(1), 1-26.
[3] Kristof-Brown, A. L., Zimmerman, R. D., & Johnson, E. C. (2005). Consequences of individuals' fit at work: A meta-analysis of person-job, person-organization, person-group, and person-supervisor fit. Personnel Psychology, 58(2), 281-342.
[4] McCord, P. (2018). Powerful: Building a culture of freedom and responsibility. Silicon Guild.
[5] Verquer, M. L., Beehr, T. A., & Wagner, S. H. (2003). A meta-analysis of relations between person-organization fit and work attitudes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 63(3), 473-489.
[6] Bell, S. T. (2007). Deep-level composition variables as predictors of team performance: a meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(3), 595.

Share this post