Personality Wins
Posted on October 18th, 2013

by Colleen Coman

thumbs-upA recent BMO Bank of Montreal survey revealed that personality traits outrank both credentials and education for many employers who are looking to hire new graduates. In fact, for employers in Canada’s service sector, the personality traits of a new graduate will hold almost twice as much sway as  the next most important factor, their skill set (28 per cent and 16 per cent respectively, see chart below).  Skills and processes can be learned.  Who you are and how you relate with others is harder to change.  At e-roleplay, this is something we’ve always known, and it reflects the increasing investment that our clients are making in behavioral testing and ongoing coaching of new hires. (survey)





Personality traits




Skill set




Work experience




References and recommendations




Degree earned and school attended




The challenge becomes how much can you learn from a candidate in an interview.  You can ask them to share personal experiences and attempt to understand how they will behave on the job, but how accurate will you be?  And based on the investment you are about to make with this candidate, can you afford to be wrong? Rather than take the risk, you can apply science.

Of the many behavioral testing platforms, we have found TAIS (The Attentional & Interpersonal Style) inventory to be the most accurate predictor of individual personality and attentional attributes which are proven to be reliable indicators of future performance and workplace behavior. Over the past 30 years, TAIS Inventory has consistently differentiated among elite performers in sports, the military and business.  Hundreds of organizations, including the Navy Seals,  trust TAIS to help select the best candidates from often hundreds of applicants.  

TAIS is an online test that produces an extensive, detailed report.  The 144 questions measure twenty different concentration and interpersonal attributes. Those specific concentration skills and personality characteristics are the building blocks upon which more complex human behaviors depend. For example, when recruiting potential “Leaders of Tomorrow”, those candidates with high scores on Performance under Pressure indicate individuals who consider themselves ready, willing, and able to perform when everything rides on the outcome, indicating whether or not one tends to perform well in a crisis. Individuals scoring high on extroversion indicate an enjoyment of social involvement and consequently may make great salespeople but would be frustrated in an analyst position.

We believe that the foundation of every organization, its greatest competitive advantage and its most precious resource are its’ people. BMO’s survey simply quantifies what we already know. Personality preferences are the key indicators of how individuals are likely to behave in your workplace. We believe that this foundation of self-awareness allows individuals, teams and organizations to adapt to leadership and learning opportunities, identify and maximize revenue and growth opportunities and reduce the risk of unpredictable behavior and the risk to an organization’s reputation and bottom line.

Understanding each individual’s personality and behavioral traits is critical to increasing individual and organizational performance and growth. At e-roleplay, we create learning programs, that help individuals and teams perform at their best under pressure. We adapt learning content to individual behavioral style and provide a compelling practice environment through a combination of live and technology driven interval performance.

The proven science of TAIS can be combined with the training sustainment of professional role play to increase the ROI on your training dollars invested, enhance the confidence of your staff in speaking with customers and in coaching their direct reports. Ask us how!   


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