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The HEXACO Model of Personality and Why It Matters

Posted by Khoa Tran on

The human psychology is probably one of the most difficult issues to study today. Therefore, personality assessment takes a lot of time and effort. This is precisely why a systematic approach was born to support this process. The solution is the HEXACO model of personality, created by Ashton and Lee, based on the work of Costa, McCrae and Goldberg.

Read more: Psychometric Assessments: What Are They & Why Are They Important?

To simply put, the HEXACO model is the concept of dividing the human’s personalities into six different dimensions. So what exactly does this model have, and what can it do for recruitment?

The main facets of the HEXACO personality traits

The HEXACO model, despite being added more new facets in the recent studies, has six main ones as in the picture below:

A General Look at the HEXACO Personality Model

In particular, the characteristics of each dimension is divided as follows:

  • Honesty-Humility (H): Sincerity, Fairness, Greed Avoidance, Modesty
  • Emotionality (E): Fearfulness, Anxiety, Dependence, Sentimentality
  • Extraversion (X): Social Self-Esteem, Social Boldness, Sociability, Liveliness
  • Agreeableness (A): Forgivingness, Gentleness, Flexibility, Patience
  • Conscientiousness (C): Organization, Diligence, Perfectionism, Prudence
  • Openness to Experience (O): Aesthetic Appreciation, Inquisitiveness, Creativity, Unconventionality
Read more: Entry-level Recruitment: Meeting Generation Z

The HEXACO Model’s role in Recruiting

Since its early development in the early 2000s, the HEXACO model has been used to investigate different areas of psychology, allowing for behavioural testing and prediction based less on prosocial behaviour. Studies using the HEXACO model have found support for the relationship between social and ethical behaviour.

Moreover, personality is extremely important when it comes to hiring people for your organisation. A person's character tells you a lot about their work ethic, their social status and will help you decide whether someone is a good fit for your company culture.

Read more: Confidently Make Hiring Decisions with Job Fit Solution

Personality is verifiable and the HEXACO assessment is one of the most valid testing methods available. There are several versions of the assessment, but a minimum of 60 questions is required to obtain a reliable evaluation of the candidate's inner traits. However, if you want higher quality, there are also 100-200 versions of questions available. The more reasonable question your HEXACO assessment has, the more reliable candidate profile you will get.

Weaknesses and limitations of the HEXACO model

HEXACO personality model is a classification based on personality characteristics. Thus, characteristic measuring methods, including the HEXACO model, are often based on factor analysis. Unfortunately, factor analysis does not always guarantee results that can be copied and applied for all circumstances.

Furthermore, any declarations on the universality of the HEXACO model should be considered with caution, as many languages and cultures have not been taken into account during the study.

Read more: Companies’ Views on Talent Management (Part 1)

Numerous studies using the HEXACO model support the usefulness of the dimensions of the Agreement, Emotion and Honesty-Humility. However, the HEXACO model may not always be the best personality measurement tool in every situation.

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Topics: Talent Management

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 Rick Yvanovich
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