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Employers’ Demand for Personality Traits and Provision of Incentives

Vera Brencic and Andrew McGee

No 2023-14, Working Papers from University of Alberta, Department of Economics

Abstract: We measure firms’ demands for personality traits from job ads and assess how these demands relate to the incentives firms offer. The demand measures produce intuitive rankings of occupations in terms of personality requirements and, at the occupation-level, are positively correlated with the traits of workers in those occupations for all traits except emotional stability. Employers primarily demand workers who are extroverted, conscientious, and open-to-experience. Firms seeking conscientious workers are less likely to offer incentive pay and promotion opportunities, which suggests that personality demands interact with the optimal design of pay if conscientious workers require fewer incentives to elicit effort.

Keywords: personality; job ads; incentive pay; promotions; recruitment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D22 J23 J24 J33 M51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 80 pages
Date: 2023-12-29
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hrm, nep-lma and nep-neu
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