The Aged Care sector is a growing industry where hiring new staff now requires the employer to look beyond a candidate’s CV. In an industry where personality plays a big role, sometimes the person with the most knowledge is not necessarily the best fit for the job.

In the next decade, it is estimated that there will be more than 50 000 new care jobs created. This will make the aged care industry was one of Australia’s largest employers.

A recent study was conducted with the purpose of identifying the ideal key characteristics of an effective aged care workers. It did this by analysing the relationship between the worker’s personality traits, their job performance ratings and the industry skill sets.

Personality Testing: Gaining deeper insights into the aged care worker

Such personality testing looks beyond what a worker can do, rather, it gains insight into what they are likely to do in work situations. Certain personality features, such as the capacity for empathy and an ability to be focused on another person’s concerns are ideal for an aged care worker. These are characteristics of someone who are “person centred”. People who are low anxiety about attachment, and are thus more likely to connect with people, seem likely to be more “person-centred”.

With the introduction of consumer directed care (CDC), there has been an increased demand for carers and the competition for high-performing staff has intensified.

The elderly in the aged care industry are highly dependent on their carers. Hiring staff to care for them requires more in-depth analysis that hiring for most other jobs. Personality testing has the potential to be a part of the screening process in hiring aged care worker.

A key lesson taken from the research was the importance of looking at multiple data points before hiring new staff, as opposed to the traditional CV and interview method.

Emotional engagement needed in the industry

Personality plays a key role in a person’s ability to read a situation. Nursing homes and family members don’t want staff who are unengaged and unaware of the emotional and social needs of the person with dementia. It takes a special kind of person to be able to sense the signs of emotional need without requiring a verbal explanation.

Not only would hiring the wrong staff be detrimental for the organisation and the work environment, but it could have devastating effects on the seniors they care for.

These seniors deserve to not only have someone physically help them, but someone that can support them and connect with.

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