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Occupation-personality fit is associated with higher employee engagement and happiness


  • McCarthy, Paul X.
  • Kern, Margaret L.
  • Gong, Xian
  • Parker, Michael
  • Rizoiu, Marian-Andrei


Using large scale data sets about Australians (n=99,897) active on social media in a variety of occupations (n=624) across all industries, we used a variety of linguistic analysis techniques to infer user’s happiness, engagement and Big5 personality traits across 30 dimensions, as well as their occupational-personality fit when compared to others in the same role. We found that: (a) when roles are clustered by the personality traits of those in them there appears to be eight groups or ‘tribes’ made up of roles with similar personality trait combinations; (b) happiness, as measured by inferred current happiness, is positively correlated with occupation-personality fit and; (c) engagement is significantly correlated with occupation-personality fit and can explain over 25% of the variance in engagement in a sample of 18k people across 624 roles. These findings show that occupation and personality fit play a material and significant role in employee engagement, which in turn is known to have many firm-level and economy-wide outcomes.

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  • McCarthy, Paul X. & Kern, Margaret L. & Gong, Xian & Parker, Michael & Rizoiu, Marian-Andrei, 2022. "Occupation-personality fit is associated with higher employee engagement and happiness," MPRA Paper 113346, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:113346

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    More about this item


    Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity; Employee Engagement; Occupation-Fit; Personality.;
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    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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