The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Candidate with a Type A Personality


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Personalities can vary between people, but when it comes to types of personality tests used for hiring, we can narrow it down to four: Types A, B, C, and D, though most tests only cover Types A and B.

Some may think that Type A candidates make the best employees: they’re goal-oriented, practical, organized, and make great leaders, Whereas Type Bs, on the other hand, are criticized for being laid-back, easy-going, and relaxed.

But don’t discount the Type Bs and hire all the Type As in your candidate pool just yet. Their ambition and time management skills may come with bad traits like impatience, franticness, and an inability to work in a team. Here are the pros and cons you should know before hiring someone with a Type A personality.

For more information and inquiries about personality tests, don’t hesitate to contact Aptitude today.


What Is a Type A Personality?

Type A individuals are your typical overachieving workaholics. While some employees are content with doing the bare minimum of their duties, treat delays in their operations as a normal setback, and have a hard line separating their working hours from their personal life, Type A individuals are those that aspire to go about and beyond.

Some key traits to describe a Type A person would include:

  • Outgoing
  • Ambitious
  • Organized
  • Responds to praise
  • Proactive
  • Time management
  • Workaholics
  • Independent
  • Leadership qualities
  • Competitive

Type A individuals are good leaders because they are goal-oriented and prefer to be in control. They tend to look at the bigger picture. While that means they tend to lose sight of the smaller details, they’re good at delegating tasks and ensuring that the bottom-line of every project they’re in charge of is either reached or gone beyond what is expected.

The motivations of a Type A employee vary. Some simply perform exceedingly well because of financial compensation or they see the opportunity to get ahead in terms of leadership, long-term career goals, or any other reward they see within reach.

Unfortunately, Type As are not without weaknesses. Their strength and drive can also be their undoing in the wrong type of workplace. Under poor working environments, Type As can be seen as:

  • Stubborn
  • Impatient
  • Blunt, coming off as rude and insensitive to their co-workers
  • Overbearing and micromanaging leaders
  • Does not respond well to supervisors
  • Does not participate in social events at work
  • Hates routine
  • Does not like being told what to do

Having a dominantly Type A workforce doesn’t necessarily ensure that your company will be a successful one. Type A employees are still prone to off days and clashes, so it’s important to not let a candidate’s personality type sway you from making your decision.

Two people talking in front of a whiteboard

Best Jobs for Type A Personality

Type A individuals prefer roles with leadership and some amount of independence. They don’t feel motivated or thriving in jobs where everything is controlled and they aren’t allowed to show off their skills and leadership.

A fresh graduate with zero experience can be a Type A willing to work directly under a supervisor, but expect that they will want job growth much sooner than the average employee. They will learn as much as they can, but after they’ve proven their ability to grow from their initial position, if your company isn’t willing to promote them or give them more responsibilities, you risk losing them to outside opportunities that offer them a better position.

Type A personalities often go for jobs like:

  • Executive, managerial, or upper-management positions
  • Business owners
  • Salesperson or sales manager
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Creative Directors
  • Stockbrokers
  • Doctors
  • Lawyers
  • Account managers

Advantages of Type A Employees

Having Type A Employees can provide plenty of benefits such as these below. Take note that this is not necessarily certain for all employees.

Reduced Missed Deadlines

Type A personalities hate delays as well as delaying others. They’re highly organized, so you’re likely to find your Type A employees keeping rigid track of all their tasks and making sure no task slips their notice. Expect that the task will be completed on the deadline, if not before.  

High Performance and Productivity

Some employees are content with developing a routine and performing the bare minimum of their job, but not Type As. They constantly want to succeed and do more than what is expected of them. It’s not necessarily to be better than their co-workers, but to prove that they are capable of handling more responsibilities and doing more.

Delegation of Tasks for One Common Goal

Type A personality types make for great leaders. They are goal oriented and focus more on the bigger picture than the details. This allows them to efficiently delegate tasks and ensure everyone is doing their part for the success of their team. Type A employees know the strengths of their team and where to best channel the tasks to for efficiency.

Can Work Unsupervised

Type A people dislike being micromanaged or being told how to do every step of a task as it prevents them from using their own skills to finish a task. This means their supervisors can trust them to get the job done with minimal supervision. They may do things differently, but expect them to meet or exceed your expectations by the deadline.

Woman stressed at work

Disadvantage of Type A Employees

Despite their advantages, Type A employees may also be prone to certain attitudes and traits that may not be good in the office.

High Stress Levels and Health Risks

Unlike Type B personalities who are more laid back, studies show that Type A individuals are more stressed. This is because their need to succeed in their work may take priority over their personal lives, thus destroying the work-life balance that Type Bs prefer to have in their lives.

This additional stress makes Type A people more prone to stress-related conditions and diseases, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, and other stress-related mental health conditions. When your body is under a lot of stress, your brain releases a hormone called cortisol that increases your heart rate and blood pressure. If this happens too often, you could be over-working your heart and blood vessels, leading to various diseases and conditions.

May Not Be a Team Player

Type A individuals make great team players, but when they’re members of a team it could be difficult for them to be a follower instead of a leader. Type As like to be in control, so having to collaborate and compromise with other ideas may make them uncomfortable or angry. They may also dislike having someone tell them what to do. They may end up trying to do their own thing entirely or struggling to be a part of the team.

Hostility and Impatient Workplace

While a little healthy competition can be good for the office, an overly competitive environment can turn hostile and aggressive. This is a turn-off for the other personality types in the office and it doesn’t create a conducive workplace where everyone can get along.

For more information and inquiries about employment verification, don’t hesitate to contact Aptitude today.

A businesswoman taking on the phone

Being Type A Doesn’t Ensure Success

Because of the pros and cons of hiring a Type A candidate, you might be thinking about putting some emphasis on personality types when they undergo employment verification. But don’t use this as a measure of possible success, since like all humans, Type A people are still prone to failure.

Studies show that while Type A individuals are associated with high performance, and increased productivity, Type As do not always outperform Type Bs. Type B employees may be satisfied with doing the bare minimum and clocking out on time, but that doesn’t mean their performance is less than that of their Type A counterparts. In fact, a Type B can do just as good or even better than a Type A employee but in less time and with a calmer attitude towards the task.

Type A candidates can be a great addition to your company, but don’t let it be the deciding factor on which candidate gets the job position. Let it be what helps determine how this candidate is likely to work in a team and see if their strong personality is what your company needs to improve.

I’m In! What Do I Do Next?

Reach out to Aptitude for a free trial of our online recruitment tests today and take advantage of our introductory promo. You’ll get a full overview of our recruitment tests as well as a sample report.