Sabine Bergner, Jarmila Saurugg & Aljoscha C. Neubauer
Occupational competency profiles are commonly expressed in the everyday language of human resource managers. Thereby, often a lack of notional preciseness occurs that subsequently impedes a thorough distinction between traits, competencies and qualifications. The current study investigated the conceptual overlap between occupational competences and psychological traits. Therefore, 171 competencies extracted from two competency databases were systematically matched by 33 raters to a framework of psychological traits. The framework of traits comprised the five factors of personality (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Emotional Stability), Gardner’s multiple intelligences (linguistic, spatial, mathematical, logical, inter- and intrapersonal, kinesthetic, musical, and naturalistic intelligence), and creativity. The matching between the competencies and traits was conducted with high interrater agreement. Results display that occupational competencies primarily represent the traits conscientiousness, extraversion, verbal, and logical-mathematical intelligence. The current study allows for consistently structuring competencies, for conjoining the competency approach and trait approach, and for locating alternative measures when operationalizing occupational competencies.