Can Background Checks Help Me Avoid These Five Workplace Personality Types?

Can Background Checks Help Me Avoid These Five Workplace Personality Types?

Adding new people to an existing workforce can be a challenging prospect since creating a group that operates effectively and efficiently together increases productivity and morale. If you inadvertently hire the wrong applicant, then you could ruin a positive and profitable work environment. According to research, workers with negative personality traits often decrease productivity. In addition, these workers frequently pose a legal threat to their employers.

The Benefits of Background Checks

Today, completing a background check on a potential employee is practically a necessity. Many applicants are untruthful on their resumes while others try to conceal a past that includes criminal activity. Background checks will help you eliminate those who make false claims. The extra hiring step may also give you a way to weed out applicants with adverse personalities. Five workplace personality types to avoid are:

• Attention seekers
• One uppers
• Manipulators
• Complainers
• Critics

Attention Seekers

You’ll recognize an attention seeker by his or her need to be in the middle of a company’s activities. People who seek attention will compliment the boss frequently. He or she may appear helpful and will even assist new workers. Unfortunately, if you wind up employing an attention seeker, this worker is likely to turn on other staff members when the proper amount of attention is not returned. To determine whether an applicant is an attention seeker, assess his or her past employment history for drama issues.

One Uppers

One uppers will usually feel superior to their fellow workers. When coworkers do well, one uppers will feel the need to point out their own successes. People with this personality trait often seem to have a good work ethic, but they may lie or cheat to get ahead. This person’s work history may state that he or she failed to follow a past company’s policies.


Manipulators are generally smart, charming and educated. A person with this attribute may captivate his or her fellow workers. As a result, the bidding of a manipulator is often performed. Manipulators are unable to feel empathy toward others, but they are able to influence the emotions of their fellow workers. Employees who are manipulators are often promoted to management positions, and this factor makes them dangerous. If a job applicant is a manipulator, then he or she may have held a number of positions at his or her last company.


Complainers will usually focus on the efforts of their coworkers to find performance flaws. The complainer may do this at the expense of performing his or her own job. This type of employee will expect an excessive amount of recognition while putting forth little effort. Complainers also have trouble adapting to new technologies or modified work techniques. To uncover a complainer before you hire one, check his or her past work history for comments regarding an inability to adapt to work changes.


When a worker is a critic, he or she will make pessimistic comments to and about others. A person with this personality trait may also attempt to discredit his or her coworkers. You can recognize critics by the negative way they talk about their last employer during the interview.

Maintaining the Health of Your Company

Background checks typically include an applicant’s prior work history. Use this feature to determine whether a potential employee is an attention seeker, a one upper or manipulative. The assessment can also help you eliminate applicants who are complainers or critical of others. With thorough background checks, you can keep your company’s work environment healthy and productive.