Original Research

Cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence and personality types as predictors of job performance: Exploring a model for personnel selection

Pfungwa Dhliwayo, Melinde Coetzee
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 18 | a1348 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v18i0.1348 | © 2020 Pfungwa Dhliwayo, Melinde Coetzee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 February 2020 | Published: 26 October 2020

About the author(s)

Pfungwa Dhliwayo, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Melinde Coetzee, Department of Industrial and Organisational Psychology, College of Economic and Management Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa


Orientation: The process of personnel selection is essential for organisations because it ensures that only those candidates who are likely to contribute to the economic value of an organisation are chosen to fill job vacancies.

Research purpose: This research sought to explore cognitive intelligence (CI), ability emotional intelligence (ability EI), trait emotional intelligence (trait EI) and personality types as predictors of job performance with the view to propose a valid selection model for the Zimbabwean organisational context.

Motivation for the study: In the personnel selection context, separate studies investigated the single predictive power of the constructs relevant to the study in different settings and studies. The role of personality types in selection is especially under-researched.

Research approach, design and method: The study utilised a cross-sectional survey design. The convenience sample constituted (N = 299) supervisory and professionally qualified, experienced specialists from various organisations in Zimbabwe. The GAMA, AES, WEIS, MBTI, Form M and JPS were administered.

Main findings: Structural equation modelling indicated CI as the best predictor of job performance, followed by ability EI and then by personality types. Trait EI could not account for any variance in job performance.

Practical implications/managerial implications: Personnel selection models in the Zimbabwean context could consider including the empirically demonstrated variables in selection practices.

Contribution/value-add: The research advanced personnel selection theory by empirically and scientifically identifying the core elements of, and proposing a personnel selection model for use by human resources practitioners and organisations in the African context.


cognitive intelligence; ability emotional intelligence; trait emotional intelligence; personality type; personnel selection; job performance; organisational citizenship behaviour; task performance; emotional labour


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