What is the rarest Enneagram type & why?

What is the rarest enneagram type and why featured image
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Conducting an Enneagram test can help you understand your applicants’ and current employees' personality traits and behavioral tendencies more deeply. Integrating these tests into your hiring process can make identifying which candidates will work well with your existing team’s dynamic easier.

The Enneagram test categorizes individuals into nine types - but one type is rarer than the rest.  

In this article, we explore the rarest Enneagram type, how individuals with this personality type contribute to the workplace, their areas for growth, and more. We also explain why incorporating Enneagram tests into your hiring process can help you make better hires.

Which is the rarest Enneagram type?

The rarest Enneagram type is Type Five, also known as the Pioneer or the Investigator. 

Type Fives are innovative individuals known for their motivation to learn more about the world, obtain new skills, and become experts in their field so they can be self-sufficient. They value their solitude and tend to be reclusive.

The prevalence of Enneagram types is generally measured using what’s called an Enneagram type distribution survey. In these surveys, participants simply note their Enneagram personality type – Type One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, or Nine.

In a 2022 survey of over 54,000 participants, approximately 10%, or 5,400, identified as Enneagram Type Fives. The survey found that 14% of men who participated were Type Fives, compared to 7% of women.

In another Enneagram type distribution survey of 189,957 participants, researchers found that only 4.8% of participants were Type Fives. In this survey, 7% of Type Fives were men, while 3% were women. 

According to this survey’s results, the Enneagram types ranked from most to least common are:

  1. Type Nine (16.2% of participants)

  2. Type Six (16.1%)

  3. Type Four (15%)

  4. Type Seven (13.7%)

  5. Type Three (10.5%)

  6. Type One (8.9%)

  7. Type Two (8.5%)

  8. Type Eight (6.3%)

  9. Type Five (4.8%)

Enneagram test by percentages graph

Recommended reading: The most common Enneagram type (Most to least popular)

Limits to the Enneagram type distribution survey

Enneagram types account for an individual's basic fears, motivators, and desires. As a result, there’s a huge limitation to using an Enneagram type distribution survey to measure the rarity of each type: individuals’ willingness to participate. 

Personality types who dislike being in the spotlight or speaking about themselves may be more likely to shy away from taking Enneagram surveys. Conversely, personality types who value individuality and self-reflection may be more inclined to participate in this survey.

This can skew survey results, making them less representative of the population. The survey may show a higher percentage of some Enneagram types simply because more of these individuals participated in the exercise.  

Additionally, the rarity of a particular personality type may differ across populations, industries, and cultures.

Understanding the rarest Enneagram type: Type 5

Introverted critical thinkers, Type Fives are endlessly curious, striving to pursue as much knowledge as possible to be self-sufficient. 

Your employees who often learn new skills, regularly pick up new skills-based hobbies like coding or carpentry, or show signs that they’re introverted and stoic are likely Enneagram Type Fives. They’re usually introverted because they focus on constant skill development, as self-reliance gives them a sense of autonomy and freedom. 

Basic strengths

These individuals constantly seek and gather information to learn new skills or develop existing ones. Fives use their strong analytical abilities to create new ideas and identify patterns that often lead to innovations.

Basic fears

Pioneers fear being seen as incompetent or useless. They avoid this by remaining self-sufficient and creating a sense of security with the knowledge they’ve gained. 

Basic desires

Type Fives’ biggest desire is to be knowledgeable. One of the reasons they continuously try to upskill themselves is their desire to master new skills as the world advances. This desire drives them to excel at their jobs.

Why are Type Fives the rarest Enneagram type?

It’s difficult to say for certain, but the consensus is that Type Fives’ reclusive nature makes them more difficult to identify in a population. They become heavily focused on what matters most to them and often withdraw from the outer world. 

This introvertedness makes Fives less likely to participate in Enneagram type distribution surveys. As a result, they appear to be the rarest Enneagram type. 

Enneagram Type 5 in the workplace

In the workplace, Type Fives are problem-solving innovators who pay keen attention to details. They work well independently and thrive in roles requiring expert knowledge and specialized skills.

Their desire for autonomy and freedom makes them resistant to following strict workplace rules and policies. Fives sometimes struggle to communicate with colleagues since they prefer to work alone. Similarly, their reluctance to socialize can result in them not sharing valuable opinions.

Type 5s’ basic strengths in the workplace

  • Analytical thinking

  • Attention to detail

  • Ability to solve complex problems

  • Can come up with innovative solutions 

Type 5s’ basic fears in the workplace

  • Being incompetent at their jobs

  • Making mistakes and failing 

Type 5s’ basic desires in the workplace

  • Independent work or being their own boss

  • Freedom to work in a way that best suits them

  • To be fully competent in their role

Growth areas for Type 5s

Interpersonal relationships

Type Fives’ introversion may cause them to struggle with interpersonal connections. Since they typically prefer solitude and intellectual growth instead of social interactions, they tend to be more detached than other Enneagram types. This can lead to isolation and a lack of engagement at work.

You can help your Type Five employees foster relationships with coworkers by implementing social events like company outings and team-building exercises.

Communication skills

Similarly, Type Five personalities sometimes fall short in communication due to their introverted nature. They thrive when you allow them to “do their own thing,” but it’s important to encourage them to communicate more with their colleagues. This is crucial for ensuring your team members work well together.

Start by encouraging your employees with Type Five personalities to speak up during meetings and brainstorming sessions to get them more comfortable communicating openly. You might offer them training or resources on effective communication to strengthen their skills in this area. Since Type Fives highly value personal development, they’ll likely appreciate this opportunity.

Collaboration skills

Enneagram Type Fives also have room to improve their collaboration skills, particularly if they work in a team-oriented environment. 

Type Fives are fiercely independent and may try to do entire projects on their own, which can lead to burnout, delays, and other issues. Encourage them to accept help when they need it so your team can successfully work toward shared goals. 

Why use Enneagram tests in hiring campaigns?

Using Enneagram tests in your hiring campaigns can be a game-changer. By identifying candidates' Enneagram types, you can better understand their motivations, strengths, and potential challenges. This makes it easy to identify candidates who will fit well into your existing team and overall company culture.

TestGorilla’s 10-minute Enneagram Personality test is a quick, reliable way to discover your candidates’ Enneagram types. The test features 45 questions that ask test-takers to choose between statements, selecting the ones they agree with most.

You’ll receive a detailed report for each candidate so you can easily interpret the Enneagram test results. Reports include tips on communicating with each type, notes on how they’re likely to interact with one another, and a rundown of their basic strengths and weaknesses. 

We recommend using Enneagram tests to complement skills-based pre-employment tests. This way, you can get a comprehensive view of your applicants and make well-informed hiring decisions.

Incorporate TestGorilla's personality tests to your hiring campaigns

Various surveys report Type Five as the rarest Enneagram type. This may be due to their introverted traits, potentially making them less likely to participate in Enneagram type distribution surveys.

Type Fives are intellectual, analytical individuals who excel in highly technical or creative fields. They have a strong desire to gain knowledge and master new skills but tend to have trouble communicating and collaborating with others.

By incorporating TestGorilla’s Enneagram Personality test into your hiring campaigns, you can identify individuals who possess the required skills for the role and fit seamlessly into your company's culture. 

Sign up for a free trial of TestGorilla and start using the Enneagram Personality test today.

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