When Hiring, Personality Matters
As a business owner or manager, you may be tempted to focus on recruiting employees based on their skills and experience. While skills and experience are important, there's another factor that's often overlooked in the hiring process by even the savviest business minds: personality.
Elon Musk is on the record saying: "The biggest mistake, I’ve made, is to put too much of a weighting on someone’s talent and not enough on their personality."
The fact is that most people get fired for their personality, not skills.
Skills can be taught while experience gained. If an employee doesn't have the necessary skills for a particular job, you can offer training or provide them with resources to learn it. But personality is something that's unique to each individual. It's the combination of traits, behaviour, and attitudes that make up who we are as people. And while it's true that personality can be influenced by outside factors, it's ultimately something that's ingrained in us from a very young age.
So why is personality so important when it comes to building a successful team? Here are a few key reasons:
A single bad hire with a poor personality can have negative consequences for a company. This could include wasted resources, a toxic team culture, and damage to the company's reputation with customers.
Personality affects team fit and dynamic. By hiring for personality, you can ensure that your new hire will be a good fit with the rest of the team, leading to a more cohesive and productive group.
Personality impacts work style and approach to tasks: Some people are more detail-oriented and methodical, while others are more creative and spontaneous. By hiring for personality, you can find employees who will complement each other's work styles, leading to a more well-rounded team.
Personality influences ability to handle stress and adversity: Some people are naturally more resilient and able to handle stress, while others may struggle. When you hire for personality, you can find employees who will be able to handle the challenges that come with their role and not crack under pressure.
Personality plays a role in client and customer interactions: If you have a customer-facing role, you want someone who's friendly, outgoing, and able to connect with people. If you have an employee who's more reserved or introverted, they may struggle to build relationships with clients and customers, which can impact your business in a negative way.
Personality determines adaptability: Some people are more open to change and new ideas, while others are more resistant. By hiring for personality, you can find employees who are adaptable and open to learning new things, which is essential for businesses that are constantly evolving.
Personality impacts communication style: Different people communicate in different ways. By hiring for personality, you can find employees who communicate effectively and clearly, which is crucial for team collaboration and success.
Personality determines work ethic: Some people are naturally more motivated and driven, while others may need more encouragement. By hiring for personality, you can find employees who have a strong work ethic and are committed to meeting their goals. This will help ensure that your team is productive and efficient.
Personality affects employee retention: Hiring for personality can help you find employees who are a good fit with the company culture and will be more likely to stay with the company long-term. This can save your business money on training and onboarding costs for new hires.
Personality can lead to unexpected growth and success: Adding new skills to an employee with the right personality can lead to surprising results and success. For example, an employee who is naturally outgoing and confident may excel in a customer-facing role, even if they don't have prior experience in that area. This can lead to unexpected career growth and success for that employee and for the company.
When it comes to finding the right personality fit for your team, It's crucial to thoroughly screen candidates and get a sense of their true personality before making a hiring decision.
One option is to use personality assessments and tests during the hiring process. These tools can help you identify candidates who align with your company's values and culture. Another strategy is to ask targeted questions during the application process that can help you gauge a candidate's personality. For example, you might ask about their approach to problem-solving or how they handle challenges.
When interviewing or during any direct contact, pay attention to nonverbal cues such as body language, tonality, and sociability. Look if candidates make eye contact, have a positive tone of voice, and are able to tell a good story or ask engaging questions. Confidence is important, but be wary of those who may seem too full of themselves.
Check references and when possible, conducting trial periods can provide valuable insights and help confirm whether a candidate is the right fit for your company.
A great way to streamline your recruitment process with focus on personality is to use technology. As part of the team behind it, I highly recommend you trying Candydate. A platform that uses short-videos and AI to help you identify the perfect fit for any job role even before an interview. The platform offers a FREE plan, making it an affordable and effective solution for small businesses and startups alike.
Overall, by valuing personality over skills or experience in the hiring process, you can build a team that is cohesive, productive, and successful.
To close-up, while skills and experience are important, don't overlook the importance of personality to build a successful team. By hiring for personality, you can find people who will fit in well, complement each other's work styles, handle stress and adversity, work well with clients and customers, be adaptable, communicate effectively, have a strong work ethic, and potentially lead to unexpected growth and success. All of these factors will contribute to the overall success of your business.