By: Leanne Grieve

When searching for candidates for a job role, it can be very easy to only focus on the qualifications and experience they state on their CV and not take into account their personality and how they may fit into your company.  After all, there is logic in the idea that hiring someone who has done the job type previously, means they will be more successful.

Skills Can Be Learned

An applicant’s skills and knowledge of the field are almost always considered more important than personality in a potential hire. The problem with solely relying on what a candidate states on their CV, is not only are the skills provided a true reflection, but that it does not convey a candidate’s personality or attitude towards a working environment. Whilst knowledge and skills can be acquired and experience gained, someone’s personality is who they already are and does not change. Once settled in a job, most people have the capability to learn the required skills very quickly, but hiring someone with a bad personality or attitude to work is a hard thing to overturn.

“In my eyes, personality always wins over book smarts. Company knowledge and job-specific skills can be learned, but you can’t train a personality.” Sir Richard Branson.

A Successful Team Can Make All The Difference

Few jobs are done where an individual works totally alone. Most roles require working together with others from time to time so if a candidate prefers to work independently this may lead to some problems if they don’t showcase a personality of a team player. Successful business thrives on relationships, and so if the relationships inside your business do not work, then no amount of experience inside the firm will set things right.

Whilst building teams of people with the exact same type of personality is not ideal, it is beneficial to try to create a team of complementary personalities that will work well together. The person you want to fill this position should have a personality that will fit in well with the team you already have in place.

Cultural Fit To The Business Is Essential

A particular working environment will not suit all types of people. Employees will be happier and more productive in a setting that suits them. For example, someone who shows a tendency to be shy or lacking in confidence is less likely to be comfortable in roles that involves a large amount of teamwork, whereas a more confident and sociable person would thrive in this type of environment.

A new employee who is smart, motivated, and willing to learn will be enthusiastic and able to figure out how things work, which has to preferable to an experienced person who can do the job, but has no real interest in contributing to your company.

Lisa Robbin, HR Director at Starbucks has recently quoted that at Starbucks they hire on “attitude rather than experience or qualifications. The character and skills we look for (aside from a passion for great coffee!) include being a great team player and a caring person as well as good communication and customer service skills.”

Hiring For Personality With Psychometric Testing

Identifying personal characteristics and values of a candidate can be challenging. Sometimes the first chance of meeting them will be at the interview stage and because understanding someone’s personality from a CV is difficult, it is likely that you may have already turned away ideal candidates that could fit your business better than those with experience.

Research has shown that including psychometric testing in your recruitment process will increase your chance of employing candidates suited to your organization, who will not only thrive but will also remain with you over the long-term.  Research by Network HR Executive Search state 78% of respondents who use psychometric tests agrees they are a “powerful tool” for hiring.

Skillsarena offers psychometric testing as a tool in the recruitment process with the aim of helping you to look beyond candidate experience to see their personality and work potential and be confident in hiring for personality.


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