Does Your Organization Need a “Personality Hire”?

Personality-based hiring has become a hot topic and a great way to fine tune your hiring process. But what exactly does it mean, and is it right for your organization? Here is what you should know about making a “personality hire.”

What Is Personality-Based Hiring?

There is no such thing as the perfect candidate. But, we often find that certain personality traits lend themselves towards success in many jobs. For instance, sales people need to have high activity and gregarious traits, accounts must be numbers and detail oriented, machinist must find working with their hands rewarding (and they are good at it). Regardless of skills, success in various roles are often a function of deep seeded personality traits.

Every hiring manager must decide what factors are important for each role, and how to prioritize those criteria. Personality-based hiring simply means that for a specific role or organization-wide, cultural fit and shared values rise to the top of the list. It doesn’t mean that the new hire is otherwise unqualified, but simply that they have something special that aligns well with your company’s mission or a characteristic of the job function.

Benefits of Personality-Based Hiring

Leaning on personality when making your hiring decisions offers quite a few advantages:

  • Widening the candidate pool.
    • This type of recruitment creates opportunities for people with a less traditional background.
  • Creating a cohesive team with a shared frame of reference.
    • People who understand each other can more easily bond.
  • Boosting productivity.
    • With a shared approach, your team members will waste less time and get more done.
  • Improving employee engagement and loyalty.
    • Feeling heard and understood helps employees feel like part of something bigger than themselves.

Drawbacks of Personality-Based Hiring

Of course, nothing is perfect. If you choose to make a personality hire or two, beware of these potential issues:

  • Groupthink.
    • People who are too similar to each other can fall into a pattern of always agreeing, rather than challenging each other’s potentially erroneous thoughts.
  • Bro culture.
    • Teams that are too much alike can start to feel like “insiders,” and intentionally or unintentionally show hostility towards “outsiders,” including new hires.
  • Lack of diversity.
    • You’ll need to take care not to hire people who are all alike. Shared values can be found in all backgrounds and walks of life.
  • Stifled innovation.
    • Make sure to stress creative thinking, or you risk stifling innovation among team members who share the same approach to the work.

Is Personality-Based Hiring Right for My Company?

The biggest challenge in personality-based hiring is building a diverse team of independent thinkers. Pay close attention to this, and you can boost the benefits and productivity while minimizing the drawbacks. Also, keep in mind that you shouldn’t forget about skills and knowledge altogether. Look for people who fit well together while also bringing unique skill sets and backgrounds to the table.

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