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Hiring for personality. Meet the person behind the CV!

Recruiting the best talent for your organization is never an easy process. There are so many things to consider when selecting the best and brightest. When looking at traditional hiring processes we see that education and professional experience are often the most important and attractive assets to an employer. Among the degrees and job titles, a candidate’s personality, values and attitudes are not typically evaluated until the final interview stage (if they’re taken into consideration at all). However, these characteristics have a great effect on a person’s work behaviour and performance, and can even impact the existing company culture. So where does personality fall in the list of valuable assets when hiring?

This is why it should be on the top of your list:

Knowledge vs. personality

Having a workforce with the right knowledge and experience is obviously important. At the same time, many of us seem to forget that skills can be learned and experience can be gained. Both can also be out-dated fast. Personality traits, on the other hand, usually don’t change and are very stable over time. Personality can be seen as the motor that drives someone’s thoughts, feelings, attitudes and adaptability. The time when it was important to have a workforce that ‘knows it’s all’ is gone. In todays every changing markets, businesses need to have a workforce that fosters innovation, challenges the status quo and is not afraid to think outside the box. It’s not all about an impressive resume, it’s about what drives them and having the right values and attitudes that fit both company and position.

Culture is king

Businesses thrive on relationships and having the right team can make all the difference. When employees are in tune and share the same values, beliefs and everyday behaviour, it creates a work environment that strengthens employee engagement, satisfaction and performance. When a new employee doesn’t have the desired attitude for the job and doesn’t fit the company’s values and team culture, it not only affects an employee’s individual performance but will likely end up as a failed hire. Job satisfaction and the feeling that you are part of the company ‘family’ is extremely important for the overall employment experience. A study conducted by LeaderShipIQ has shown that 89% of hiring failures are due to poor cultural fit. Hiring the wrong person is not only a costly mistake, it can also cause a negative ripple throughout the organization. By understanding a candidate’s personality and values, an employer can prevent expensive mismatches or even a demoralized team, and save everyone a lot of unnecessary time and stress.

Hiring for personality

If skills can be learned and experience can be gained, does this mean we shouldn’t pay attention to these assets at all when hiring? No, it just shouldn’t be your primary focus. Even though personality is becoming more and more important when hiring new employees, skills and education will always (for some jobs more than others) remain an important factor when making hiring decisions. It is not about hiring for education OR personality. It’s about understanding both and allowing them to complement each other, and not just during the final part of the recruitment process, when many talented people are already overlooked based on degree or job title, but right from the start.

The use of modern technologies and recruitment tools such as personality tests, cultural matching tools and video interviews make it possible to capture more insights on a candidate’s personality early in the process and make better informed hiring decisions. In case of video recruitment, recruiters can add personality to the CV and are able to base the first selection not just on knowledge and experience, but also on the soft-skills, personality and cultural fit. This prevents wasting valuable time on job interviews with candidates that are not the right match for the position, and increases the chances that a company selects the candidate that is best suited for the role. The use of video also leads to a more efficient process so employers can make better hiring decisions faster. An important bi-product of this process is that candidates also get a better perception of the company and discern their fit into the company’s culture early in the process.