Decisions.. Personality Or Skill?

Decisions.. Personality Or Skill?

Should You Hire For Personal Qualities Or Skill?

There are certain personality traits that regardless of the field make people good workers. There is no denying that resilient, motivated and positive people with a great work ethic are the people you want working for you. However, there is an age-old debate about whether you should be hiring for skill over personality, or perhaps it is a perfect mix of both? In a competitive job market, when you can’t always get the perfect candidate – what’s more important?

Often when you are looking to fill a role you will get a candidate that may not have all the skills you require for the job, but in terms of personality have all the characteristics of a great worker, who will fit in with your organisation. Yet you may have another candidate that has all the skills required for the job and more, but culturally may not be the best choice. When it comes to deciding if you should hire for personality or skill the answer really depends on you and your organisation, and the role itself. If you were hiring a surgeon, skills are 100% non-negotiable. Though, when you are talking about more administrative/business and clerical roles personality can be the difference between a great hire and a revolving door if you hire on skills alone. So what do you need to consider?

SB Recruitment have put together the key factors to contemplate when deciding who to hire.

Personality is hard to change. While personality is ingrained in people, skills can be taught. For example, a hardworking and happy person can be taught to type faster or learn new systems, however a person with a personality that doesn’t like to learn new things can be extremely challenging in an ever-changing workforce, even if their skills are up to date right now. Behaviours are much more challenging to manage in comparison to upskilling a new hire. A person’s character and values are what makes for a star employee most times.

Experience doesn’t always match up with potential. Everyone needs to start somewhere to gain experience. A candidate with a great personality and someone who you can tell will really fit into your organisation may just need some experience and a chance to learn new skills to become your next great employee.

Be realistic. When it comes to hiring on personality or skill it is important to analyse the candidate and the role objectively. Just because you really like someone doesn’t always mean they are the best person for the job either. A great personality with no management skills may be too high of a risk for your organisation, whereas you may be able to find someone who has the qualities your organisations looks for and some management experience and they may be the right hire; rather than the manager with a lot of experience that has had a lot of jobs and comes off with low emotional intelligence.
Culture is key. Research shows that people want to work in a good team environment with a strong culture, and when it comes to culture – personality is key. Even the best performer on a team can cause a negative effect that ripples through an organisation if they have a toxic attitude. It is also important to build a team that compliments each other with different strengths and weaknesses and for that reason it is very important to consider the whole team culture and goals when hiring for skills or personality.

Don’t rush the process. A slower hiring process and assessing your candidate in multiple scenarios can give you a better idea of what their personality and skill set really is. As always, it pays to check what is written on paper as much as possible before hiring to ensure the skills and personality people say they have, are a true assessment of themselves. Check references and ask more pointed questions to previous employers, such as “would you hire this person again?” This can give greater insight into their personality too. A great employee and culturally aware candidate won’t burn a bridge as they leave a job.

When it comes to hiring, there is a lot to consider. SB Recruitment have access to several tried and tested assessment tools and methods for personality profiling and testing of candidates prior to employment. Let us have a look at your culture, or short list your next round of candidates to get the personality you need for your business. Contact us for an obligation free discussion today.

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