Hiring Process

Which is Better: Hiring for Personality or Skill? See What HR Managers Say

Written by mrafeeq · 6 min read >

Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

One of the most critical aspects of success in any profession is attitude. Employees who have bad attitudes will struggle no matter how skilled they are, so if you want to get noticed by employers — make sure that your perspective is on point! If you’re not working right now or even unhappy with where you work- read this blog post for some great tips on improving your chances of getting hired and finding a better fit for yourself.

This winning outlook defies precise definition, but employers recognise it when they see it. They say personality goes a long way, and a new hire with the right attitude could be just what a company needs. Unfortunately, countless managers are blinkered by qualifications or experience. We uncover the vital aspects of mindset and why it’s often more important than technical skill.

What is personality-based Hiring?

The personality-based interview process is a way of hiring someone by first assessing their personality. It is more of an experimental approach used to reduce the bias that might come into play when interviewing candidates.

The idea of personality-based hiring was first introduced by psychologists John W. Lounsbury and James F. Caccia in 1984, who said that “personality plays a major role in the work outcomes.” But it was not until recent years where this concept has been applied more broadly to improve the effectiveness of hiring decisions.

Personality is based on the “Big Five” traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

A Brief Hypothetical

Comparing two sets of skills and attitudes would provide us with a new vantage point. Let’s imagine for a second we have two candidates for a position. One of them, let’s call him Matthew, has a serious passion for the role he’s applying for. He seems genuinely interested in the company, and although his credentials seem a little weak compared to the other candidates, he appears keen to learn and hungry for the job.

Our second interviewee, let’s call him Toby, has an impressive CV, and he demonstrates a vast amount of experience in all of the technical skills related to the position. However, in his interview, Toby seemed less engaged than Matthew. Perhaps he has worked in the industry a while and has found himself slightly burnt out. On the other hand, maybe he’s generally less enthusiastic. Whatever the reason, who do we go with?

If we hired Toby, it could be that our intuition was wrong; perhaps he was having an off day. Nevertheless, there’s a chance he could be challenging to motivate. He would excel at the technical side of his job, but what about the array of soft skills that can often take a team from good to great? If we hired Matthew, it might take longer to get him up to speed; however, this could be worth the investment if he has the right attitude for the job. It is often much quicker to train a skill than it is to reshape a person’s character. Matthew could also provide a fresh pair of eyes on an industry that might be unconsciously stagnating.

The X-Factor

Whilst building up the multimillion Virgin Group from a one-person band, UK business mogul Sir Richard Branson quickly realised that people give a company its face. “Nothing is more important than hiring the right team”, writes Sir Branson in a blog post for LinkedIn. [i] “The first thing to look for when searching for a great employee is somebody with a personality that fits with your company culture. Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality.”

When we talk about the right attitude, we’re essentially referring to a selection of soft skills that this attitude cultivates. These include:

  • Ability to take on board feedback or constructive criticism
  • A burning desire to learn new skills and develop oneself
  • A healthy sense of camaraderie and collaboration
  • The ability to innovate

These skills are trickier to quantify than those of a more technical discipline; they aren’t apparent until you get to know someone. This is where group interview icebreakers can come in; observing how candidates interact with each other is more illuminating than a self-serving CV or handcrafted bios.

One For the Team

Mounting evidence supports the vital importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. This psychology buzzword refers to a concept that directly influences several desirable soft skills, many of them related to social skills. There are numerous reports of individuals who, lacking practical social skills, have been unable to work well within a team; this breeds an entire host of problems, such as:

  • Ideas being shot down too quickly
  • Clashing of egos
  • Lack of diplomatic communication
  • Unwillingness to collaborate on a project

An employee can be knowledgeable and capable but may lack the emotional intelligence or social skills required to work well alongside people.

Conversely, individuals with a high amount of emotional intelligence tend to be more flexible. They typically work well in teams, thoughtfully weighing up the suggestions of others and responding helpfully. This team player mentality is recognised as one of the essential facets an employee can have; there’s a reason it comes up in nearly every interview.

By exploring extreme examples, we create a useful distinction to illustrate the significance of attitude. Southwest Airlines are a company that recognises this significance. When growing their company, the airline chiefly looks to build groups of people who enjoy working together. Former Southwest Airlines CEO Herb Keller says, “Attitude is critical and must be weighed with experience and skills. Someone with a high IQ who is a backbiter is a disaster for your organisation. Someone who is outgoing and generous and can work convivially will be a huge asset”. This progressive mentality appears to be working for them; last year, the airline ranked second in the Consumer Reports customer satisfaction category.[ii]

What Do the Numbers Say?

If we come to any substantial conclusions, we need to analyse the foremost reasons new employees fail soon after hiring. High staff turnover is a widespread problem, and it hits businesses right where it hurts — the wallet.

Over three years, Leadership IQ tracked over 20,000 new hires and found that a staggering 46% of employees fail within 18 months; this information was subsequently broken down into specific problems:[iii]

  • 25% fail due to an inability to accept feedback
  • 23% fail due to being unable to manage their emotions
  • 17% fail due to a lack of motivation
  • 15% fail due to having the wrong temperament for the position
  • 11% fail due to technical incompetence

Looking at these figures, we can construe that technical inability is the least common reason for an employee not working effectively within a company; conversely, we see how the majority of severe work issues are related to the individual’s attitude, which includes their emotional intelligence.

How Personality Can Help Predict Employee Performance- The Science Behind Employer-Employee Matching

Employers have been using personality tests to help them figure out what kind of jobs their employees would be best suited for.

Predicting employee performance is based on the science behind employer-employee matching. It uses personality traits and personality tests to determine what kind of job would best suit a person.

Companies are increasingly looking for ways to measure the personality of their employees because employers want to make sure that they are hiring people who will be a good fit for their company and who will not cause any problems in the workplace. This is where personality tests come into play. The purpose of these tests is to provide information about an employee’s personality traits and how they will interact with other people in the workplace. By using these tests, employers can better understand how different personalities work.

How Personality Can Help Predict Employee Performance- The Science Behind Employer-Employee Matching

Employers have been using personality tests to help them figure out what kind of jobs their employees would be best suited for.

Predicting employee performance is based on the science behind employer-employee matching. It uses personality traits and personality tests to determine what kind of job would best suit a person.

Companies are increasingly looking for ways to measure the personality of their employees because employers want to make sure that they are hiring people who will be a good fit for their company and who will not cause any problems in the workplace. This is where personality tests come into play. The purpose of these tests is to provide information about an employee’s personality traits and how they will interact with other people in the workplace. By using these tests, employers can better understand how different personalities work.

How to Improve Your Hiring Processes with AI Automation and Data Analysis Tools

AI and data analysis tools help hire managers and HR professionals to improve their recruiting process by automating it. As a result, they have access to the best candidates with the right skill set for the job. As a result, AI in recruitment can reduce costs, increase efficiency, and provide a better candidate experience.

Ai recruiter tool is an innovative way that businesses use to make hiring processes into their own hands. It can be used by SMEs, startups, large enterprises, etc. Ai recruiter tools are ideal for companies looking for a cost-effective solution to managing hires internally or externally. Modern ATS are AI-powered which help in identifying the right candidate closely matched based on various skills and traits

So What’s The Take-Away?

A keen demeanour and positive attitude can’t offset a complete absence of required technical skills. However, the fact remains that the most common problems in the workplace are related to philosophy rather than technical ability.

Ultimately there is no black and white rule; a business may save themselves some training costs by hiring only based on qualification, but in doing so, they run the risk of missing out on a real asset to their team.

When it comes to choosing between an aloof professional or a bright-eyed newcomer, it’s worth taking the time to consider the invaluable benefits of desirable virtues weighed against the skills that can be trained for in just a few weeks.

There are many different approaches to hiring that can leave you with a team of employees who have the skills, attitude and values you’re looking for. Take some time to consider what your company needs in an employee before jumping into any hasty decisions. We hope this blog post has helped you think about hiring more effectively for your business’s unique needs! If it sounds like we may be able to help you out, then just let us know — our experts would love to work with you on finding the right people for your specific situation.

[i] https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20130923230007-204068115-how-i-hire-focus-on-personality

[ii] http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-best-and-worst-airlines-1421254623

[iii] http://www.leadershipiq.com/blogs/leadershipiq/35354241-why-new-hires-fail-emotional-intelligence-vs-skills

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