Personality VS Skills – What’s your hiring ‘Deal Breaker’?

“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

It is often considered that a good leader would rather hire someone who has the right attitude over someone’s work experience. Skills can be taught and experience can be gained. You can teach someone how to use a certain software program, how to create certain reports or input data on a spreadsheet. But teaching someone to get on well with others or to be loyal and ethical is something you cannot do. These attributes are far more important for a candidate to possess over X amount of years of experience on their CV.

Organisations are now becoming more willing to think outside the box when it comes to their business models and approach. It’s not important to know everything about everything. Its more about trying new things and getting on board with new approaches and fresh ideas, and personality plays a big part in taking these risks.

The Right Fit

A good place to start, would be to begin interviewing candidates based on personal recommendations. Do existing members of your organisation know someone who would be the perfect fit for not only the role, but the company as well? Recommendations can alleviate the pressure of not knowing anything about an individual when inviting people in for interviews.

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. No matter how great a person’s credentials, if the role your hiring for requires someone to work outstandingly with others, and the candidate in question prefers to work on their own, then they will not be the right fit for the job.

As part of your hiring strategy, if you think you may have found the potential new candidate, it’s a good idea to invite them in for a trial morning or even day. They will get the chance to experience a typical day within the role and what it entails; the highs and the lows. It will also allow them to spend time with their Team Leader or Line Manager and get a feel for the personalities they will be working with on a daily basis.
This exercise will also allow you to see the candidate in action! Everyone can say things in an interview to impress, and most of the time you are led to take their word for it and base your decision on what they say. By inviting them in for a day will allow you to see if their team player or communication skills are as ‘excellent’ as stated in their CV.

To gain a better understanding of the different personalities within your current team, using psychometric profiling can help you. You will learn why someone is the way that they are. Are they more introverted in certain situations as opposed to others? Why is your top biller, your top biller? Learning about your team will not only better your understanding of your team, but it will allow you to know the types of personalities that will blend well within the office.

It is very important to be receptive and to educate your colleagues about what skills a person possesses that may prove more invaluable to your team.

You can create a much more creative and inspiring culture by hiring people who add their own flair and can bring something new to the office buzz and the role itself!