Recruiting the human: the importance of personality

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Monday, March 05, 2018

Good recruitment is often about understanding the subtleties of human relationships. It is common knowledge that employers are more likely to hire a candidate who they can see themselves becoming friends with, as shown by Lauren Rivera’s study, “Hiring as Cultural Matching: The Case of Elite Professional Service Firms”, which concluded that “evaluators implicitly gravitated toward and explicitly fought for candidates with whom they felt an emotional spark of commonality”. But how important is personality when it comes to recruitment?

  • Personality vs skill

When conducting specialist recruitment, it’s important to strike a balance between ticking the skillset boxes without neglecting to consider the personal qualities that make an individual successful in a role. Richard Branson would argue personality should be prioritised, as “most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality.” If you can find candidates who align with the values best suited to the role and organisational culture, whether that be friendly, caring, resilient, creative or innovative, you are on to a winner. However, in practice, choosing which element to prioritise depends largely on your individual business.

  • Training opportunities

Considering the strength of the training opportunities at your business is vital when deciding much importance to place on personality. For example, if mentoring is accessible then a company can be more lenient on required skillsets, compared to when a role requires a heavy workload to be completed from the word go.

  • People facing roles

Considering the extent to which a role involves liaising with clients, customers, partners and colleagues is vital when weighing up the importance of personality. Our experienced consultants with their expert knowledge of specialist industries work closely with clients to uncover what the most vital elements of personality are for the role, before searching for appropriate candidates.

  • Cultural fit

It’s important for recruitment agencies to consider cultural fit, as it can be an important predictor of how well an individual will adjust to the team dynamic and how motivated they will be by it.

  • How we do it

Our experienced consultants take a holistic approach to recruitment, and carefully consider the above factors when it comes to finding talent to suit a client’s individual needs. Our wide knowledge of specialist industries, such as sales and marketing, allows us to locate the best talent out there and ultimately produce inspiring results for your organisation.