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Why Companies Need to Hire Based on Personality as Well as Experience

14th February 2019

Why Companies Need to Hire Based on Personality as Well as Experience

All too often when making hiring decisions, HR professionals forget that people do business with people. A candidate can have the most impressive CV you’ve ever seen but if the personality isn’t there, then they aren’t necessarily the best fit for the job. If you’re constantly having to mediate between employees who clash or someone on the team doesn’t fit in with the office culture, then no amount of experience can compensate.

You shouldn’t rule a candidate out just because they don’t have years in the industry, because experience can be gained. Here are just a few reasons you should hire on personality over experience.

Skills Can be Taught

Employers often fall into the trap of judging a candidate by their pre-existing skill set alone, forgetting that skills can be taught on the job. Just because someone hasn’t arrived as ‘the finished article’ doesn’t mean they won’t excel in the role, and in fact they might be a better choice as you have more scope to shape them into your ideal candidate. Most people will pick up all the skills they need within a couple of months. Skills can be taught, a good personality can’t.

Creating Your Dream Team

Every company has its own ethos and mindset, so it’s important to pick people who are going to gel well together and create a fantastic team. If someone has a domineering personality or may clash with others for whatever reason, simply don’t hire them. You could save yourself a lot of grief in the long run, because you’ll do less soothing of battered egos and reduce the risk of people walking out because they don’t get on with their colleagues.

Don’t Value the Jack of All Trades

Someone whose glittering CV lists a wide range of experience and a lengthy set of skills won’t necessarily be great in the position you’re trying to fill. A jack of all trades is probably a master of none, so it’s worth looking again at the candidate who lists a narrower skillset but is probably more adept at what they do. It’s probably also true to say that someone who is supremely confident in their own abilities can also be difficult to handle, since they often think there’s nothing left for you to teach them.

Consider the Role Itself

Is the role you’re advertising more suited to a team player or someone who is more comfortable working independently? If the former, then looking for someone with a more extroverted personality who is a real ‘people pleaser’ is probably worth more than years of experience under their belt. If it’s the latter then you need to be on the lookout for the more focused, introverted candidates, those who are happiest working alone in their own company.

Look for the Positives

Sometimes you just need to meet a candidate to know if they’re right. Don’t rule out those who look weaker on paper until you’ve actually met them face to face, because a positive attitude, an eagerness to learn and a sunny disposition don’t always come across from an impersonal paper CV. As an HR professional you’ll have learnt to trust gut instinct, and that’s crucial when it comes to choosing the right candidate.

Lizzie Exton writes for Inspiring Interns & Graduates, the UK’s leading graduate recruitment agency





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