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Debunking Personality Hires: How to Recruit the Right Way

Are workplaces actually doing this? How does self-identifying as a personality hire affect your reputation in the workplace?

Hiring the right candidate

How Does Personality Affect The Recruitment Process?

Fast Company reports that, “70% of employers consider a candidate’s personality to be among the top three factors in deciding whether to extend a job offer. It’s substantially more important than education (18%) or appearance (7%).”

That’s not a number you can ignore! Regardless of whether it’s best practice or not, a candidate’s personality vastly contributes to their success in most interviews.

However, the closer you examine the concept of personality, the more confusing it can become. For example, the interview process favors outgoing people with the ability to self-promote and connect with others.

Not everyone is skilled at doing that and those skills might not ultimately be needed for the job, but a less technically talented candidate will likely be chosen if they can bring high energy and enthusiasm to an interview.

Are Personality Hires a Mistake?

Having a great conversation in an interview shouldn’t be discounted, but your recruitment strategy shouldn’t be driven by big personalities at the expense of skills.

Hiring someone solely for their personality presented during the interview process is a mistake. Here’s why:

Personality Hires Might Be Insincere

Someone might have great interview skills that don’t translate to their everyday behavior. People tend to put on an act while interviewing, even if they don’t intend to, since the high-pressure environment can lead to exaggerated characteristics and a higher emphasis on speaking and selling skills.

You don’t know a person during the interview process; you know a very specific version of them. Basing crucial hiring decisions on that alone isn’t wise for long-term success.

Personality Hires Might Cause Issues on Teams

If you hire someone with a great personality and less developed skills, you are putting a burden on their team and the organization at large. It’s important to remember that the team might see a very different version of their peers than leadership will see; even though interviewers viewed them as a benefit to the working environment, their peers might not feel the same way.

Someone who considers themself a personality hire can cause strain on their teams, relying on their self-perceived charm and influence to advance their positions and complete work. If current team members perceive favoritism toward a less skilled new hire, conflict and dissension are likely to build up.

Personality Hires Can Slow Down The Onboarding Process

Adding a team member should, ideally, lighten the workload of your existing team. If a new hire is playing catch-up when it comes to learning and skill development, your team might be worse off than they were before the position was filled.

The onboarding process should support new employees in settling into their roles and help them become a part of company culture; it should not be a place for learning skills that are fundamentally important to the role.

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