The value of personality

Traditional hiring practices tell us that professional experience is one of the most important assets when determining which candidates are the best fit for your organisational needs. Experience, education and overall presentation are the most attractive traits to an employer. But where does personality fall on the list of valuable skills? Let’s look at the value of personality when it comes to hiring and your job search…

You may be surprised but more and more hiring assessments are proclaiming personality as the most valuable skill. Richard Branson is one the latest to echo this sentiment…

“…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.”

I’m not saying just hire an individual purely based on personality alone. Once you are satisfied with the individual’s personality, then look at experience and expertise.

Remember that people do differ in their characteristics, attitudes/values. Having an understanding of the individual’s personality is profoundly important in maximizing their happiness and productivity. So why not start it at the beginning of the process? We spend a third of our lives at work. This means people are moving around from job to job more frequently, seeking a company that allows them to maximize their potential, earn more money, or achieve a better work-life balance. For some, all of these factors will be equally important, while others will prioritize them differently.

How can you measure the value of personality?

Personality testing is more widely used in business than ever to measure such factors. With over 2,000 personality questionnaires to choose from, you have ample tools at your disposal to assess the compatibility of a candidate’s personality with a particular job. However, I find that using common sense and having a clear understanding of what type of personality will add to your current team makes the process a lot more straightforward when interviewing.

In conclusion, when building your team or filling a vacancy within your organisation, pay attention to personality traits that will shine in job roles. It’s not only prudent; it’s as important as considering training and acquired skill sets. Information and skills can be learned, whereas personality is ingrained and harder to change. Matching the right personality, along with the right skills, to each job will improve your chance of success in the long term!

David Waddell is the Managing Director at Harvey John.

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