When hiring the most suitable candidate for your vacancies, personality plays a big role. It´s not just the hard skills and experience that determine whether a hire will be a good fit but especially personality traits will have a much bigger impact. Skills and knowledge can be taught, personality not so much so if the personality is not a good fit that is usually a much bigger problem than whether the new employee might not have all the right knowledge (yet).
Therefore, in the hiring process, a lot of attention should be paid to figuring out what kind of personality you have in front of you in order to successfully determine if this is the most suitable candidate for the role.
So what can you do to make sure you choose the best candidate for the job? The one with the most suitable personality for the role and for your company?
First of all, you need to make clear what you are looking for. It´s hard to evaluate something if you don´t know what to look for! You need to determine which personality traits are important in your company and for the specific role you are hiring for. It´s important that the person you hire has a good match both with the type of personality that fits in well with the company culture but also has those specific personality traits that are important to be successful in the role. For example, if your company has very collaborative ways of working and the collective is valued much more as individual contributions, then you´re probably looking for personality traits like being a good team player. However, if you are hiring for a leadership role, then you are not just looking for a team player but also for those personality traits that will make the hire a good team leader. Getting clear what type of personality you need might not be the easiest task but it will make the hiring process so much easier. You can´t measure what you don´t know!
Second, when you have the overview clear of what you are looking for, this should be incorporated in all interviews. Getting more clarity on personality traits can be done through behavioral questioning. Behavioral questioning is an interview technique where the candidate needs to answer in depth about situations they faced. Often these questions begin with “Tell me about a time that…” and the idea is that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Behavioral interviewing can give you very good insights about the candidate´s personality traits because with these types of questions it is much harder for the candidate to give a prepared answer that they think you want to hear. Therefore, during these interviews you can get a good overview of the personality of the candidate. It is important to discuss and review your findings of the interview with the other interviewers, more interviewers always know more than one and everybody might notice different things. Putting all the findings together will help you draw a complete a picture of the candidate´s personality.
Finally, it is matching time. With those personality overviews created after the interviews, which candidate scores best on the predetermined list of personality requirements you made beforehand? The candidate that overall has the best match with your list will be the most suitable personality for the role you are hiring for. And that is the candidate you should make the first job offer to.
We can´t emphasize enough that skills and knowledge can be learned, but if the personality doesn´t fit you have a much bigger problem. So do yourself a favor and focus on that in your hiring process to make sure you find the most suitable personality for the role.
How do you make sure you find the best cand