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March 13, 2019

Skills Can Be Learned: How and Why to Hire for Personality

hire for personality

Change happens fast and you need employees who can keep up, or even outpace it.

And let's be honest, that has little to do with what school they went to or how well they know Excel. It's about guts, backbone and hardwired emotional intelligence.

But how can you ever really if know someone has the grit and character needed to succeed in a fast-paced role? How do you justify hiring an emotionally intelligent rockstar who doesn't tick all the boxes for skill set?

Lean in, my friend. We're about to tell you everything you need to know to make hiring for personality, well, you know...a breeze. 😉

Why hire for personality?

First, what do we really mean when we talk about hiring for personality?

To be clear, we're NOT talking about the smiling, hand-shaking, perfectly polished person you meet at that first interview. First impressions can be incredibly useful, but I think we can all agree they don't tell the whole story.

Hiring for personality is about scratching beneath the surface (and any confirmation bias that may live there), to reveal key insights about a candidate's deeper character. Insights that can tell us how they might perform—both in good times and in bad—and whether they have what it takes to evolve their skills as the company grows. 🦋

And the future of your company may depend on those traits.

In his book, The No Asshole Rule, Stanford Professor Robert Sutton uses Enron as a cautionary tale for aggressive skill-based hiring. And we all know how that story ends.

On the flipside, Google is a company that built its success starting with a Day 1 commitment to building a happy, high-performance workforce. (The company's first letter to investors is the stuff HR fist pumps are made of. 😍)

How to hire for personality and train for skills

Let's assume we'd all rather be Google than Enron. 👍

That's all well and good, but getting to know a candidate's true nature is tricky business. Where do you even begin?

Tools like Criteria Corp, Traitify and Indeed Assessments can help you hire not only for basic skills, but also for all the juicy intangibles like critical thinking, problem-solving and behavioral patterns. Hiring from the gut has its merit, but personality assessment tools are a great additional layer of screening for a number of reasons.

They're fast, data-driven, and completely immune to charm and false bravado. 👌🏾

A top-shelf personality assessment tool will include measures that help eliminate bias from the process so you and your hiring team can make the best choice for your organization. But the fun doesn't have to stop after the employment contract is signed.

Personality assessments can help you supercharge the employee experience by providing more relevant, personalized onboarding and better training and coaching programs tailored to the unique needs of your people. Everyone's happier when they're on the same page about what skills to strengthen and how, and personality assessment tools can be a great place to start.

Prevent bad hires, starting now.

It takes time for a person to reveal their true nature and you can never really know if you've made a bad hire until it's too late. But you can start making better hiring decisions today (for free!) using the Criteria Corp integration for Breezy or Traitify!