Beyond the Resume – Is a Potential Employee’s Personality as Important as Their Skillset?

Personality matters. It can make the difference between success and failure for a job candidate. These days it’s more important than ever. In many jobs today, people work in teams. They need to be able to work together, to get along with each other, so personality is crucial.

What Matters More:  Personality or Skillset?

A person cannot be successful at a company if he or she does not fit in, if his personality, attitudes and values don’t align with those of the company.

In fact, many hiring managers give higher value to candidates’ personality and fit than they do to their technical skills. In a survey of professionals in a number of different industries, personality was identified as the most important factor in making a hiring decision by more than three-fourths of those responding. Skill sets were actually at the bottom of the priority list for hiring.

Technical skills can be learned and enhanced, but a person’s personality is fixed. If a person exhibits negative personality traits during an interview, he or she will carry those same traits into the job. They cannot be changed.

Beyond fit, personality traits determine a person’s ultimate success more than his or her technical skills. For example, all employers look for personality traits like a willingness to learn, enthusiasm, self-direction and ambition. Personality also influences a person’s competence with the soft skills necessary to work with others. These soft skills involve knowing how to communicate, to listen, to show empathy for others, as well as leadership qualities

Evaluating Personality

The problem is many hiring managers are not all that good at evaluating a candidate’s personality. They often rely on their intuition, which is not as accurate as they believe it is. We all suffer from the same bias – we are more confident than we should be in our own judgment and unwilling to admit our limitations. And this leads to bad hires.

Some companies, however, are realizing the drawbacks of intuition and impressions and are turning to more scientifically oriented evaluation methods, ones based on psychology. These tests can more accurately reveal a candidate’s work ethic, their level of emotional intelligence, their reliability, and their mindset, whether they are doers, planners, or visionaries.

Are you hiring?

If your company is looking for good people, Opti Staffing can help you. We go the extra mile with all of our job candidates to delve into their background and learn about their skills and knowledge. And we work closely with employers to learn exactly what their needs are, so we can make a good match. Give us a call today.

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