Thursday, April 11, 2013

Should You Hire for Experience or Personality?

If all hiring was conducted strictly by reviewing resumes it would be very easy to make the best staff picks. You can quickly size up a potential employee's education and real world job experience by scanning their CV.

However, that won't necessarily provide you with the full portrait of that worker. That's why the in-person interview is a vital step in the hiring process. It's through the one-on-one interview that you can access the individual's personality and whether or not they'll be a "good fit" for your company.

All of this begs the question: Should you hire for experience or personality?

Building a Better Staff

If an employee doesn't have a specific skill set they can always be trained. That approach works best when the skills required have more to do with operating equipment or computer programs. When the requirement is something like sales or marketing, those skills might be harder to come by because they are personality based. Building a strong staff for your company means assessing your specific needs beyond the "I want to work with good people" idea.

A valuable employee needs to be equal parts dependable and a team player. The majority of folks who quit a job do so because they can't get along with a co-worker.

Is it their fault or the fault of the co-worker? How much of a role does personality play into that type of decision?

There is no guarantee that everyone you hire is going to get along and become the best of friends. They just have to work well together. However, there might be a slight edge when it comes to hiring personality over experience.

Putting Personality First

There are a few reasons why hiring an employee for their personality might be a benefit for your company. A staff member that gets along with others could mean they'll be sticking around.

A lower employee turnover rate helps increase productivity. If you don't have to take time out to retrain workers than you'll be able to focus on the tasks at hand. This idea of a productive team comes into play when there is room for advancement. Allowing for promotions within your company keeps the "family together."

The goal is to stick with the good hires and toss out the bad hires.

Every new hire means you're making an investment in that employee. Do you want your return on that investment to come back in the form of a good team member or someone who causes friction?

A person with an abrasive personality can still get the job done, but at what cost to company morale? You also have to consider your company's relationship with your clients and customers. Simply put, do you want the face of your company to be smiling or frowning? 

1 comment:

  1. While experience is needed to perform the job it is really the personality that determines whether the employee will contribute to the growth of the business or will drain resources and bring it down. You could hire an expert, but if he is not a team player and doesn't get along with others how is he going help?

    You have make hiring decision based on personality. As you rightly mentioned you can always train someone if he has the right personality. I had written a similar article arguing for attitude (personality) rather skill (experience) as a good indicator of employee's success. Would love to hear your expert opinion on it -


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