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Why Personality and Job Skills Matter in the Recruitment Process

Recruiting is a long, arduous process during which HR departments are tasked with narrowing down a candidate pool that will often look quite similar on paper. Two of the most important factors guiding this process are personality, and skill level.

How important are these characteristics in a job candidate, and how can recruiters prioritize them? In this article, we take a look at the value of both.

The Importance of Personality

Personality can be a challenging thing to evaluate during the recruitment process for the simple reason that it doesn’t hinge on the dichotomy of good and bad. Well. Not usually. More often than not, the question isn’t if a job candidate has a good personality, but rather if they have the right personality for your business.

More than 50% of working people agree that company culture has a significant impact on the overall experience of a job. Culture within a business is, of course, significantly shaped by the people who work there.

if someone is joining an existing team, it’s important that they have a personality that is compatible with the current office vibe. If not, it may have a demoralizing impact on existing staff. It also may increase the odds that your new hire turns over.

The Importance of Job Skills

The importance of job skills is, of course, easier to understand than the importance of personality. If someone has the skills for the job they are applying for, they will need less training and onboarding. Does this mean that only candidates with an established work history should be considered?

Possibly. That will depend mostly on the specifics of the position, and the goals of your company. However, there is value in weighing potential alongside experience. Does the job candidate exhibit adaptive skills that will allow them to grow into the job?

Sometimes finding an applicant with limited experience but high potential can be a good way to affordably staff a position while still getting a great new hire.

Making It Work

It’s no secret that finding a new hire that is a good personality match and skill match can be difficult. HR departments do benefit from software that shrinks candidate pools down considerably without the need for much manual work.

However, the ultimate evaluation and hiring decision is still very much a human process. Every company will need to establish its own value hierarchy when it comes to deciding what qualities to look for in a job candidate.

However, it’s worth considering the difference between attributes: personality is what people call a “soft skill”. It’s difficult to characterize and virtually impossible to teach, but you know when you see it.

Hard skills, on the other hand — those most likely to be listed on a resume, usually can be taught. In other words, an applicant who is a great personality match may be able to grow into the skill-related requirements of a new job, while a highly skilled candidate probably won’t be able to adapt their personality to your office culture.

It’s a difficult balance to strike but when you find the perfect combination of hard and soft skills, you’ll benefit from a great new addition to your team.


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