Who Am I?

Why Personality Matters More Than Experience

When searching for a new employee, it is easy to focus on qualifications and experience. After all, there is logic in the idea that hiring someone who has done the job previously, means they will be able to hit the ground running when they start. What this is forgetting, however, is personality, and personality matters. Not least because whilst knowledge can be acquired, skills learnt, and experience gained, personality is unchangeable. A new employee who is smart, motivated, and willing to learn will be enthusiastic and able to figure out how things work, which has to preferable to an experienced person who can do the job, but has no real interest in contributing to your company.

One work environment does not fit all. Employees will be happier and more productive in a setting that suits them. Someone who is shy and lacks confidence is, for example, less likely to be comfortable in a role that involves a lot of team work and contact with people, than a confident, sociable person who is happiest when surrounded by others. The benefits to ensuring employee personalities and values match your work place are substantial. Firstly, negativity spreads. An employee that is unhappy and complains a lot could bring the mood and morale of your whole team down. Secondly, it is good for business. In customer-focused roles, for example, friendly, outgoing employees will bring a warmth to your business that will ensure customers leave having had a positive experience; it is easier to train a ‘people-person’ with no experience how to do a customer service based role, than it is to teach an experienced introvert how to be more extroverted. Likewise, if you know the work is challenging, high pressure, and will require commitment and over-time there is little point in hiring someone who has a work ethic that means they work only 9–5 – both you and your new employee will end up frustrated, irrespective of what previous experience they have.

Furthermore, hiring a candidate with all the relevant soft-skills and personality traits, but little experience in your industry, can bring a fresh perspective. People who have been doing a job for a long time may be stuck in their ways and unable to think outside the box, whereas fresh eyes can bring creativity, new ideas and innovative methods of problem solving.

Identifying personal characteristics and values can be challenging. The first meeting is likely to be at interview, but as personality doesn’t come across in a CV, the ideal candidate may have been turned away already. Research has shown that including psychometric testing in your recruitment process will increase your chance of employing candidates suited to your organisation, who will not only thrive, but will also remain with you over the long-term. E-Talent incorporates psychometrics and behavioural testing into their online candidate management system, with the aim of helping you to look beyond experience to personality and potential.

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