How personality affects hiring and teamwork

Apr 19, 2018

Industry News

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personality profilingI am a firm believer that qualifications and experience are not the be-all and end-all of finding the right person to fill a job.

Finding the person with the right sort of personality can be just as important and should actually play a major role in your hiring process.

Here are a few important statistics to consider:

  • 89% of hiring failures are based primarily on a bad cultural fit
  • The number one reason that people decide to quit is because of a bad relationship with their manager
  • Two out of every three dismissals are due to a personality problem or a communication problem

There is no doubt that finding a person with the correct cultural fit can be a challenge. It is a challenge faced by many companies around the world. A cultural fit is defined as “a fit where there is compatibility or harmony between the norms and values of the organization and those of the person”. And one of the main reasons people get fired is because they are just not the right fit.

cultural fit in pre-employmentPersonality and Behaviour at work

For most of our working lives, we spend on average a third of our time working in our job. It is no wonder that factors such as personality, self-esteem, personal growth, values and ethics, and morals, are just as important as the more commonly thought of factors such as a high salary and job satisfaction.

When hiring, consider carefully the type of person you are looking for, and perhaps attempt to fit them into one of these ‘boxes’:

  • Outgoing or Introverted;
  • Work Ethic;
  • Attention to Detail; and
  • Levels of Motivation.

Decide what factors are most important for the position, as well as what type of individual will fit in best at your company. Think carefully about how well they would fit in with your current company culture.

Being great at your job doesn’t mean you are safe from being fired. Your personality and cultural fit is often more important.

cultural fit in pre-employmentWorking in a team

In many businesses, teamwork is of utmost importance. Over the years, there have been numerous examples of teamwork that has completely failed within an organisation. One of the biggest reasons is because the individuals that have been put into the team have not been assessed and matched up properly. We often think that putting ‘like-minded’ people in the same team is a good idea. However, in many cases, the exact opposite tends to work best.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. We are also all able to fulfil different roles. As such, when putting a team together, think about the roles that each member could fulfil. Every group needs a leader. However, a group made up exclusively of ‘leaders’ might not be the best idea.

Consider these roles when making your next hire, or when putting together your next team:

  • Leader/s;
  • Creative Thinkers;
  • Analysts; and
  • Pleasers.

personality profilingWhat should you do?

Right from the start of the hiring process, when you advertise a position, you should make it clear what you are looking for. Yes, you can mention that you are looking for a candidate with a specific qualification and a particular number of years experience. But also make it explicit that you are looking for, for example, somebody who is innovative, or hard-working, or entrepreneurial, or out-going. When actually interviewing the candidates, these factors must also be considered, and must be discussed and assessed with that individual. Some experts even suggest taking the candidates for a walk around the office, interacting with existing employees, and then watching and asking for reactions from the candidate. This can be a great measure of a cultural fit.

Take advantage of our Pre-Employment Screening Services and our HR Outsourcing expertise to ensure your peace of mind during the recruitment and selection process.


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