There are a million things to consider when hiring a new employee, from their experience level to how long they stayed at their last two jobs. But to Alexander F. Bouri, there is only one qualification that truly matters—and it may not be what you think. To Bouri, personality is the most important hiring characteristic. Why? Here are five good reasons:
1. It’s easy to spot – Personality is something you can gauge easily in a first interview. If they seem consistent in subsequent interviews, it’s a lock. You know your company culture better than anyone—both what’s currently working and what you’d like to see—and hiring people who fit that mold is the surest way to make the culture even stronger. Think of whether a candidate is someone you would be happy to see every day, and you’ll know instantly if they are a fit.
2. It improves every project – Having people you trust and like is more than just a recipe for a happy office; it makes the hardest, most challenging projects easier to bear. At the same time, it makes the easy, fun projects even better. When everyone gets along and treats each other well—which is pretty much the definition of what good personalities do—teamwork isn’t something you’ll have to promote. It will come together naturally.
3. It’s one of the hardest things to teach – If someone has less experience, or hasn’t used your software before, or has done the sales side of the job but not the administrative side, these are all skill sets you can teach. Whether it’s some OTJ, a four-week training course or mentoring over the first six months, skill sets can be picked up with time. Personality is much harder to change, and it tends to change from major life events, not from training seminars. Take the people who already have the right personality and you can teach them the rest.
4. It can be found in any demographic – It doesn’t matter what kind of job you’re offering, what kind of education is necessary, or where your business is located. There are people from all backgrounds, in every part of the world, who have good personalities. Focusing on this trait will help you build a broader, more diverse team that works together well.
5. It can save you money – At the end of the day, bottom line matters. A hire who is “great” because they have ten more years of experience than anyone else is going to come with a price tag. But there is no pay grade associated with personality. A person with moderate experience and great personality can be incredibly valuable, but they’re paid like anyone else with moderate experience. You get more for the same price.
How does personality figure into your hiring?