Personality Matters: What Makes a Candidate the Best Fit

In a sea of resumes stacked with similar information about experience, education, and technical skills… what sets the applicants apart? This is where emotional intelligence and personality come into play in the hiring decision-making process. In the continuously fast-paced and competitive business world, finding the right fit requires the applicant to not only have the hard skills you need, but also a high emotional intelligence, as well as similar motivations and work style as your company. According to CareerBuilder’s survey, 71% of employers say they value emotional intelligence (EQ) more than IQ in an employee. EQ speaks to how a person is able to use their personality traits in various situations. Here are some reasons why placing more emphasis on factors beyond technical skills can be helpful to your company when evaluating applicants.

Interaction with Peers

With the ongoing pandemic, it is a smart business decision to bring aboard new hires who can bond with your existing employees. A new hire with a high EQ would exponentially help reduce the stress of other members of your staff. Sometimes, employees just need a second opinion or verbal stamps of approval for their work to eliminate feelings of uncertainty. On top of new task delegations and sharing the workload, a compassionate coworker can be a positive influence – both for technical judgment and morale boosting.

Company Culture

Your company culture is created and maintained by none other than your own employees. As we have mentioned in our recent article about startups, curating a suitable work culture is crucial to your company’s success. Consider what kind of work environment you want to foster:

  • What are your company’s core values?
  • How important and rigid is your hierarchy and degree of authority?
  • Is your company people-oriented or task-oriented? Do you place a heavy emphasis on teamwork?
  • What is your primary communication method?

The importance of having a compatible personality and high EQ is especially apparent for positions that involve a lot of human interactions – whether it be coworkers or customers. A person’s personality can also reflect their preferences for work style. A new hire who has similar perspectives with your existing employees, therefore, can both positively impact on your work environment and increase productivity.

Reduce Turnover

Research done by TinyPulse shows that 24% of employees are more likely to quit if they dislike their company’s culture. However, on top of work culture, aligning motivations plays a big role in employee retention. Assessing your applicant’s personality as a whole can help reveal their potential behaviour, tendencies, and motivations. Would the applicant be comfortable with the workload and nature of the position? Would they be able to meet their personal career goals through this job? Lack of growth and progression is often a major reason for high employee turnover. By taking personality into consideration when evaluating a candidate, you can find a better fit for your company, and, reduce turnover costs.

Skills Can Be Trained

Without a doubt, it is important for your employees to possess the necessary hard skills required for their position. However, skills can be trained while personality is hardwired. Training employees directly by yourself can also ensure that their skills meet the company’s standard. On the other hand, prior training from elsewhere may actually act as a barrier for new employees to fully embrace their new role. Additionally, a personality assessment can reveal hidden strengths and potentials that may benefit your company in the long run. There’s a chance you will find hidden gems that can offer more than just the hard skills on your preferred list. Next time you’re looking for a new hire, don’t forget to look for personality and motivation compatibility to find the best fit for your company!