Someone told me recently that they don’t hire people based on skill sets. They hire based on attitude and a positive demeanour. In this article, we will look at why good people outshine nice ones in recruitment.
To some extent, I hear what they are saying. Take two people with the same skills; one of them is negative, likes to take extra time on their lunch break, and is selfish. The other is positive, happy to work hard, and a team player.
Nine times out of ten, the second person is likely to be more of an asset to your business. But it’s important to remember, it’s not a popularity contest – you cannot hire someone just because they are a nice person or they ‘mean well’.
This is where a lot of business owners go wrong in their recruitment. They hire people they know or people they like. But weeks later, they realise they’ve made a mistake because the person isn’t a good fit for the role.
Being a kind person with a sunny disposition doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to get the job done – even if they are nicer to work alongside.
It often depends on the seniority level of the position and the size of the business. Timpson, for example, says that it recruits just on personality – which is a great strategy for them. But in a small business or for a role that is senior, you cannot hire like this.
But what you can do, is profile the person to ensure they have the right personality for the role itself.
A person with the right traits certainly can be taught the skills, as those skills will come naturally to them.
For example, Let’s Look At Someone Who Works In A Sales role.
The candidate will need to hit sales targets, so the perfect ‘traits’ may be that they are:
· Motivated by winning rather than fear of losing
· Hungry/ambitious to earn a good salary
· Highly empathetic, able to read people and able to adjust their sales style accordingly
· Well organised to ensure no leads slip through the cracks
· Willing to respond to requests after the 9-5
· Willingness to be ‘scrappy’ in order to hit targets
· Dress smart
· A morning person
Therefore, in the interview process, you may ask questions such as:
· Are you more motivated by the thought of winning or fear of losing?
· What do you want to be earning in 2-5 years?
· What questions would you ask a potential client in your first meeting with them?
· How do you structure/organise your week? What strategies/tools do you use to help you?
· If a sales lead contacted you out of hours, would you be keen and respond quickly, or would you wait until back in the office to not look too eager/pushy?
· If you weren’t hitting targets, what would you do?
· Do you prefer to dress up or dress casually for work?
· Are you a morning person or a night owl?
In another role, the traits required may actually be entirely different. The role may even benefit from someone who is naturally cautious or pessimistic.
For example, in a manufacturing production role, the perfect traits maybe someone who is.
Inquisitive and confident enough to question everything and push back
Motivated by the fear of losing rather than winning
Trusted by people but untrusting of others
Extremely honest with good integrity
Similarly to the sales role, the interview process would attempt to eke this information out of the candidate without being leading.
However, for a truly unbiased approach, behavioural profiling needs to form part of the recruitment strategy – especially if you are in growth mode.
Not only can it help you understand what personality traits a role should have and then scores each candidate based on ‘best match’, it also identifies what gaps you have in your organisation.
A business full of people with the same skills and personality type will likely be held back.
For example, by profiling everyone in the business, we can discover which important skills are missing – such as someone incredible at operations or production.
Remember, you don’t need to hire people because they are lovely – you hire them because they are good, or because they have the potential to be good.