Should You Hire for Personality?

Monday, May 20th, 2024

Should You Hire for Personality?

Have you heard the term “personality hire” recently? And does your company specifically look for personality hires to add to the team? Let’s discuss the benefits, risks, and considerations for hiring based on personality.

If you’ve never heard of personality hires, this article by the NY Post provides a bit of background, although it doesn’t paint the whole picture. According to the article, a personality hire is not hired for the skills they can bring to the table but for their “fun factor” or personality. (And if you hop down to the comments section, you can see how people feel about that!)

Examine Why You Feel This is Necessary

If you feel like you need to hire someone for their personality, ask yourself why that is. If your organization needs to hire someone to lighten the mood, it’s like bandaging the hole of a water bucket. The problem lies with the leadership.

Company leadership sets the tone in the office – so if the workplace is too serious, the leadership should set out to make it right. It’s the job of the leaders in an organization to be receptive to (and understanding of) employees’ needs and treat them right. A new hire can’t do all of that, nor should they.

Fix the Root of the Problem

Instead of hiring a person to make the workplace fun, find out what the core cultural problem is in the organization. Talk to your employees and find out what challenges they’re facing. (And if you’re concerned they won’t feel comfortable talking to leadership, offer the option of filling out anonymous surveys.)

Be sure that your mid-level managers are properly trained to lead teams with empathy and respect, and don’t take their word on everything so seriously that you make major decisions based on what they say. Fact-check to ensure what they’re telling you is accurate and unbiased.

Simply treat people how you want to be treated. You’ll be surprised how much employees will feel welcome if you listen to their concerns and treat them with kindness and respect.

Here are some practices that can help:

  • Regular surveys to find out where employees stand as far as stress levels, feeling included, being energized by work, etc.
  • Encouraging time off so that employees can spend time with their family and friends – prioritizing work-life balance is huge for employees.
  • Not grilling employees about the time that they want to take off. Instead of saying, “Why do you need time off?” as if they’re doing something wrong, try to grant the time.
  • Respond positively to requests for additional help or input, even if you’re busy. Even if they’ve asked at the worst possible time. Being there for your team shows care.
  • Trust your people to do their jobs. Few things decrease confidence in a company like micromanagement. You hired them to do their jobs, so let them do their jobs.
  • Walk the talk. Companies talk about an abundance mindset and have employees sign “non-compete agreements,” which may be banned soon! People see through that.

Leveling Up Your Leadership Skills

Train your team and organize team-building events to help boost morale. If you can show your staff that the job is contributing to society and helping people, they will see their value and bring their A-game to work. (If you support them when they need help, they’ll be grateful and want to help you, too!) Treating people with fairness has a major impact on how people feel about working with you.

Remember: trust has to be built with each employee over time and reinforced during the most critical moments, or it’ll be lost. Does your staff feel like it can trust you? If not, you may lose your best workers.

Want more leadership tips? Good to Great by Jim Collins is an awesome resource!

The Double-Edged Sword of Personality Hires

Personality is great – we all have one and should bring them to work. It helps people trust us more because it’s more authentic. That said, if someone lacks the skill to do their job, they shouldn’t be doing it. You can’t skate by on personality alone. (Not even mascots can!)

Did you know? The TikTok influencer who said she’s a “personality hire” in the NY Post article is actually very good at her job. Contrary to how it sounded in the article, she doesn’t goof off all day – she contributes to her company.

Many commenters seemed concerned that people would consider themselves “personality hires” and then opt out of putting in the work. In this case, however, it’s not true. She brought hard work and her personality, which is great!

Bottom line: should you hire someone based on personality alone? No! But if you’ve got skills and a nice personality, you can make it a lot easier for people to work with you.

For example, if you’re the next Robin Williams and you’re working with the Clear Eyes spokesman Ben Stein, chances are you won’t have a great working relationship. Every joke you try to tell will be met with a cold, hard stare or a monotone lecture. You won’t mesh very well.

Want to Work with a Triple Threat?

At Matcha Design, we’re fun, hardworking, and fantastic at what we do. If you need help with your next project, contact us!

We promise we have so much more to offer than just a fun personality.

About Matcha Design

Matcha Design is a full-service creative B2B agency with decades of experience executing its client’s visions. The award-winning company specializes in web design, logo design, branding, marketing campaign, print, UX/UI, video production, commercial photography, advertising, and more. Matcha Design upholds the highest personal standards for excellence and can see things from a unique perspective due to its multicultural background.  The company consistently delivers custom, high-quality, innovative solutions to its clients using technical savvy and endless creativity. For more information, visit MatchaDesign.com.

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