Why You Should Hire On Personality, Not Skill

why hire on personality not skill

Whether you are a new business owner or a seasoned person in charge, you will need to hire people for your company. It doesn’t matter which department you need to bring people into, the process for hiring is going to be almost identical across the board. You will have strict ideas on what you want for your business, and rightly so. Wanting the best people to take your business to the top is important, and you want people who are experts in their field to do it. The thing is, if you put a job out on a board and start your hiring process, you’re going to come across a lot of resumes. For every role you put out there, you’ll get over one hundred applications and almost half of those applications will be duds. Well, if you base your choices of interviewees on their resume and skills, they’ll be duds. But how much can you truly tell from a resume? 

HR Hiring Help

There is a big debate in the world of HR, and that’s whether it’s a good idea to hire on personality rather than on skillset. The hiring process is a challenging experience as it is, especially when you have neither the time nor the expertise to do it yourself. Many people choose to outsource their hiring processes to other companies because it’s easier to outsource and have someone else manage the process for you than try and wade through the applicants yourself. The part that counts is after the applications have been sifted, sorted and selected by skills. This is the bit you get to meet the chosen few to interview them face to face. Entrepreneurs like you really cannot afford to waste time and money on this process: you need good people and you need them now so that your business can flourish. When it comes down to it, though, you need to know you are bringing people on board that can gel with your business and your vision for the future. You want to be able to get along with them on a personal level as well as have their skills match what you need to be successful. 

Soft Skills

One thing to remember about bringing people into your company, is that they are not just resumes full of skills and qualifications. These are real people with their own ideas for the future, their own goals and their own motivation for applying for your company. Ideally, they’ve applied to work for you because they feel like they can get something out of your business that benefits them, as well as the fact that they are good for the job you have available. Hiring someone based on their resume is a huge mistake for your company, because you could bring in someone with all the right skills and ideas, but they have the personality of a soggy weekend; it just wouldn’t work long-term. Recruitment is an expensive process, and not just when you outsource to another company. You have to think about the long-term costs of training, the time you are giving up so that you can help them through your processes and the money you spend on technology and equipment. So, it makes sense to want to ensure that you bring the right person on in the first place.

The biggest reason you should hire based on personality and not just skillset, is the fact that a team culture is so important for a company. Think about it; you spend upward of eight hours a day with the people that you work with. If you have to sit in the same office, you need to ensure that you get along with the people that you work with. If your people feel comfortable where they are working, and feel like they can discuss and debate during the work day, then the workplace becomes somewhere that they want to be. People are far more productive when they get along with the people around them, and you want to foster a culture where your staff are happy to come to work and engage. You could have the best team in the world, but bringing someone new into the fold could cause ripples and that’s why personality needs to be accounted for during the hiring process. 

Company Culture

Bitterness in the office can spread quickly, souring relationships and making people feel like they can’t come to work because of the atmosphere and feeling out of place. You want your staff to feel motivated and enthused to come to work and hit their deadlines, but a gossip-fuelled and discontented workplace is not somewhere people want to spend the majority of their week. When employees are in tune with each other, they work smoothly and happily and the business benefits from that environment. Don’t forget that when you bring on someone new, you want people to like them being there and the right culture fit could affect them as much as it can your existing staff. You want people to stay for a long time, so that you can make your hiring worthwhile. It’s part of your job to foster the right environment for all employees, and that means treating people like human beings and not like skills on a resume. 

It's important to also remember, that skills can be learned but personality is something that is already existing. A lot of the time, employers reject people because they are missing a particular skill and the one thing that the employer is losing out on is a great person. That missing skill? It could be learned on the job and picked up quickly. It comes down to laziness when a person who would be a perfect fit in every way does not get a role because they may be missing one piece of the puzzle. If you aren’t looking at the person and are just looking at the qualifications and skills, then you are making a big mistake. Personality should come first, followed by skills and then experience. One missing skill for a person who is otherwise dynamic, motivated and perfect as an addition to your business is not right. You could spend the time training them on the missing skill and make it worth your while. If someone has been trained by you directly, you know that they will work in the way that you want them to, rather than in a way someone else has taught them to. There’s a huge advantage there, as not only will you have someone working in the way that you want, you also get someone who is obviously willing to learn and invest their time into your company due to the opportunities you have provided for them. 

Top Talent

Talent is hard to come by and when the employment market is saturated with people crying out for work, you get your choice of the bunch. You are the person in charge of taking on or rejecting staff overall and when you only hire in based on paperwork, you end up with a disjointed workforce who do not gel together well. No amount of icebreaker days and retreat weekends can change this, as you’ve just wasted your money on people who are not right for you personally. Look at it from the point of view of the candidates. Imagine you are the one applying for a job. Would you want to work for someone willing to invest in your future? Would you want to work in a team that doesn’t go together or get along nicely? Probably not. You want to feel welcome and vital in a workplace. There’s nothing worse than being the new guy and not fitting in because the existing employees are closed off to getting to know new people.


As a company owner, it’s well within your power to hire in the people who will bring something to your business while saving yourself some stress. When you sit down with your candidate bank to choose from, make a brainstorm. List what you want from the personality of the new person on your team and base your initial interview on them as a person. You can do a straight interview process whereby you telephone interview based on their skills, but make it worth your while as well as theirs. No prospective employee wants to work for a company who do not consider their potential, as they will want a future in your business and they are within your company to gain experience and hopefully, new skills. If you are hiring based on skill alone, you could be missing out on someone vital. Don’t forget, that people that you bring into your company enrich your life as much as you are enriching theirs with paid employment. Your employees can teach you a lot about the way that you manage people and juggle your own workload. Be present as an employer and make sure that you do more than just hire people, hire the future.

business guide

I hope you enjoyed this article about why you should hire based on personality and not just on skills.

Interested in more articles about hiring and managing employees?

Read My Posts:

- How To Better Motivate Your Employees 

- Employee Management Interview With Zig Marketing

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