When half of your job is relationship building and working with varied stakeholders and teams, personality is almost as important as skills. You can always help someone learn a new skill but a natural ability to connect with people is much, much harder to teach.
How Do I Find the Right Personality Fit for the Department?
In the United Kingdom, nearly 70% of large employers are using personality profile testing on candidates. While this country hasn’t adopted personality testing as wholeheartedly, it is important to give personality some thought in selecting your team. Here are a few ways to incorporate personality search into the interview process.
The first thing to do is make a list of the personality traits your department needs versus the ones that will turn your nicely functioning team into a powder keg. For instance, an aggressive personality may not fit in with the staff you currently have or a passive personality might get trampled on. You know your department. What makes a good fit and what doesn’t?
Now take your personality traits and create questions that get candidates to talk to that trait. I read about a sales team manager who was looking for a very aggressive, hungry, hunter for his team. At the end of a seemingly successful interview he always told his candidate the job had just been filled but that there was an opening in the marketing team, would they be interested? A hungry sales person would never take a job in marketing, the thrill just isn’t there. If they said yes, he knew that wasn’t his ideal candidate. If they turned him down, they moved onto the next step.
If possible, introduce your final round candidates to the team and do so in a way that allows some interaction beyond “nice to meet you.” Go out to lunch. Invite them for coffee. Anything that spurs interaction. Watch the dynamics. Are they engaging your team or are they letting the team drill them like an interview? Do your best to make this a casual experience. You’re looking for personality here not more answers to your favorite interview questions.
At the Vortechs Group we make this process easy for our clients. Our clients, along with several members of their team, fill out a questionnaire, which narrows down the dynamics that are suitable for their teams. Once we’ve located a strong candidate, and we’ve spoken with them, we administer the employment assessment test to the candidate and compare against the answers of the client. This removes guess work from the hiring process and helps us examine the potential “fit” more closely. We are then able to tailor our questions to the discovery and pass this information along to our clients. It’s a solid process that nets results.
Hiring the right personality for your team is one of the most important tasks you have as a manager. The right person makes a difference in the way the team functions and the alacrity with which relationships are forged. Choose wisely.