Personality Hires: Bringing the Energy to the Office

When you’re looking for a new hire, sifting through a stack of resumes can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. You’re knee-deep in qualifications, experience, and a whole lot of buzzwords. But then, a candidate walks in, and there’s something about them—a secret ingredient. Personality!

Now, if you’ve spent any time scrolling through TikTok (or you’ve seen it on Instagram three days later), you’ve probably stumbled upon some comedic “personality hire” videos.

Some folks may treat it like a punchline, and yes… I’ve read those articles claiming that these personality-driven individuals lack the ‘hard skills’ necessary to thrive in the workplace. But let me tell you, I’m here to flip the script.

The ability to uplift company culture through high emotional intelligence should not be seen as just some fluffy ‘soft skill.’ Leadership, effective communication, teamwork, time management, and adaptability skills are equally as important to programming, project management, and marketing. In fact, studies show that the best leaders are those who combine tactical, functional knowledge with the EQ and leadership capabilities to drive results inside (and outside) their teams.

Experts repeatedly assert that these soft skills – you know, your actual personality, are the concrete foundation upon which thriving teams are built. So, buckle up as we show you why personality hires aren’t just a punchline—they’re the secret sauce that keeps companies thriving. 

What IS a Personality Hire?

Personality hires are individuals recruited not solely for their technical skills or experience, but their characteristics and cultural fit within the organization. They are sought after for their ability to mesh well with existing teams and contribute to the overall workplace environment. More and more companies recognize that a diverse range of personalities can enrich team dynamics, foster creativity, and enhance collaboration. Personality hires play a crucial role in driving organizational success, lets dive into why and how you can implement it into your company! 

The Power of Personality

In any workplace, technical skills, like data analysis or coding can be taught, and experience can be gained. But a person’s personality— their attitudes, values, communication style —is often deeply ingrained and less malleable. This makes personality a significant factor in determining team dynamics, collaboration, and ultimately, success.

When teams are composed of individuals with complementary personalities—some more analytical, others more creative; some more introverted, others more extroverted—they often achieve a balance that fosters greater productivity. Conversely, when personalities clash or key traits are lacking within a team, it can lead to friction and a decrease in morale.

Yet, it’s crucial to have diverse perspectives at the table – so, how do we create cohesion within our teams without just looking for clones of ourselves and falling into the trap of similarity bias? One answer might be to look for a “personality hire” who can smooth the social fabric of the team and the larger organization.

1. Being the Bridge

Personality hires with strong communication skills and emotional intelligence can facilitate open and transparent communication within teams, across departments, and even through executive levels.

By understanding how to adapt their communication styles to different situations and personalities, they promote companywide collaboration. In a team of 10 or 10,000, conflicts inevitably arise, whether due to project/responsibility overlap or even behavioral differences. This is where personality hires come in to save the day. The ability to mend those bonds through de-escalation can help team members work more effectively. And, overall, more happily!

Further, although a symbiotic relationship between the executive level and the team is always desired, sometimes employees don’t feel comfortable communicating upward. Having an inside person, then, who can elevate the office vibes, helps to close the gap between the C-Suite and employees.

2. Work Friends

Employee engagement and retention are key indicators of organizational health and performance. Personality hires who not only align with the company’s culture, but also ADD to it, are more likely to be engaged and committed to their roles. Better yet, personality hires aren’t just more engaged themselves, they also help others connect more deeply to the company. Which in turn increases engagement across the organization.

This can be as simple as starting chit-chat before meetings, suggesting an after-work activity, or even sending memes in the group chat. This might feel trivial, but it creates a sense of inclusion and belonging in the workplace. If employees feel connected to the organization and its people, they’ll benefit from higher job satisfaction and productivity.

Additionally, employees who relate to their coworkers and the company itself tend to feel less lonely. This is not surprising, considering a Harvard Business Review article cited that the average person spends 81,396 hours — the equivalent of more than nine years over the course of a lifetime — at work. Further, having work friends is strongly linked to “improvements in profitability, safety, inventory control, and employee retention.”

The Art of Personality Hiring

Personality hiring means doing more than simply assessing technical skills and experience. It involves finding candidates whose personalities will add something positive to the dynamics of the team, while also meeting role requirements. This is not easy! It requires recruiters to look beyond the resume and delve into the intangible qualities that make each candidate unique. To be familiar with both the existing culture and the ideal candidate’s personality traits by leveraging past experiences, the interview process, and reading between the lines of resumes.

A recent study suggests that hiring managers already place an emphasis on traits such as agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and extraversion, as it has demonstrated to be a strong predictor of employee performance. Companies often try to hire those who share the organization’s values, mission, and working norms. But to get personality hires right, you might need to be even more intentional about what personality traits and perspectives are lacking.

When we talk about personality hiring, it’s essential to emphasize that it’s not about surrounding ourselves with carbon copies of your own characteristics. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. It’s about recognizing the intrinsic qualities that each candidate brings to the table. Embracing diversity of thought, background, perspective, and experience. Personality hires aren’t just about “fitting in”; they’re about adding something new and invaluable to the team.

A successful team is like a puzzle where each team member brings something unique to the table. Personality hiring involves evaluating how a candidate’s personality will complement existing team dynamics and contribute to overall cohesiveness.

Embracing the Power of Personality

As you embark on your hiring journey, remember this: personality isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a crucial ingredient for building strong, resilient teams and fostering a thriving workplace culture. Let’s seek out those individuals whose attitudes, values, and communication styles align with and add to our company’s ethos. Personality hires serve as bridges, connecting teams and fostering open communication, collaboration, and morale. They uplift company culture, promote engagement, and contribute to a more vibrant and cohesive workplace. It’s time to acknowledge that soft skills are not just a punchline, but the secret sauce that keeps companies thriving.

Ready to bring some pizzazz to your team? A “personality hire” might be the right move.

  • Employee engagement
  • HR Strategy
  • Human Capital
  • Talent Acquisition

Ready to begin your Skill-centric journey? Let's talk.

Start The Skills Journey Now