Looking into a future new employee’s personality is not an add-on requirement that few super brands have the luxury to select on. In fact, companies have recognized the essentiality of an employee’s character that they bring to the company’s culture. Since 2014, a Hyper Island Executive Study revealed that 78% of leaders in various industries claim to view personality as the most desirable quality in a worker followed by cultural alignment (53%) and finally “skill-set” (39%).


Hiring employees based on their personality among their related work experience and educational background is one of the soft skill factors that HR experts start to give more attention to. This article is chapter 1 of a series of what we in Whaii call the “Soft skill handbook” – those are, namely: Personality, Values, and Culture.

What specifically do experts mean when they say “personality” in a professional setting? Why is it that personality matters? How do you spot the right fit of skills and personality for your company?

Stick with the next lines and you will get the answers to those hiring questions and get further recruiting reflections.

What does hiring based on personality mean?

Considering the personality of an employee during the recruitment stage is of high relevance, there is no doubt in that. But before we tackle how and why hiring managers should have a candidate’s personality in mind, clarifying what personality entails precisely is necessary.

Personality is beyond what candidates give you as of first impressions on the interview or when just starting in the new job position. It goes deeper than that: while first impressions may hint character’s traits or patterns on the surface, the true personality of people is situated on a deeper level. It is how they think and feel and how they behave consequently.

So, what is it to hire for personality? Should candidates be aware of yet another evaluation criterion out there among the already fierce competition based solely on skill requirements? Fear they should not. The personality skills that companies are evaluating candidates for are nothing but how they would fit in the team and the organizational culture. Or how candidates would react in a stressful situation, what is their flexibility and perceptiveness to change, and so forth. The applicant’s personality is not evaluated in any other aspect of their life such as how they are in their private life.


When should personality weigh more?

Naturally, those who have heavier experience and are more qualified with their hard skills take precedence. However, there are certain situations when it makes sense to let personality have higher priority than usual.

Consider this scenario: you are left with two candidates for a job opening. One has slightly more work experience than the other applicant, however, that second candidate had demonstrated greater determination and quick thinking. Furthermore, you can imagine easily how this candidate would fit in and complement the rest of your team.

Who would you choose to go onboard with? Before you are quick to answer, there is one fundamental truth for you to remember:





Skills can be learned. However, you cannot train a personality.




In that train of thought, entry positions are another fitting case when you, the recruiter, should consider the personality of a person. This is when skills can be developed as the new employee gets work practice and when the fitting personality can bring value to the organizational culture: whether because they bring engagement to the team or because they have that distinctive trait that enhances the benefits of a diverse team.

Personality and skills – what is the right balance?

 Of course, the skills of candidates are a crucial part of the hiring process. Some experts say that:

“Technical skills, experience and knowledge should count for about 50 percent of the decision, assessments for 30 percent, and interview performance for the remaining 20 percent”

The point is that you, the recruiter, should avoid selecting someone based solely on skills or personality. Those criteria should be complementary for having the best recruitment decision. So, start by incorporating that mindset into your recruitment strategies. How




What are the benefits of doing personality assessments?

By scanning the resume of a candidate, you can get an overview of the person behind it based on their work skills, but can you identify their personality? That is when personality assessment tools of various types can be a great use – whether as pointers of personality traits based on resume screening or as video interviews.

Here are some of the advantages of doing a personality assessment:


Saves Time

Most of the personality tools out there vary on time spent on getting the candidate’s overall personality assessment. Some add time to the recruitment process, and others, like the AI-powered linguistic readers, reduce the screening time by evaluating in seconds.








Reduces Cost

With a better assessment in place, you get a better overview of candidates and you lower the chances of a wrong hire. And the cost of a bad hire can be from 50% to 400% of the fired employee’s annual salary.

Happier Team

When hiring new employees that fit into the organizational culture, it creates a more harmonic work environment when the workforce gets along. Consequently, this leads to further work and team motivation and satisfaction.


Helps you select better

With quick resume scanning with AI-powered linguistic tools, hiring managers can get an overview of the candidate and prepare with more specific questions at the interview. If those SaaS helpers are used at a later stage of the hiring when two or three candidates are left, that software can be useful for deciding with which applicant to go with based on a more enriched evaluation.

Does it sound intimidating?


Perhaps. But it does not have to be.

Rather than fearing it, you could instead prepare and see what a linguistic-powered scanning tool can tell about your candidates’ strengths and weaknesses. You could use that knowledge to the advantage of the candidates and ensure they will actually thrive and feel more at home in the job and organization because there is a better alignment with their personality, values, and culture.