Why Personality Still Matters After the Hiring Process Is Done

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Nov 6, 2014

In the hiring process, cultural fit has become a big component of hiring the right person.

You want to be sure you hire someone who will fit into the company, the role, and even into particular teams. You can’t hire a lone wolf for a customer-facing job, or someone who needs plenty of direction for a virtual position.

When hiring, personality can sometimes even trump qualifications when it comes to finding someone who will grow with the position.

According to 2012 research from the Society for Human Resource Management, about 20 percent of employers use personality assessments during the hiring process. A further 71 percent indicated these tests can be useful in predicting organizational fit and job-related behavior.

But should you really put away your personality assessments once the hiring work is done? Does personality cease to matter once the offer letter is signed?

Expanding personality tests past the hiring process

It makes sense why employers are increasingly looking at personality during the hiring process. With the skills gap ever widening, there’s logic in finding candidates who will fit into your company, even if they don’t have every qualification for the job.

In fact, 38 percent of employers have open positions they just cannot find the talent to fill. To jump the skills gap, many employers are looking at candidates who have the right personality and drive for the organization, and the enthusiasm to learn the skills they lack.

Many HR pros and employers limit their use of personality tests to the hiring process, without realizing how effective personality assessments can be once candidates turn into employees. Yet a candidate’s personality and passion will influence everything from what projects they enjoy to what team members they work best beside.

Here are a few reasons to expand your personality assessments beyond the recruitment stage:

Improving motivation and morale

According to a Gallup survey, about 70 percent of the American workforce is disengaged on the job. This means lost profits, as unmotivated workers sleepwalk through their day, hurting your organization’s productivity. Perhaps workers are mentally checking out because their unique skills aren’t being fitted to their responsibilities.

If you know what motivates your employees, you’ll be able to keep them engaged in the workplace. You might have your superstar employee in meetings with other team members all day, when really this person thrives in a more independent work setting.

Personality tests can help you better understand your workforce, so you can pair talented employees with the tasks and projects likely to get them excited about coming into the office every morning.

Giving the right rewards

The reason employees disengage and begin dreaming of greener pastures is because they don’t feel recognized and valued in their current position. Unfortunately, it can be hard for employers to know what their employees truly want.

Does your superstar employee want more money, more responsibilities, or a better work-life balance? One great worker might be looking for a raise, while another dreams of being able to telecommute more often.

Using personality assessments, you can reward employees in a more personal way with perks they actually want. This not only shows you care about employees as individuals, but also is likely to increase morale and improve employee retention.

Improved collaboration and teamwork

Teamwork is important in every organization, but sometimes personalities will clash and working styles just won’t mix.

You can have two very talented employees who, when put together on a project, spend their time arguing instead of productively working. You can put a smart employee in charge of a group project, only to determine this worker’s leadership skills just aren’t up to the task.

No matter how well you think you know your workforce, teamwork can show surprising new facets of employee personalities.

Personality assessments can help you put together better teams by matching personality attributes of members to their work. You can avoid putting two alpha dogs in one group, or creating a project with no clear leader at all. This can help your employees focus on the work at hand, instead of surmounting personality differences.

Conflict resolution

Any time you put a variety of people in one place, conflicts will arise. Understanding the wants, needs, and personalities of your employees can help you better navigate these rocky patches between co-workers.

If you understand the personalities involved, you can better mitigate conflict and work toward a resolution that will work for both parties.

While personality tests are useful in the hiring process, they shouldn’t be left behind as soon as a candidate becomes a permanent employee. Instead, these assessments can help employers improve morale, resolve conflicts, improve rewards, and encourage teamwork.