Personality vs. Skills: Which One is More Important when Hiring New Talents? 

May 11, 20218:00 am2755 views
Personality vs. Skills: Which One is More Important when Hiring New Talents? 
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Having professional working experience is a must-have for new hires in today’s world of recruitment. Companies need individuals who excel in their job to bring more business value. When candidates have prior work experience, employers can spend less in training and the said employee can adapt faster and better in the workplace. 

There is no doubt that job experience is vital to recruitment. But then, where does education degrees stand? Does a college education matter in employment? 

Experience vs. education 

Education expert Ryan Craig stated that students might one day find they do not need a bachelor’s degree to become employable. Traditional four-year college experience could no longer be considered vital when applying for a job and might be a bit “old-fashioned and elitist”. In fact, 58 percent of leading employers value work experience among graduates more than grades or the name of the candidate’s university. 

Some of the reasons why job experience is more important in today’s recruitment are, as follows: 

  • Experience offers more than turning theory into practice. For instance, a person studies biochemistry at school and gets a job in the industry. More than practicing what he has learnt from school, at work he will also learn about communication, leadership, and other soft skills. 
  • A relevant experience makes a person stand out from the rest of the pack even if without formal education written on resumes. This is due to experience letting individuals craft their own story while the rest of the people stick to an old and obsolete script. 
  • Experiences contribute to shaping self-awareness and it gives an advantage in the form of professional strengths and weaknesses. Experiences also give an individual insight where their passion lies, thus they can adapt better to a work they love. 
  • Employers want people to have realistic expectations about their jobs in which experiences help individuals learn about the everyday realities of working life. 
  • Most importantly, experiences give and can improve both hard and soft skills of an individual. Having the right skills and abilities can ease the job employers and employees in the future. 

See also: IQ vs. EQ: Which One to Focus on Employee Development?

How hiring skills over education matters

Students can have good grades in their education; but if they do not have relevant skills when applying for a job, employers are likely to dismiss them. It is because, in today’s world of work, skills are key to employability. Mireille Guiliano once said, “Intelligence, knowledge, or experience are important and might get you a job, but strong (communication) skills are what will get you promoted.”

In addition, job skills are the most sought after during recruitment because the world is facing a skill shortage. Skill shortage exists when employers are unable to fill or have considerable difficulty in filling vacancies for an occupation, or specialised skill needs within that occupation. 

Regional Director of Hays Singapore Grant Torrens commented that skills shortage is not new but in their survey, respondents believed that the situation is worsening instead of getting better. It is becoming even harder for employers to find the talent that they need to operate and thrive. If this continues to happen, skill shortages could be holding back business growth as there are not enough professionals with the right skills to fill vacant roles. 

Skills or personality? 

While skills are essential when hiring a candidate, you might have heard that “hire attitude, train skill”. The type of personality can determine whether an individual will succeed in their job or not. Attitude is cited to be the foundation enabling a person to develop and perform skills. In other words, skills tell what a person can do but attitude determines what a person can and will do with those skills. 

Professional leader Mark Murphy said that less than 50 percent of new hires failed within 18 months and that nearly 90 percent of the time the reason was attitude, not the lack of skills. He further explained that skills can be acquired but attitude is inherent. Most importantly attitude is needed to acquire any skills. It is now being claimed that personality is the most valuable asset an employee can ever have.

Hiring managers are now weighing the attitude – that certain amount of genuineness that can make the right candidate a great fit for their company’s culture – than skills when hiring a candidate. Many hiring managers today also believed that skills can be taught, but personality cannot be changed. 

To illustrate, one of the biggest reasons teamwork fails turns out to be that one stubborn employee who cannot seem to get himself to collaborate with others. That’s why having the right attitude is of utmost importance since having a good personality can enable one to work within teams quite perfectly well and engage with cross-functional teams. It also assures one can interact properly with both internal and external customers.

Not convinced yet? Here are a few more examples of how hiring for personality can help businesses:

1. Better hiring rates

It’s an obvious fact that an employee who fits perfectly well in the personality aspect tends to stick around for longer. Thus, this increases the efficiency rate of the hiring process as it’s able to filter out those who might just suddenly resign without any seemingly logical reason.

2. Minimise attrition

This might look similar to the first point, but with a slightly different twist. For example, either your new talented hire or tenured employee suddenly makes an exit due to personality conflict. The new hire and current employees – who have adapted perfectly well to the company culture, might be involved in a conflict if they have different personalities. Therefore, when you are hiring someone new, it is worth looking into how they will blend in with the existing culture so that each and every team member can work harmoniously.

3. Improve your ROI

Hiring new staff entails costs, and it is every company’s hope to find the perfect candidate so they can make a great return on their investment. Think about the training, compensation benefits and other perks that are on the line. Not to mention the hours set aside for the hiring and selection processes.

In short, when you are hiring the right attitude and training the skills needed to get the job done, you are likely not only to get loyal and suitable hires that help boost your ROI, but also are able to save hiring and training costs. 

Here’s what you need to remember when you decide to hire a new worker: 

  • good employees make good teams
  • good teams increase productivity and efficiency
  • increased productivity and efficiency means great products and services that customers love
  • great products and services that customers love mean increased company revenue

So, which one do you weigh the most when hiring new hires: education, skills, or attitude? 

Read also: Passion vs. Paycheck: Which One Should You Pursue?