Hiring personality beats hiring skills

Hiring personality beats skills

Building a successful organisation

Hiring the right people is essential for creating a successful organization. But how do you hire the right people? I won’t go into the details of how you should write vacancies or what to ask a candidate during a job interview right now, but I do want to share my view on what you should look for when hiring the best people for your organization.

Hire the right person!

It’s as easy as that. You should hire the right person for the job. But what makes a person right for the job? Traditionally we are instructed to scan resumes and analyze the education and work experience of a person to judge whether he or she fits the job. This is not wrong; education and experience can certainly help a person to perform in a job. This is especially true for jobs which require a high level of craftsmanship. But just focusing on education and experience might cause you to make a big (and sometimes expensive) mistake.

The most important thing you should look into is the personality of the candidate, not the skills. If I have the choice between a straight-A student who is arrogant and more interested in making things better for himself instead of the team or someone who scored average in university but has the personality to not only improve himself but also the ones around him/her, I would choose the latter any day. The skills required in most office jobs nowadays can easily be learned (if you have the right attitude and mindset). However, it is really hard to change someone’s personality.

Personality beats Skills

At TOPdesk, we take pride in our company culture which is based on trust, freedom and responsibility. It only takes a few people who do not understand or endorse these values to break it. And when it gets broken, it’s not just the person you hired that suffers. It can be a negative influence on an entire team or department. This will soon outweigh any benefits the skills or experience the new hire has brought into the company. This can be difficult to explain, especially when a manager experiences stress related to understaffing and request a new person which already has the skills required in order to speed up the process. You should still try to convince the manager in question that hiring the right personality (even if he or she lacks the proven experience) will be better in the long run.

In the end, hiring the right personlity with the right skills and experience is best. But in the unfortunate occasion where such a perfect candidate is not at hand, you know who to choose.


Do you like this blog, but need more proof to be convinced? While researching this topic I found a random guy involved in music, airplanes and balloons who seems to agree with me 😉 Richard Branson on hiring personality