A Personality Profile Isn’t Enough!


I was speaking with the founder of a company the other day about a new potential hire and her personality survey results (they use one of many different personality surveys) – my initial comment to him was simply this after seeing the results:


You see, after working with his team and increasing awareness organization-wide of each person’s natural aptitudes and communication styles, it became incredibly clear that any new hire that walked in would have to fit the bill, not just functionally, but also from the cultural results that the entire team collectively creates.

I’m not familiar with the entire recruiting or interview process (and I don’t have to know) of their organization but I do know they only hire the best in class employees (like everyone, right?) and they go to extreme to make sure whether they are going to be a cultural fit.

But what this leader was seeking counsel for was specific to the specific role they had created and whether this candidates results would function well for them and the rest of the team… and the personality profile… wasn’t enough.

You see, I could tell that this candidate would be an incredible asset to the team if they had two things locked down (as we see from the personality profile), the first being a robust and clear process of work for her and the second being intentional leadership.

This person had incredible attention to details but would naturally struggle with any process or any leader that could not provide ample direction and guidance. In addition, this person would not naturally find it easy to confront or necessarily “lean in” to the leadership without a great amount of trust and historical rapport.

It would be required of the existing team, their leadership, and their internal processes that would “fill the gap” so that the person could be functional, competent, and of incredible value.

The net result of the conversation was extremely positive – I’m not sure whether they will hire that candidate or not but they can walk in with both eyes open to the possibility and the potential gaps that will have to be filled. A personality profile isn’t enough – it’s always a team effort of both people and process, and taking the TIME to understand the candidate beyond a survey.

What a survey provides… is merely a jump point for more open conversation about who they are and how they’ll succeed in an organization. Any type of recruiting tool should be just that, a start, to a conversation.

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