The word

May 1, 2017

The word

Q: What’s more important when seeking the best employee for the job, personality type or skills?

Angela Miles

Steps Group

While having the skills to do the job is highly important, I am of the personal opinion that personality needs to match the role accordingly. It’s one thing to have the skills but if you can’t connect those skills to the role then you’re essentially working from off the back foot. Fundraisers have a very unique responsibility and it takes an exceptional kind of person to fulfil the mandate. As you know, asking for charity donations from people and businesses takes passion, commitment and a link to community and that’s something that can only come from having the dual capabilities and temperament to deliver time and again. We will always look at the skills needed to do the job, however personality is of paramount importance when reviewing a candidate for fundraising. It just works!


Margaret Sweeney

Nambour Christian College

Hiring is one of the most important aspects of business and although personality and skills are important when seeking the best employee for the job, cultural fit and EQ (or emotional intelligence) are also considerations, and are particularly relevant to service or leadership positions. Skills can be learnt and a certain level of aptitude is required for this. However, the person who will best represent your business is the candidate who will naturally espouse your organisation’s values and ethos. This person is likely to exhibit a high degree of connection and engagement in the workplace, which can lead to increased productivity. Therefore, intelligence and the capacity to understand and perform the role with lateral thinking and foresight is important, as is emotional intelligence, which has been linked to performance.


Vicki Cooper

Star Noosa Realty

It all depends on the job – even within the same industry, different roles require different abilities. In real estate for example, someone who is naturally shy or introverted could be a very effective admin assistant but certainly wouldn’t be suited to sales. But even in a position where they do not come into contact with clients or customers, their personality still needs to be a good fit with the rest of your team. And sometimes different people can do the same job in different ways. In my experience hiring is more about intuition than science, but new skills can be learned while personality type is hard to change.


Tim Adams

Tim Adams Specialty Coffee

Both are a requirement when undertaking a successful business. A great personality is always an asset to a company and someone who engages and works well with other staff is of benefit. Staff don’t necessarily have to be outgoing, as quiet achievers have a place in a successful business as well. I believe a mix of personalities in a workplace is essential. Although skills are also important, if a person doesn’t have the required skills at the time of gaining employment we would like to think they are able to demonstrate their enthusiasm and interest in gaining further skills at the time of the initial interview. Each individual you employ may bring a set of diverse and individual skills to a company and working together as a team builds satisfaction and a good work culture.


Luke Krestensen

IC Print

I think both have importance, but the real question is which is easier to teach/train? I believe it is easier to train new skills in my industry, which is why I hire on personality. Plus, I would not like to come to work everyday with people who I don’t like or that don’t fit in with the rest of my team. So it is more fun, harmonious and therefore more productive to hire based on personality. However all that being said, due to economics, the right candidate must have the skills to add value to the business.


Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon

Finance commentator and educator

I think the filter approach is best so you head off the risk you’ll hire someone you spark with, but doesn’t have the requisite skills. You know how hard it is to resist impulse buying something at the shops that you don’t really need? Well, a hire is a far bigger commitment than high-waisted pants! In business, actual ability has to be paramount, so begin by ruthlessly discarding CVs with no evidence of the qualifications/experience you need. Only then should you interview, by phone first so you can further weed out any inappropriate candidates. The shortlist of applicants you actually meet should be a smorgasbord of capable potential employees – but are they compatible?

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