Insights

Does Personality Matter in Executive Recruiting?

Posted by Reed Flesher

While there are many aspects to consider when conducting an executive search, personality is certainly one that holds some level of importance. Not only do certain traits correlate better with executive success than others, but some personality traits also correlate better with particular company cultures. However, being able to match personality to company culture is more of an art than a science.

Since assessing personality is somewhat subjective, there’s always the risk of making mistakes when basing a hire largely on personality. Human personality is notoriously inconsistent. It can be difficult to assess in an interview or hiring situation, and it can be changed or hidden by the candidate in high-stakes situations. Nevertheless, it is one of many aspects to evaluate when hiring executives.

How to Evaluate Personality in Executive Search

There are many assessments that recruiters can use for executive search, but standardized assessments should be used carefully when evaluating candidates’ personalities. Standardized assessments should not be used as the primary or only way to assess personality. A better approach is to use standardized personality assessments to supplement or confirm the search team’s observations or initial impressions.

Using multiple methods of assessments is typically more effective than only using one method, and it can reveal more nuances about someone’s personality than a more one-dimensional evaluation. By avoiding the extremes of depending solely on a standardized assessment or just going with your gut on a person’s personality, you stand the best chance of getting what you’re looking for in the personality of an executive hire.

Is Personality All-Important in Executive Search?

It can sometimes seem like charisma and personality are all-important for executive positions, particularly chief operating officers that are often in the public eye and have very visible leadership responsibilities within the organization and in front of the general public. When a company makes personality all-important, however, it runs several risks.

First, the company can end up molded around the personality of its leader more than is healthy. In these situations, the agenda and goals of the company may end up being a reflection of the leader, and this can end up being a problem in some instances, like when leadership changes and the agenda or goals are suddenly changed as a result. Additionally, a company in which executive personality is all-important can end up being less well-rounded.

When hiring executives, Thrive TRM can help you consider personality by providing candidate profile comparisons and with capabilities to import candidate profiles from other platforms like Google and LinkedIn. And the many other tools Thrive TRM includes make it easy to build, organize, and share candidate profiles among your executive search team. Contact us for more information about everything Thrive TRM can do to help in-house executive search.

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