Does a Candidate’s Personality Fit with Your Team’s Culture? 6 Jan 2018


Many hiring managers will tell you that matching an applicant’s experience and education with a job description is only part of the hiring process. When hiring for cultural fit, other factors need to be considered. For instance: Do they have the right kind of personality for the role, and do they think in a way that will equal success at this company?

The personality of a job applicant counts for a lot, but it’s one of those intangible factors that can be challenging to gauge. Challenging, but not impossible. Hiring managers can use the following three techniques to determine if a candidate’s personality would be a good fit for the team and the organization as a whole.

1. When writing the job description, go beyond the skills and duties bulletpoints

Finding an employee who fits with your company’s culture begins with the job description. To find candidates that “fit,” be sure the job description says something about the work environment. What stands out about your organization’s culture? Are pets allowed? Is it family-oriented? A traditional suit-and-tie environment? Be honest. Don’t say it’s quirky, fun and laid-back just because doing so will make more people want to apply!

2. Get more people involved in the interview process

In many cases, potential employees will meet with a hiring manager and then one or two higher-ups who will interview and evaluate them. Often, this can add a mechanical or strictly pragmatic feel to the process. The candidate wants to impress those making the hiring decisions and so they often focus on experience, possible scenarios they might face, or other issues directly related to the job at hand.

Though these are hugely important topics, they can limit the degree to which you get a sense of how the candidate would fit in. To fully assess a candidate’s personality, try getting more of their would-be peers involved in the hiring process. These can be less formal meetings, conversations really, where a few current employees discuss the company, the team, and other topics that may not be immediately work-related.

3. Administer a pre-employment personality test

This last option should be administered with care. You don’t want a prospective candidate thinking that your hiring decision will be based on a personality test. Plus, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that employer testing needs to be done “without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age (40 or older), or disability.” To ensure that you use this tool properly, follow these guidelines:

  • Administer a well-established, standardized test like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
  • Be sure that the candidate knows that taking the personality test is voluntary.
  • Respect the candidate’s privacy.

Finding the right employee takes time. With a number of background check services available, we at Trusted Employees have the tools that can help you find that perfect fit.