Hiring: Opposites Attract, But Like-Minded Last

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The Right Fit

How we integrate and interact with the people around us might largely depend on personality, both theirs and ours. This is true in personal relationships as well as professional. Despite the popularity of the proverb derived from psychologist Robert Winch’s idea that “opposites attract,” the reality may be limited to magnets. Indeed, modern research on human connection—paired with the obvious—asserts that we tend to get along with those similar to ourselves.

While differences are undeniably intriguing and help shape opportunities for growth and broadening views, we tend to get along with friends and colleagues who are congruous with—or at least intersect with—our personalities. This undeniably leads to the prominence of job application personality tests. However, in many such cases, the test being used may be unscientific and therefore inaccurate.

The science of personality is much deeper than these casual and ubiquitous quizzes suggest, as discussed in this podcast with Dart Lindsley and organizational psychologist Laura Finfer. When recruiting and onboarding a new team member, we don’t just need to determine how they interact with certain tasks, but how they interact with our people—something readily available in the Relationship Advisor.

In recent years, Pew Research Center found that social skills happen to be the most important. While technical skills may get someone in the door, their interactions with others determine whether they’ll stay. Also crucial for team integration is knowing what motivates and drives individual team members and candidates. The factors behind a person’s motivation, explained in this video, can substantially affect surrounding relationships and performance.

It’s for this reason that we should endeavor to always approach onboarding and team development from a place of people-centricity. Or, more specifically, as talent strategist Nithya Vaduganathan advises in this TED Talk, we should approach a mindset almost reminiscent of personal matchmaking. An infinite list of arbitrary requirements, such as the often parodied “5+ years’ experience” prerequisite, may prove more hindering than facilitating.

After all, Dwight Schrute of The Office also meets prerequisites like several years’ experience. Quite notably though, some would argue that he might not meet the more significant interpersonal prerequisites.

“Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture.” – Howard Schultz

Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider

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