Internal Communication

Hire for potential, groom for performance

The panel was undecided about two candidates they planned to hire. According to them, one was arrogant and the other was docile. They needed someone who straddled two extremes of the personality spectrum. This case study – Congenial or Docile – Whom Must We Hire?received interesting viewpoints from readers. Thank you Amrita, MuraliAnneshaIndranil and Vikram for sharing your valuable insights.

Some believed a person who can ‘get the job done’ mattered more than the ‘attitude’. Others felt it made sense to assess how they culturally ‘fit’ into the organization. Yet choosing a candidate based on just an hour of interviewing could lead to biases.

While finding the best fit isn’t always possible due to the numerous factors at play – the presence of talent in the market, the level, the candidates’ expectations, the role, the evolving business climate, competition and much more.

Considering all the variables in the mix, getting bogged down by personality traits can be a challenge.  If you have overcome the skills assessment and have the right candidates to evaluate, then the key aspects to look at is their aptitude in problem solving, working in a team and communication.  

More importantly, can the person cope with disappointments and obstacles and is resilient enough to be bounce back. Nothing can be more powerful than a team player who can face the ups and downs of the business and the issues with everyday conflicts at work to raise the bar with performance.

In India, for example, among the top 4 skills expected for in-demand jobs are soft skills and personality/people skills. Apart from a panel review, among the most effective ways to assess culture fitment are behavioral assessments, reference checking for values and informal meetings with the team who will work alongside. Gut feelings can lead to biases as in the case of this case study.

Instead of considering if the person is someone who they can ‘get along with’ or someone who ‘can shake up’ the status quo, the panel must ask itself some pertinent questions:

·      What is your need?

·      Who has more potential?

·      Who is coachable?

·      Which person will add more value?

·      Who has demonstrated resilience?

In essence, it is important to hire for potential and groom for performance. Considering the person will need coaching and mentoring to be a well-rounded professional, it is best to look for who has the spark to make a positive impact. 

Have another perspective? Please share them here. Also, look up other articles on my Linkedin page ( ) and website

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