One of the challenges of building a well-functioning team within your organisation is finding individuals that all complement each other, not only through capability but also in terms of personality fit. As HR and hiring managers you should be able to recognise the value of working together as part of a cohesive team rather just focusing on individual successes.

Too often it’s usually the candidate with the longest list of qualifications or achievements that gets the job without any consideration as to whether they will fit in socially, or work well with existing team members. Concentrating excessively on someone’s achievements brings the risk of overlooking their attitude and personality – something which can hugely improve or hinder a team’s dynamic. Skills can be adapted and mastered over time, whereas the character of a candidate is more of a unique find.

It’s a risk when hiring based on achievements that you can often overlook attitude and personality. In a study from Leadership IQ of 20,000 employees, nearly half (46%) had failed at their job within the first year and a half. Most of the time (90%), this was due to the wrong outlook, rather than lack of skills. Getting the right personality fit is one of the hardest things to find in a new hire.

For HR professionals, follow these tips to hire a successful team with personality in mind:


Before hiring, it’s vital that you are aware of the overall dynamic you would like to create. This needs consideration in line with your organisation’s own goals and ambitions, and what you need in order to achieve this. As much as it is crucial to recruit the best person for each role, without collaborative efforts there is no guarantee that you will succeed. For example, if employees will be working in a highly pressurised environment, strong communication skills would be the most important thing you look for within potential candidates.

There is no ‘I’ in team

Social connectedness is key to your team’s success. This can easily be assessed by analysing how much credit the candidate takes for their accomplishments whilst you are interviewing them. Notice how often they say ‘me’ over ‘we’ and whether their goals are individual or collective. If the interview turns more into a conversation, take this as a good sign as you build up a good rapport. Candidate personality assessment tools will also allow you to determine group capability. One in particular is the ‘Predictive Index’. Using this you will be able to assess the roles, profiles and attributes of the existing team to ensure group success and team fit for new hires.

Think outside the box

Make your hiring process as diverse as possible by using different colleagues to interview different candidates, especially if your new hire will be working with them on a regular basis. Involving your current employees will ensure team consistency. This level of unpredictability will also encourage the interviewee’s real personality to shine and avoid them being able to use well-rehearsed answers for the most commonly asked questions.

Start with your people

Focus on recruiting people who not only have the right skills but can also build and maintain collaborative efforts for success. Your employees should be open with one another to express their honest opinions and you should in turn trust this feedback. Having an open environment built on trust and confidence is an integral part of this dynamic, emphasising not one’s self progression, but on the recognition of others and the achievements of the wider team.