What matters most for #ITjobs – personality or ability and experience?
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What matters most for #ITjobs – personality or ability and experience?

What matters most for #ITjobs – personality or ability and experience?

Posted on 5th February 2018

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Two sides of brain
Here is a question for you: why do occupational psychologists get mad when you tell them you are sending a candidate for a personality test?  Answer - because “it’s not a test!” 

Psychologists insist, correctly and despite the prevailing tendency for almost everyone else to refer to personality “tests” that what they do is reveal personality profiles: specifically, what people are like (more or less) and, particularly important for recruitment, whether they are the right “fit” for your business or if there are some warning lights that suggest they might end up stealing the spoons.

There is, I am reliably informed, a wide range of personality types.  In fact, you might think that there is a particular personality type that works in recruitment, but looking round my colleagues I think we’re a fairly varied lot.  Of the four basic temperaments (sanguine, phlegmatic choleric and melancholic) we seem to have the lot and of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types we again seem to have a spread of the most common ones. This is diversity in a real sense – and it makes for a more interesting workplace.

That said, there are certain characteristics that most successful recruiters have: drive, determination and enthusiasm, plus a willingness to fit in with the main characteristics of whichever agency they work for.  The same, I’d suggest, applies to IT people.

While we at Be-IT are not occupational psychologists, one thing we’re always aware of when speaking to candidates is that they do need to have a degree of “fit” with a company that might employ them.  Most individuals, whether our clients or candidates, don’t think especially about personality types other than “I like this person/they are more or less like me/not like me.”  This is important because, although it’s one of the oldest clichés in the book, it’s true that “people buy people.”

Consequently, while I and all my colleagues at Be-IT try and advise candidates about their “fit” with potential companies, it is important for any candidate who is about to head for an interview to do their homework, as far as possible, on the personality of both the hiring company and the line manager you are going to be working for.

LinkedIn is, of course, the obvious place to start, but I’d suggest this is where Google really comes into its own.  Google the people you are going to meet: find out as much as you can about them and from that you’ll get an idea of their personality and what they like.  If, to take a drastic example, you are a hunt saboteur and your interviewer is a Master of Foxhounds, you are unlikely (although it’s not impossible) to see eye to eye on a lot of other things...

Freddie Kydd, Be-IT

Posted in Opinion


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