Why To Look at Personality Traits When Sourcing Your Next Hire

Finding the right candidate can be an exceptionally difficult task; especially when you don’t have much to go on. In fact, unless a candidate has tons of directly relevant experience, it can be impossible to know whether they’ll be the right fit for the role until you’ve met them in person.

But what if there was a better way to get to know your candidates and see if they’ve got the right personality for the job?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) helps individuals to understand what kind of personality they have, and the career paths that are likely to suit them best.

And, if utilized by staffing professionals, this could help to streamline the hiring process and ensure that only the most relevant candidates make it through to the interview stage.

If you’re not quite sure what this means, don’t panic. Read on to find out how the MBTI could help your hiring efforts this year.

What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a questionnaire that’s designed to identify a person’s personality type, strengths and preferences. Depending on the respondent’s answers, they’re placed on four scales from:

  • Extrovert to Introvert – this looks at how people respond to the world around them
  • Sensing to Intuition – this looks at how people collect information
  • Thinking to Feeling – this looks at how people make decisions
  • Judging to Perceiving – this looks at how people deal with the outside world

Extroverts tend to be more action-oriented and enjoy social interaction on a regular basis; while introverts are thought-oriented and prefer spending time alone.

Individuals who have “sensing” tendencies focus on the minutiae, prefer to deal in facts and like to get hands-on experience. Those who identify as “intuitive” pay more attention to patterns and impressions, meaning they relish the opportunity to think about abstract theories and plan the future.

Those who register as a “thinking” type place more importance on facts and data when making decisions; while individuals who identify as a “feeling” type prioritize emotions and feelings, instead.

People who register in the “judging” category are likely to prefer clear structure and will respond to firm decisions. Conversely, those who land in the “perceiving” category are more likely to be adaptable and flexible.

When combined, these classifications provide a rounded view of an individual’s personality. For example, you could have a candidate with an “Introvert-Sensing-Thinking-Judging” (ISTJ) personality. This would mean that they’re detail-oriented, logical, realistic and organised. As such, they could thrive as accountants, doctors or lawyers.

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Why Should You Use It?

With unemployment at a record low across the US, staffing professionals are faced with a daunting challenge: keep filling roles, despite having fewer job hunters to choose from.

This has left many with no choice but to look for candidates outside of their target industry. But, while you might find a plethora of potential hires this way, it can be difficult to tell if they’re the one for the job.

This is where the MBTI comes in. While you shouldn’t carry out the questionnaire without analysis and guidance from a trained professional; it’s important that you always keep each personality trait in mind, when looking at resumes.

This will help you to pinpoint the candidates that are most likely to suit the role you’re hiring for; ultimately streamlining your hiring process and improving the quality of your hire.

Not only will your clients be impressed with the caliber of candidates you put forward, but it will also save you time and money in the long run. You’ll be able to identify winning applicants, without having to call every individual that’s applied.

How Do I Apply It?

Using the MBTI to your advantage, doesn’t mean handing out the questionnaire to all applicants. Instead, start by assessing the requirements of the role you’re trying to fill.

Looking for a Project Manager? They’ll need to be outgoing, organized, result driven and a good leader. This could suit an individual with an ESTP, ENTJ, ISTJ or ESTJ personality.

As such, when you start drafting your job advert, be sure to focus on the responsibilities and duties that would appeal most to these personality types. This will easily attract the type of person you’re looking for; and make finding the perfect candidate that little bit easier.

When you start reviewing resumes, be sure to look at the interests and hobbies section in detail. Has this candidate been the president of a society, or started their own club? If so, you might have an ENTJ personality type on your hands; which could indicate the candidate is a strong leader.

Using the MBTI

If you’re struggling to attract and select the candidates that are likely to be the most successful, then implementing this strategy could make a world of difference.

As long as you draft a job advert with these categories in mind; and advertise your role with the best job boards on the market, then you’re sure to see an improvement.

It might take some time to perfect, but it’s definitely worth the investment. After all, you need to stay ahead of the game to be successful in such a competitive job market.

Please note, the above is a general guide on how the Myers-Briggs test could help your staffing efforts. If you want to learn more about the MBTI, you can find that here.

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Katie Ashworth

Katie Ashworth
Katie Ashworth is a senior PR executive with CV-Library. She can be reached at k.ashworth (at) cv-library (dot) co.uk.

Katie Ashworth

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