Survey highlights importance of personality in the workplace

Employers are continually understanding the importance of taking a holistic approach to recruitment, looking at every component that makes up the candidates as a person. This involves, for instance, their personality and their interests outside of work.

Yet is this important for industries that are heavily skills-focused, such as in the digital or technological sphere? Do personality and emotional intelligence count in these lines of work?

Very much so, according to the recent 'Tomorrow's Most Wanted' survey from learning institute Hyper Island. The global study involved interviewing more than 500 business leaders in communications and technology firms to find out just what today's employers value in their staff.

Personality emerged as the clear favourite among respondents, with 78 per cent claiming that it is the most desirable quality in an employee. 

The findings also reveal that there is a perhaps surprisingly low emphasis on actual skills. Just over a third (39 per cent) of respondents said that an employee's skill set is their most valuable quality.

So what are the specific personality traits that employers want from their employees? Drive was the most desired characteristic, garnering 14 per cent of votes. An open mind followed close behind, with 11 per cent of votes.

“What we found most compelling about this research is how clearly it highlights that personality, not competence, is the determining factor of who's going to get the most attractive jobs among tomorrow's recruits,” said Hyper Island CEO Johanna Frelin.

“Also, there is a growing desire for talent with a unique combination of skill and flexibility – people who can collaborate, adapt quickly and are enjoyable company, but also have the drive to get things done. All those traits boil down to a personality that is essential for businesses operating in an ever changing digital landscape.”

There is a growing shift away from defined skill sets to the less tangible personality traits when it comes to the recruitment and selection of employees. Personality assessments, therefore, are a vital tool to help you gauge how well a potential hire could perform.