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The Numbers Behind Hiring For Personality Fit

Posted October 24, 2017

If you’re skeptical about the impact of personality on hiring, read on for some jarring statistics. Let’s start with this one: 81% of people lie during job interviews. 81%!

Resumes are full of fluff too. Time magazine found that 56% of resume info is outdated or outright incorrect. And since up to 70% percent of interview time is typically used on reiterating exactly what’s in the resume … Well, it starts to feel like a lot of wasted energy.

Predicting Good Fits

Interviews and resumes have become such poor predictors of employee fit, some of the U.S.’s top companies have stopped relying on them. Employers are tired of spending thousands of dollars - and hours - hiring and training people who turn out to be bad matches.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that a bad hire costs most companies about 30% of the job’s first-year earnings. Recruiter Jörgen Sundberg has found that just one poor employee quickly eats up $240,000 in company hiring costs, disruption, severance, errors, and missed opportunities.

Instead of relying on traditional methods, many employers are turning to new personality-focused strategies like computer simulations, custom matching, private chatting, referral courting, and using new tech-infused personality assessments.

It’s all in the name of forging real-world connections with applicants, for a better glimpse into their true personalities.

Why is Personality Such a Big Deal?

Personality is the new-and-improved predictor of workplace fit. There are two big reasons why.

First of all, today’s job skills are so specific - and so heavily influenced by technology - that they change frequently. Any tech-related job has skills that go out of date every two to three years, and fully 50% of all U.S. jobs are predicted to be drastically reshaped by technology and automation within the next 10 years.

So you can’t really rely on someone’s existing skill set, or background education, to predict future job success.

In addition, the traditional hiring process is, unfortunately, full of fakeness. Employers put on their best faces, applicants put on their best acts, and nobody ends up with a realistic view of whether it’s a good match.

It’s like a never ending series of bad dates … So bad that it - bad hiring - accounts for 80% of employee turnover nationwide.

Case Studies: Switching to Personality Testing

Even the biggest and best companies make bad hires. Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh says bad hiring decisions cost his company more than $100 million over the years, yet the company has been ranked among the world’s best employers.

Frustrated with the effects of bad matches, Hsieh led a new hiring process designed around ‘culture fit,’ called Zappos Family Core Values. It is, essentially, a personality profile that features traits like ‘adventurous, creative, and open-minded’ and the ability to ‘deliver WOW.’

Zappos now compares all applicants to the set of core values. If they don’t fit, they won’t be hired.

Matt Mullenweg, the CEO behind Wordpress.com, scrapped traditional interviewing years ago in favor of personality-focused hiring.

“Some people are amazing interviewees and charm everyone they talk to,” Mullenweg explains. “But if the job isn't going to involve charming others, their interview skills don't predict how well they'll do as employees.”

Mullenweg now uses a combination of instant messaging and ‘tryouts’ to gauge personality fit.

The change has streamlined the hiring process and reduced long-term costs. “Of the people who make it to the final interview, 95% get a job offer - a testament to the effectiveness of our approach,” he says.

Because it Works

Simply put, personality matching is growing in popularity because it’s effective. Employees welcome it as much as employers. When personality traits match the job, workers want to succeed and stay engaged with the work.

More engaged employees are more productive employees. Gallup found that when workers feel actively engaged in a job that suits them, they’re 21% more productive and 28% less likely to engage in negative behaviors, like theft.

Ready to making a positive change in your hiring process? Sign up for a free trial of GoGig, a breakthrough in personality assessments for hiring.


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