gallery of images showing different personality for same person

Leadership Lessons – Analyse a Candidate’s Personality and Create a Winning Team

Are you considering making a job offer?

You’ve advertised a job for an accountant at your brilliant firm. If you value your time you will have worked with a brilliant recruiter (just like us) to ensure it was a smooth sailing process. You’ve shortlisted and you’ve interviewed and you’re now considering whether your preferred candidate(s) are the right personality to ensure you continue on the road to creating a winning team.

But when you’ve only had a brief amount of time to assess someone’s personality at interview how can you judge whether it will be the right fit? First impressions can be misleading right?

Well you’re absolutely correct to be critiquing more than just the candidate’s skill set and experience. Personality really matters.

And we’re here to give you the tools to quickly and simply assess whether the person you’re considering bringing in to your firm has the right one. Here’s a few simple tips and tricks.

How to analyse a candidate’s personality:

1. Ask the right questions. 

Interview is the chance to ask questions about a candidate’s career history and education. But it’s also an opprtunity to dig a little bit deeper. And don’t worry if you’ve already interviewed, you’re well within your rights to call them back again for a second chat in person or via a video call.

Here’s a few questions that we’ve seen used to great effect by clients who want to get a deeper understanding of the person behind the CV.

‘How do your closest friends describe you?’

‘What behaviour do you find frustrating in the workplace?’

‘Tell us about the best manager you’ve ever had. Why do you think you responded so well to their management style?’

‘What are you motivated by?’

2. Do your homework and get as many references as possible.

Contacting references can be a real pain. And some firms will have a policy to send out references in their own formats. But if you can tailor make a reference request to try and gain valuable information about your preferred candidate you’ll save time in the longrun caused by making a bad personality hire.

Ask previous employers what they felt was your candidate’s greatest professional achievement whilst they were at that firm.

And then ask how they responded to constructive critique. Ask how they got along with everyone in the office.

Most importantly, read between the lines when you receive a response. It would be unprofessional of ex employers to completely slate your candidate in a reference but you should be able to tell a lot by what they’ve chosen not to write.

3. Personality tests

Personality tests are used successfully as standard by many firms during the hiring process. Using them more than likely involves paying for a third party software system (we can advise on products we’ve worked with before and would recommend.)

For practices who have been burned before by a bad hire we think these tests can be worth every penny but there are pros and cons to them.

The advantage of using a third party personality test is that you can actively recruit around the rest of your teams qualities. If you’re lacking an empathetic accountant you can endeavour to find accountants who score highly against this personality trait. You can even get your existing team to take personality tests as part of a team building exercise and then together analyse what kind of person would best compliment and strengthen your existing team.

But we have seen instances where personality tests have shown flawed results. Candidates give the answers they think will be most attractive to their potential employer and that complicates the process and negates the value of the test entirely.

Employers also need to ensure that the use of personality tests don’t create grounds for discrimination accusations under the Equality Act of 2010.

4. Informal visits

Another great way to analyse your potential hire’s personality is to get them into your firm and interacting with your people on a more informal basis. Perhaps offer them a tour of the office and a cup of coffee with the office manager. You can then ask someone else for their opinion on the candidate’s personality and how they think they might fit into the team.

‘In our experience, employers need to balance the time they take conducting extensive research into a candidate’s personality with the need to get workload covered and accountants at their desks. Personality is really important and should be analysed alongside skills, qualifications and work experience with a view to a decisive hire being made at the earliest opportunity. In a candidate led market we’re on hand to support our clients to ensure they are further protected with probationary periods and great contracts which will give them the confidence to make an offer when the time is right.’

Garry Howling, MD

The process of recruiting legally and thoroughly is a complicated one which is why the most successful firms don’t hesitate to outsource. At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd we do the due diligence so that you don’t have to and you can contact us today to chat about how we might support you with your recruitment in more detail.

If you enjoyed this blog then why not take a moment to read other articles in our Leadership Lessons series.

Leadership Lessons – How to Actively Listen

Leadership Lessons – Get Your Workforce Motivated

Leadership Lessons – How to Nurture Potential in Accountancy

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