Which of the 5 Hiring Personalities Are You?

Knowing Your Hiring Personality Makes You a Better Interviewer

People Relate to Themselves

Whether you recognize it or not, most hiring managers have a hiring style that is more reflective of who they are as a person, and not necessarily reflective of the companies for which they work.

However, like a duck drawn to water, people will feel naturally drawn to a culture that aligns with their value system, and thus, they hire accordingly. During 12 years of recruiting for a wide-variety of companies, industries and alongside highly effective hiring managers, I have outlined below the top five hiring styles.

To the extent this helps you better understand your own hiring style, I do hope this insight helps as you search for that one, true fit!

5. Idealistic

  • Prefers a quick process with fewer candidates and lengthier interviews
  • Believes there may be only one perfect person for a job within their immediate reach
  • Internalizes and identifies concerns on the spot, making a higher percentage of good, gut-level decisions
  • Can have impossibly high ideals and expectations, identifying one person with broad and deep skill sets in many areas
  • Often loses interest in candidates who have more than one other job opportunity to consider
  • Believes the right person would want the job even if it puts the candidate at high personal risk
  • Often makes hiring decisions independently, and will only ask for buy-in if necessary

4. Pragmatic

  • Qualifies candidates based on specific criteria that may or may not be realistic, idealizing internal referrals
  • Works well with disappointments in the process and able to realign priorities if derailed
  • Prefers assessment-based decisions and deep due diligence
  • Makes better decisions with a larger talent pool and identifies more than two choice candidates
  • Will delay hiring if not enough time has been committed to identifying, vetting and prioritizing candidates
  • Can make final decision independently, but prefers buy-in at all levels

3. Opportunistic

  • Idealizes raw intelligence and potential
  • Prefers hiring the right pedigree and attitude over experience
  • Adept at nurturing promotable people
  • More likely to create an internal opportunity then wait for an opening
  • Pulls the trigger on hire more quickly if at risk of losing a candidate
  • Quickly abandons hire if places too much pressure on resources
  • May overlook internal talent in favor of bringing in fresh perspective
  • Often acts independently when making hiring decisions

2. Competitive

  • Runs tightly managed process with average hire time of 3 months
  • Prefers to have 2 or 3 top candidates, including an internal employee, competing for the position
  • Often relies on assessments to back up gut instinct, but still acts independently on decision-making
  • Considers heavily who wants the job most and who will take the biggest risk to secure it
  • Won’t settle for the runner up, likely to start process from scratch if candidate of choice declines
  • May or may not want HR involved in the final decision, but almost always consults a senior peer or CEO for approval

1. Committee

  • Values a long interview process with a strong emphasis on team-based feedback
  • Prefers moderate to heavy assessment-based decisions
  • Typically makes better, more informed decisions about candidates allowing time to get to know each one before tendering offer
  • Candidate’s fit with the company culture is a top priority, often trumping experience and skill set
  • Can start out as a tightly managed process, but then become overly managed and drawn out resulting in a lack of momentum
  • Can be inflexible about moving forward if all parties do not buy into a final candidate

After you’ve identified your hiring personality and worked to find the right person for the job, it’ll be time to make an offer and talk compensation.




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