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You can develop skills, but you can't train a personality

Richard Branson believes, and most employers would agree, there is nothing more important for a business than hiring the right team. In a recent article he said “if you get the perfect mix of people working for your company, you have a far greater chance of success.” However the best person for the job doesn’t always walk right through your door. The first thing Branson looks for when searching for a great employee is somebody with a personality that fits with his company culture. He believes most skills can be learned but it is difficult to train people on their personality. He looks for people who are fun, friendly, caring and love helping others. These personality traits fit his business but of course ‘one size does not fit all’

It is important to define what personality type will fit into your existing team and culture. Good cultural fit is associated with many positive outcomes including greater job satisfaction, retention, commitment and better job performance. It is useful to ensure that recruitment processes encompass some kind of personality profiling. It is possible to tailor your interview process to include non-traditional questions that will highlight the personality type you are ideally looking for.

Branson believes that some managers get hung-up on qualifications; he tends to look at those after everything else. Of course it depends on the type of job you are trying to fill but a level of flexibility in the job specification can uncover a superstar who may not have exactly the skills you need, but has the right attitude and ability to quickly up-skill. We are currently advising some of our clients recruiting in areas of acute skills shortages to consider how flexible they can be with the job specifications. 

Hewett offers free personality profiling to clients, which has proved extremely useful and accurate in measuring key personality traits of prospective candidates – to find out more information contact

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