Hiring for Character Over Skill: Benefits, Challenges, and Tips

Hiring for character over skill is an approach to recruiting new team members that focuses on more than a person’s qualifications and capabilities. It also takes into account the core values an applicant has and their attitude towards work. Instead of simply evaluating the technical skills a person can bring to a job, an employer is also assessing more holistic traits and how someone’s character will fit into their team dynamic and company culture. In this blog, we’ll explore the advantages of hiring for character over skill, what challenges to look out for, and tips for introducing this practice into your organisation.


Hiring for character over skill is a holistic way of selecting the best people for a role at your company. When you focus solely on an applicant’s qualifications and technical abilities, you may be missing out on potential candidates who have strong character traits and are more than capable of contributing to your team. It’s important to take into account the values, attitude, and overall presence that a person can bring to your organisation - and this approach is becoming more popular as businesses struggle to find the right fit for their team.

The Benefits of Hiring for Character

Incorporating this process into your recruiting methods can have a plethora of benefits:

  • Increased Employee Retention - when you hire for character first, you’re more likely to find people who intrinsically align with your organisation’s mission and ethos, rather than those who could be tempted away quickly by a higher salary or better benefits.
  • Improved Teamwork and Collaboration - when hiring for character, you’re more likely to end up with a team that not only has a shared purpose but also speaks the same language and works well together. This can help to reduce friction in the workplace, leading to more successful projects and better communication between departments.
  • Enhanced Organisational Culture - when focusing on an applicant’s values and attitude towards work, you’re creating a team of people who have similar perspectives and world views. This creates a more harmonious workplace, which leads to improved collaboration and better coordination between teams.
  • Increased Productivity and Efficiency - when team members have similar values and priorities, it’s easier for them to coordinate and work together towards the same goal. This leads to more efficient use of resources, improved decision-making, and increased productivity.

Challenges of Hiring for Character Over Skill

Although there are numerous benefits to hiring for character over skill, there are also a few potential challenges to consider:

  • Finding the Right Balance - if you focus too heavily on character over skill, you could end up bringing in team members who lack the technical experience to be successful in the role. At the same time, if you focus too much on skills, you may miss out on applicants who have the right values but lack the technical qualifications. It’s important to strike the right balance between character and skill when hiring.
  • Addressing Skill Gaps - when hiring for character over skill, it’s important to look for applicants who have the right technical skills to complete the job. If you find yourself with a team member who lacks certain skills, you can provide additional training or use mentorship programs to help them gain the necessary experience.

Tips For Hiring for Character

If you’re interested in introducing this practice into your recruitment process, here are a few tips to help you do it successfully:

Focus on Cultural Fit - it’s important to think about how your potential applicant’s values, attitudes, and experiences align with your own values. This will help you to ensure that the team member you bring on board not only has the right capabilities but will also fit well into your company culture. Ask the Right Questions - rather than focusing on specific technical skills, try to ask more open-ended questions to get a better understanding of the applicant’s values and attitudes towards your organisation as a whole. Take the Time to Assess Character - when assessing qualifications and experience, it’s easy to overlook character traits. Set aside time to think about the person’s overall attitude and values to help you pick the right candidate for the job.


Hiring for character over skill is an effective way of recruiting the right people for the job. There are numerous benefits to introducing this approach, such as increased employee retention, improved teamwork and collaboration, enhanced organizational culture, and increased productivity and efficiency. However, it’s important to be aware of the challenges of hiring for character, such as finding the right balance between skills and character traits and addressing any skill gaps that may arise. Finally, we’ve given some tips on how to successfully hire for character, such as focusing on cultural fit, asking the right questions, and taking the time to assess character. Hiring for character over skill can be a beneficial approach to introducing new team members into your organisation, and it’s worth taking the time to get it right.

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