Personality Traits Hiring Manager Should Look For 

May 16, 2024

By  Jeff J Hunter

Yes, there are personality traits hiring managers should be looking for.

When it comes to hiring, skills and experience are important – but they’re not everything. The truth is there are personality traits hiring managers should be looking for. After all, you’re not just hiring a resume; you’re bringing a whole person onto your team.

So, what are the magic personality ingredients that separate the superstars from the duds? I’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at the traits that matter most when you’re on the hunt for your next rock star employee.

Get ready to level up your hiring game and build a team that knocks it out of the park every single day.

Table Of Contents:

Top Personality Traits to Look for When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

When you’re looking to hire a virtual assistant, it’s not just about the hard skills on their resume.

Sure, those technical abilities matter. But there’s something else that can make or break the success of your new team members: their personality traits and soft skills.

I’ve hired my fair share of VAs over the years. And let me tell you, remote work is not easy, and the ones who shined and made a lasting impact? They had the right mix of personality traits to thrive in the role.

Communication Skills

A rockstar VA needs to be an excellent communicator. Period. They’ll be interacting with you, your team, and possibly even your clients or customers.

Strong communication skills are an absolute must.

Look for candidates who are articulate, both verbally and in writing. They should be able to clearly express ideas, ask questions when needed, and adapt their communication style to different audiences.

Time Management

Virtual assistants juggle a lot of tasks and responsibilities. They need to be masters of managing their time and prioritizing their workload.

During the hiring process, ask candidates about their strategies for staying organized and meeting deadlines. The best VAs will have a system in place to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

Collaboration

Even though they work remotely, VAs are still part of a team. They need to be a team player, whether that’s through video calls, project management tools, or good old-fashioned email.

Pay attention to how candidates talk about previous teamwork experiences. Do they seem like someone who plays well with others and values collective success?

Resourcefulness

Here’s the thing: You’re not always going to be available to answer every little question or solve every minor problem. That’s where a resourceful VA comes in clutch.

Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness is a key personality trait for VAs. You want someone who is detail-oriented, reliable and takes pride in their work.

Look for candidates who double-check their work, follow through on commitments, and go the extra mile to ensure quality. A conscientious VA is worth its weight in gold.

How to Identify Positive and Negative Personality Traits in Job Candidates

Okay, so we know that personality traits matter when hiring a VA. But how do you assess those traits during the hiring process?

It’s not always easy, but there are a few strategies you can use to get a sense of a candidate’s personality and soft skills.

The Role of Personality Tests in Hiring

One tool that some companies use is personality tests, like the Big Five or DISC assessment. These tests can give you insights into a candidate’s traits, like extroversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

However, it’s important to remember that personality tests shouldn’t be the only factor in your hiring decision. They’re just one piece of the puzzle.

Verifying Traits Through References and Background Checks

Another way to get a sense of a candidate’s personality is by talking to their references. Past colleagues or managers can give you valuable insights into how the candidate works with others, handles stress, and approaches their job.

Background checks can also reveal red flags, like a history of conflicts with coworkers or unreliable behavior.

Evaluating Candidates with the Big Five Personality Test

If you do decide to use a personality test, the Big Five is a popular choice. It assesses candidates on five key traits: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (OCEAN).

Look for candidates who score high in traits that align with the job role and your company culture. For example, a customer service VA should probably be high in agreeableness and extroversion.

But remember, personality tests are just one tool in your hiring toolbox. Use them in conjunction with interview questions, reference checks, and your gut instincts.

The Significance of Assessing a Candidate’s Personality

You might be thinking, “Does personality matter that much? Can’t I just hire based on skills and experience?”

Well, let me tell you a story. Early on in my entrepreneurial journey, I hired a VA who looked great on paper. They had all the right technical skills and an impressive resume.

But once they started working with my team, it was a disaster. They struggled to communicate effectively, missed deadlines, and just didn’t mesh with our company culture.

It was a hard lesson learned. Skills can be taught, but personality? That’s a lot harder to change.

The Impact of Personality on Job Performance

Research shows that personality traits can have a big impact on job performance. For example, conscientiousness is linked to higher productivity and attention to detail. Agreeableness is associated with better teamwork and customer service.

On the flip side, negative traits like neuroticism (emotional instability) can lead to poorer performance and interpersonal conflicts.

Using Personality Tests to Predict Success

That’s where personality tests can come in handy. By assessing candidates’ traits, you can get a sense of how they might perform in the role and fit with your team.

Of course, personality tests aren’t perfect predictors. But they can give you valuable insights to consider alongside other factors like skills, experience, and interview performance.

Aligning Personality with Company Culture

Beyond just job performance, personality also plays a big role in company culture fit. You want to hire people who will thrive in your work environment and share your core values.

For example, if your company culture is all about collaboration and teamwork, you’ll want to look for candidates who are agreeable, extroverted, and good communicators.

On the other hand, if your culture values independence and self-motivation, you might prioritize traits like conscientiousness and openness to experience.

15 Character Traits Hiring Managers Love

Alright, we’ve covered a lot of ground here. But I want to leave you with a handy list of personality traits to look for in your next VA hire.

These are the traits that I’ve seen lead to success time and time again:

Collaborative

Teamwork makes the dream work, right? Look for candidates who value collaboration and work well with others.

Respectful

A respectful VA treats everyone with kindness and professionalism, from the CEO to the intern.

Compassionate

Empathy and compassion go a long way in building strong relationships with colleagues and clients.

Communication

Clear, effective communication is a must-have skill for any VA. Bonus points for great listeners.

Takes Initiative

The best VAs don’t wait around to be told what to do. They take initiative and proactively look for ways to help.

Conscientious

Detail-oriented, reliable, and always striving for quality work? That’s a conscientious VA in a nutshell.

Resourceful

When problems arise (and they will), a resourceful VA knows how to find solutions and keep things moving forward.

Of course, this is just a starting point. Every company and role will have its own unique set of desired traits.

But if you can find a VA with a good mix of these positive personality traits? I’d say you’ve struck hiring gold.

The bottom line is this: Don’t underestimate the power of personality in your hiring process. It can make all the difference between a subpar VA and a true rockstar team member.

Take the time to really get to know your candidates, assess their soft skills and traits, and trust your instincts. Your future self (and your business) will thank you.

Key Takeaway: 

When hiring a virtual assistant, don’t just focus on their resume. Look for key personality traits like strong communication, time management, collaboration, resourcefulness, and conscientiousness. These qualities often predict success better than technical skills alone.

FAQs About Personality Traits Hiring

What personality traits do you think are important to employers?

Employers prize teamwork, adaptability, and a strong work ethic. They seek folks who mesh with their culture and push the envelope.

What are the personality traits one should look for when hiring an employee?

Hunt for candidates that show grit, flexibility, and top-notch communication skills. These stars tend to shine in any role they tackle.

How do you describe someone’s personality for a job?

Say they’re driven if they chase goals relentlessly. Call them collaborative if they gel well with teams. Label them innovative if ideas flow nonstop.

What are the Big Five personality traits in the workplace?

In workplaces, the Big Five spotlight openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism as key players shaping job performance vibes.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, these personality traits hiring managers should look for aren’t just about checking boxes on a job description; it’s about understanding what makes someone tick and how they’ll mesh with your unique company culture.

By zeroing in on traits like adaptability, emotional intelligence, and a growth mindset, you’ll be well on your way to building a team of superstars who don’t just get the job done – they make your whole organization better, stronger, and more successful.

So, next time you’re looking to add some fresh faces to your roster, don’t forget the power of personality. Trust your gut, ask the right questions, and watch as your dream team takes shape before your very eyes. With the right personalities on board, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

Digital Marketing Strategist with background in Information Technology, Project Management, and Business Process Outsourcing. An expert in content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and dependent on Virtual Assistants to survive.


As the founder of VA Staffer, he has built a company with over 150+ virtual assistants, specializing in executive assistants and remote teams. Jeff's a master at leveraging AI and human capital to build things fast (and smart). He's a contributor to top business publications such as Entrepreneur and Forbes, and he has been featured on major news networks including ABC and CBS.

Jeff J Hunter

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