Updated: January 19, 2024

Personality Hires: Ultimate Guide

You found our guide on personality hires.

Personality hires are workers who leaders hire because of their behavior, not skills. Specifically, these hires do not have the hard skills or experience for their jobs. Many of these employees see their role as adding playfulness to the workplace. Personality hires can be popular in the workforce, but they may also cause discord among the team.

Personality hires are similar to workers who fit with the company culture. To boost company culture, you can host culture building activities or create a company culture committee.


This list includes:

  • what are personality hires?
  • what role does a personality hire play in the organization?
  • what personality type do employers look for?
  • what types of jobs are ideal for personality hires?
  • personality hires vs cultural fit
  • should you hire for personality?

Here we go!

What are personality hires?

Managers hire personality hires because they are energetic, positive, and friendly. However, the term often refers to those who use these traits to make up for their lack of hard skills. Employers may hire personality hires for their behavior rather than experience.

The term took off online, with one worker stating former bosses hired her for her personality. TikTok alone has dozens of videos covering the topic. Many clips encourage the behavior and offer tips on how to become a personality hire.

Personality hires’ strengths lie in their range of soft skills. Depending on the candidate, these individuals excel at empathy, adaptability, and communication. True personality hires rely on these traits to obtain jobs normally out of reach.

One debate about personality hires lies in the value of soft skills over hard skills. Soft skills are a large part of workplace efficacy. However, hard skills should accompany soft skills in order for a candidate to be well rounded. Further, this hiring style can inadvertently encourage biases and decrease diversity.

Individuals who self-identify as personality hires may use the term to mask insecurities. Workers with imposter syndrome might rely on being fun to justify their presence at work.

The term has gotten a lot of attention. However, true personality hires, wherein applicants get a job solely because they give off “good vibes,” are unlikely. Still, understanding personality hiring can help managers make strong decisions for their team.

Personality hires vs cultural fit

Personality hires may seem like an extension of culture fit. Despite the terms’ similarities, there are a few important differences. When hiring for personality, managers simply seek out friendly and outgoing individuals. Leaders might use a “gut check” to see if these applicants would be fun to work with. According to Zippia, between 85% and 97% of hiring managers admit to relying on intuition.

Personality does, of course, play a role in culture fit. However, culture fit goes beyond behavior and focuses on company expectations. Cultural fit relies on candidates sharing a company’s values, goals, and work style. Cultural fit asks if employees’ motivations align with the firm’s. In addition, cultural fit analyzes whether applicants will thrive in the role. For instance, workers who prefer team-based projects may not be a good fit for individual work.

What role does a personality hire play in the organization?

Despite a possible lack of hard skills, personality hires do have important roles to play. Below are a few examples.

1. Effective client interactions

One of the most common reasons to hire a worker for personality is so they can interact with customers. Confident and outgoing employees can make connections quickly. This attitude is a huge benefit to client relations. Especially in B2B interactions, these workers can help gain a partnership.

2. Strong leadership bonds

On social media, teams benefit from personality hires’ connection with upper management. Employees might be nervous to approach leaders when issues or delays arise. Personality hires begin their employment with a strong rapport with leaders. Thus, these hires may feel comfortable delivering bad news or asking for extensions.

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3. Better workplace relationships

Personality hires are so named because they are fun to spend time around. These workers feel more comfortable expressing themselves and can make colleagues laugh. For instance, these employees might make a joke to lessen tension during a meeting. Alternatively, these members might create memes to send to the office Slack channel. No matter their tactic, personality hires excel at creating office connections.

These activities can help boost workplace bonds.

4. Innovative problem-solving

Staff members who feel comfortable being themselves are more relaxed in the workplace. This feeling can encourage creativity. Being less afraid of others’ views, these workers might offer bold or unusual ideas. This confidence and creativity can encourage innovative product design or problem-solving.

Check out this list of games that boost problem-solving.

5. Enhanced networking

Industries that rely on creating connections can use personality hires for networking events. These employees make and maintain connections, which is the goal of these parties. Personality hires can meet new clients, create bonds across hierarchies, and negotiate deals.

Here are some tips on hosting a fun networking event.

What personality type do employers look for?

Depending on the job, hiring managers look for different personality traits. Leaders may consider existing workplace culture, industry expectations, and the open position. However, certain traits can be more desirable when trying to find personable workers.

Here are a few examples:

  • Service or client-facing background: Candidates with retail or service experience often have practiced communication and diffusion skills. These techniques are great for customer relations roles or interoffice relationships.
  • Workplace involvement: Experience with culture or fun committees shows that applicants enjoy building company relationships.
  • Team player: Arguably, the most important part of being a good fit for a job is being a team player. Especially in roles with several group projects, team players help improve coworker interactions.
  • Effective communicator: Communication is part of most business interactions, from emails to meetings to chats. Being an effective communicator is an essential skill.
  • Sense of humor: Especially online, personality hires claim humor as one of their most desirable traits. Being able to make the team laugh, especially during tense moments, strengthens bonds.
  • Strong conflict resolver: Conflict in the workplace is inevitable, so these hires should have the ability to diffuse issues. Resolving conflicts can help encourage better team relations.

Overall, when trying to plan for personality questions, just be friendly, kind, and personable.

Here is a list of the top traits of good team players.

What types of jobs are ideal for personality hires?

Certain jobs are more ideal for personality hires than others. For instance, jobs where employees work alone do not need to have as strong of an emphasis on personality. However, there are several roles where personality hires would be a good fit.

  • Customer service representative: Customer service workers rely heavily on soft skills. Effective communication, patience, and positivity all help these workers do their jobs well. Workers with engaging personalities are more likely to have positive customer interactions.
  • Event planner: Adaptability is essential for event planning, which is great for these hires. Personality hires also enjoy entertaining, so creating a fun event comes naturally.
  • Social media manager: Personality hiring is a viral term, so social media is a strong contender for these workers. Workers can use their positivity to engage with audiences.
  • Human resources professional: The best HR reps are personable, approachable, and empathetic. These soft skills make HR a desirable role for personality hires.
  • Personal assistant: Personal assistants must be adaptable, communicative, and personable. Arguably, personality is one of the most essential traits of a personal assistant.

Basically, any role that relies on human interaction is a great fit for personality hires. Whether jobs are customer or client facing, these employees thrive.

Should you hire for personality?

Personality plays a large role in workplace efficiency. It is important for new hires to get along with both colleagues and clients. However, personality should not trump hard skills. Thus, personality should play a strong but not exclusive role while hiring. Below are some pros and cons to consider during the hiring process.

Pros of personality hires

With any role, considering personality is an important part of the hiring process. Here are some reasons why personality hires may benefit your firm.

1. Retention

Retention is one of companies’ top priorities. One of the ways to encourage retention is by hiring for personality fit. A Hays survey found that 47% of job seekers left their previous roles because of company culture. Ignoring personality can cause worker conflict and make the new hire quit faster. Additionally, refilling the role costs time and money. By considering personality, managers take an extra step toward keeping employees on board.

Here are some employee retention strategies to consider.

2. Team relations

Workers who self-identify as personality hires connect with and entertain their coworkers. Teams with strong bonds work better together, hence the importance of team building. Friendly employees can help bring colleagues out of their shells. These members can also start interesting conversations and even drive innovation.

Further, these workers often start their jobs with good relationships with management. Personality hires can help bridge the gap between company leaders and employees.

3. Client perception

As the name suggests, personality hires are likable. These workers’ confidence, communication skills, and demeanor make them skilled at client interactions. Employees who put others at ease are great for companies that work with the public or other firms.

4. Quick learners

Because personality hires are adaptable, they can take well to skills training. This reasoning makes personality hires more appealing. Many managers believe it is easier to teach staff how to do a task than it is to teach them how to make connections.

Cons of personality hires

Along with personality hires’ benefits, there are cons to hiring strictly for behavior.

1. Team resentment

Only focusing on personality can lead to conflict among colleagues. Non-personality hires may resent how quickly the firm accepts personality hires. In fact, these hires often create strong bonds with upper management. Such connections can appear as if personality hires have an unfair advantage. Perceived advantages may include better projects, fewer restrictions, and more promotions. Even if these benefits are not real, workers may isolated or lash out. This concern is an even bigger issue when the personality hire is the newest of the bunch.

Further, personality hires may try to entertain to hide their lack of office effort. In these cases, fellow colleagues will likely need to take on extra tasks to pick up the slack. Employees who take on more work will come to resent the personality hire.

2. Disinterest or inability to learn

Firms who hire only for personality will spend more time and money on training. Worse, personality hires may focus too much on cultivating their personality. Then, these employees may not be receptive to training efforts. In 2021, Training magazine reported that firms spend an average of $1,071 per learner to train new staff. Thus, workers who are not interested or able to learn cost companies valuable time and money.

3. Misleading interviews

A major concern is candidates can hide their real personalities during interviews. Of course, interviewees will try to put their best foot forward. However, especially strong interviewers might be able to put on a disingenuous performance. Managers who hire for personality may bring on a team member who does not fit the office culture.

4. Bias and diversity concerns

Bias is a big concern for hiring managers. According to Zippa, 48% of hiring managers admit bias impacts their hiring decisions. Several factors can impact bias, including race, gender, personal connections, and appearance. For example, biased hiring has a large effect on people of color. The National Bureau of Economic Research sent out 80,000 fake job applications. Applications with Black-sounding names got 10% fewer callbacks than their White counterparts. Focusing too much on gut checks and personality hiring can worsen hiring biases.

Check out our article on the importance of diverse teams.

5. Disregard for rules

Some folks assume that personality hires do not need to follow the same rules as their coworkers. Employees may feel more comfortable breaking rules or not following social conduct. These staff feel it is their job to shake up the workplace. However, there is a fine line between being entertaining and overstepping boundaries. Personality hires run the risk of overstepping.

The bottom line

Ultimately, hiring just for personality instead of hard skills can cause issues. A true personality hire brings fun and entertainment to the table. Even with tangible soft skills, strong candidates should have industry-related knowledge and experience. However, leaders should not ignore personality, either. Teams with strong connections are more effective. Thus, personality fit is definitely an important consideration.

When hiring, be sure to keep the following in mind:

  • Check for tangible soft and hard skills.
  • Reduce bias by reading resumes blind, standardizing interviews, and giving work sample tests.
  • Consider training budgets prior to hiring.
  • Use hiring panels to get a better understanding of applicants’ personalities.

By taking a careful approach to hiring, you will be able to find an employee who balances personal and professional needs.


As a trending term, personality hires are individuals who only bring fun to the table. These workers do not have enough qualifications for their positions. This issue can cause discord among team members. However, true personality hires are rare. Managers are unlikely to hire workers with no hard skills. Ignoring personality traits during the hiring process is also a mistake. New employees should be able to cooperate with existing team members. Ultimately, a thoughtful hiring process can help leaders decide who is the best fit for a role.

Next up, check out these articles on company culture books, employee soft skills, and signs of a high performer.

FAQ: Personality hires

Here are answers to common questions about personality hires.

What are personality hires?

Personality hires are employees who join a team because of their appealing personalities. Usually, these hires do not have the necessary knowledge or experience to do their jobs. However, their personalities impress managers enough to bring them onto the team regardless.

Despite the term’s prevalence, personality hires often do have some experience. In practice, these workers may edge out other candidates because of their behavior.

Are personality hires a good idea? 

True personality hires are unlikely to work out. These staff may be too flippant, cause office resentment, and not learn job skills. Hiring managers should not dismiss candidates’ personalities completely, though. New hires still need to get along with colleagues.

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CEO at teambuilding.com.
I write about my experience working with and leading remote teams since 2010.

LinkedIn Michael Alexis

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