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6 Reasons to Hire an Introvert

Posted on: January 5, 2017

Category: Hiring

By Tracy Chandonnet, Manager of Organizational Development

In-person interviews carry a lot of weight in the hiring process. They help determine if a candidate is a good fit for the position and are often one of the final steps before the offer letter. But sometimes, in-person interviews can favor extroverts who are enthusiastic and outwardly confident, while introverts, sometimes perceived as being shy, anti-social or reserved, can be overlooked.

Here are six likely qualities introverts possess that can strengthen your team and help your company achieve its goals:

  1. Risk-averse: Introverts tend to think before they react and resist jumping to conclusions when things don’t go as planned.
  2. Analytical: Often patient and analytical thinkers, introverts can be helpful for jobs that require understanding and/or crunching complex numbers and topics.
  3. Consistent: When provided with expectations and directions, introverts are excellent at following through on tasks. If consistency is key, these individuals could be the perfect fit.
  4. Deliberate: In situations where slow and steady is the proper protocol, introverts are a good counterbalance to their extrovert colleagues, who sometimes prefer to move a million miles a minute.
  5. Meticulous: Introverts tend to double-check their work to ensure accuracy. This is why many introverts are successful in financial analysis work and the technology industry, where attention to detail is a must.
  6. Planners: Many introverts follow a consistent pattern but also look ahead to the future. They know what work is on the horizon and set a course to get it done.

Learning how to recognize these valuable qualities can help you find your diamond in the rough.

Building a Balanced Team

Hiring managers can fall into the trap of hiring people like themselves, but good ones learn to add value based on the needs of the team. This is done by hiring individuals who can fill in the skills and personality gaps that exist. For example, many extroverts would be miserable sitting alone in an office working in Excel all day. Conversely, many introverts would actually prefer and thrive on that kind of work. Both might well have the skills to perform the task, but one would find it significantly more fulfilling than the other (and would be more likely to stay in the role long-term) based on their personal style. When you need to add a member to the team, personality assessments, like the DiSC personality assessment, are a great place to start. These can help determine the characteristics presently on your team and which are missing.

With DiSC, the scale is:
D – Dominance (results oriented)
i – influence (social, creative)
S – Steadiness (relationship-based, harmonious)
C – Conscientiousness (thinkers, problem solvers)

Ideally, you want at least one of each style on your team to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. For example, if you know you’re an “i,” it can be helpful to have “S” and “C” people around you to help you mull your ideas and stay organized.

DiSC is just one personality assessment tool – and it happens to be the one we use at Sherpa. If you want to learn about other tools on the market, a simple Google search can yield a plethora of tools that could work for you and your organization. Locally, the Employers Association can also be a great partner in this process, as they offer many assessment tools to assist companies in improving selection and promotion processes, succession planning, communication and teamwork.

Making the Most of the Interview Process

Example-based and behavioral-based interviews are great when evaluating an introverted candidate. Ask them about products of their work and examples of goals they’ve accomplished. This will give you more in-depth knowledge about what they see, how they react and what they can produce.

A predictive index is also scientifically valid and reliable in terms of pre-employment testing. It helps to provide objective insights into personality traits that are related to workplace performance. Here, candidates look at a group of words and react to it based on how they see themselves. Then, they fill it out again for what the job requires.

For hiring managers looking to fill positions with specific skillsets, an approved pre-employment test could prove helpful. This makes it easier to see where a candidate is matching up and what parts of the job will be easier or more difficult for them.

Getting a Second Opinion

Last but not least, remember references. Past performance is a huge indicator of future success. Getting verified references is always recommended in the hiring process. When considering introverted candidates, who are less likely to open up naturally during an interview, references can help you see their unique strengths and inform you of the value they can offer. If someone can tell you good things about a candidate, their quality of work, ethics, attentiveness and engagement, it may not matter that they were slow to open up to your team during their interview.

A candidate doesn’t have to be outgoing to be good at their job. Hire what’s best for your team, and look for people with opposite skills and traits to create a balance. When we evaluate candidates, we make sure we understand both the hard and soft skills needed by our client. We then look for the right fit for those unique criteria, and we consult multiple references to get the big picture.

Keep in mind, some of the most successful business leaders, from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to Elon Musk, are introverts. Don’t overlook introverts, and you might just find a future star for your team.

Happy team building!

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