Being liked can be a key to help people move along in their business careers.
When hiring and promoting, the key ingredients to those being hired are “likeability” and likelihood of fit.
And it is unlikely that “fit” will be determined by testing, since
it ranks as dead last in terms of what organizations rely on when
About two-thirds of executives and managers rely on personality and
likeability when hiring or promoting, based on a worldwide survey by
And slightly more than two-thirds look for likelihood of fit when hiring or promoting.
Those same business leaders say that their entire organization also
relies on likeability as well as interviews when hiring and promoting.
When considering hiring and promoting, the things that matter to the
least number of managers are testing, diversity and knowledge of the
“Applicants can interview extremely well, test well, and have great
skills and yet not be a good fit with your department or the
organization,” said one survey respondent. “So many variables come into
play and there are some things you can’t test or measure, and sometimes
it comes down to liking the person and that good old gut feeling.”
“While skills can be learned, personality traits are at the core of
each person. Hiring for fit and growing the person, if necessary, seems
more logical in the long run,” said another.
“When hiring, I am looking for the intellectual curiosity that makes
people look beyond the just-make-it-work attitude,” said one
information technology manager. “I need people that enjoy doing what
they do as much as getting a paycheck. Having fun is not taxable.”
Being somewhat open-minded can also help a career move, since the
majority of executives and managers rely on a job candidate’s
willingness to learn.
“A person who can grow in the company is one who has the willingness to learn,” said one survey respondent.
Said another: “Expectations from professionals have become so varied
and quickly changing, that ability to learn, grow and adapt is quickly
overshadowing job-specific skills as a deciding factor in a hiring
Whatever the factors used in the hiring process are, the interview
remains at the top of most managers’ lists of what they rely on.
“An interviewer who is able to establish a connection with the
potential employee and ascertain whether or not they will fit into the
company’s culture is an invaluable asset to any organization,” said one
But managers also should be open-eyed during the interview process
to delve more deeply into whom the candidate really is and what they
might realistically contribute to the organization.
“A person that interviews well doesn’t always make the best choice,”
said one manager. “People who bluff their way through an interview
usually try to bluff their way through the job as well. This type of
person is only as good as his bluff.”
Different managers can approach hiring and promoting in any number
of ways. “I’ve always used a very simple method,” said one manager. “I
would decide with the candidate how much time to spend together. The
time was halved. In the first half I asked one question: Tell me about
yourself. And the second half: Ask me any question you want about the
firm, industry or position. I listened to the responses and questions
and took careful notes and had a very successful hiring and retention
So anyone looking for a new job or promotion might well be prepared
to present their most “likeable” face, while those hiring and promoting
need to determine if that likeability is what will create the best fit
between the person and the business.