When making a decision on who to hire, it’s easy to only focus on a candidate’s experience and technical skills.  Of course it’s important for every team member to be proficient at their job.  However, their personality and fit within your culture cannot be ignored.  An all too common mistake is to hire team members that are just like you.  While you’re likely to get along well, a team made up of clones of yourself will compound your weaknesses.

When building a team for a new project or replacing a former member, make sure to look for these character traits and personality types that will complement your existing team. Here are three essential personalities to add to your team this year:


Pragmatic personalities, by definition, deal with situations sensibly and realistically.  These team members are generally level-headed and thrive with structure.  They will likely have a better understanding of management and function efficiently.  These personalities often value orderly processes and multitask extremely well.

So, when considering a potential team member, ask them to detail how they approach their work day and tasks.  If they give you a sense of order and trust in their own systems, you’ve found a pragmatic personality capable of being a valuable process oriented addition.


Where the pragmatist lacks people skills, the relationship-focused employee will make up for it with sincerity and gusto.  Typically, it’s the amiable and extroverts who focus on relationships.  In addition to building bonds within the team, these members value relationships with managers and foster open communication.  This is crucial to internal cohesion and morale.

Consider: your employees spend 40 (likely more) hours a week with other team members.  It’s important they value these working relationships.  If strong relationships are encouraged, team members will produce higher quality work and feel a deeper connection to their employer.

It’s also up to the team’s manager to promote such relationships.  A Gallup survey showed 51% of engaged employees who say their organization encourages close friendships at work are extremely satisfied with their place of employment.  Read how appreciation helped Captain Sully land Flight 1549.


You can have all your processes right and rock solid relationships, but that doesn’t necessarily lead to financial or business success.  Driving towards goals takes an additional skill set.  This type of person is able to clarify roles, organize work, provide direction, and push for results.  When trying to identify this trait, look for signs of energy, social self-confidence, and competitiveness.

However, make sure there isn’t an imbalance of this results-driven personality in comparison to their people skills and respect for process and management.  Overly competitive employees can quickly ruin team morale and almost certainly disregard direction from leadership and leave broken relationships in their wake.

So, as you build your team, go beyond job experience and technical skills, go beyond finding the perfect clone of yourself.  Look at each candidate as a person who can either facilitate or hinder your team’s success with his or her personality in compliment to the team as a whole.

It can be tricky, but if you get it right, you’ll reap the benefits.