Being an Introvert isn’t a disability, it isn’t a disorder – it’s just someone’s personality.
They’re naturally a shy person. In a world where business is big, and voices are loud, does your recruitment process assess an Introvert on their ability? Or, do you write the Introvert off, just because they’re not as confident as a desirable candidate?
Here’s a few tips on how to get the most out of even the shyest Introvert:
Assess what is of actual value to you
Just because a candidate is shy, does not mean that they are any less able than your other candidates. One of the main things to remember about assessing is that you want to have a clear set of criteria that you want to see met – you need to know which abilities are valuable to your company, and which are just desirable but not imperative for the candidate to have.
During group activities, set a level playing field
A general concern, when dealing with introverts, is that you think they might be shy because they don’t know their stuff. I’m not telling you this is wrong, because it may be at times. With this tip, I’m helping you to clarify whether or not this is the case, or whether they’re just more withdrawn than other candidates.
During the group activity, take everyone out of their comfort zone. Although this may not draw an introvert out of their shell, it’ll allow you to assess their ability to think outside of the box. At this stage, you can look to keep tabs on their input: is it valuable? Is it productive? Is it pointless blabber?
Introverts tend to think before they speak – don’t expect them to dive straight in with ideas. It may take them a few minutes of listening to everyone else before they bring anything to the table. They may only contribute one thing – however, it’s the value of that one thing that you need to assess, not how much they have to say. Where other candidates’ ideas may be of little value, an introvert’s single idea could change the world. Of course, it may not. But, that’s up to you to decide.
Build a rapport with the Introvert
The one-to-one interview should be seized as an opportunity to build a rapport with the candidate – giving them the impression that they can be themselves around you will draw out their personality, and show you who they really are. This can allow you to identify their capabilities.
An introvert may struggle during the group activity, but flourish during the individual interviews. This is your opportunity to pick their brains. Generally, introverts hate small talk, but are comfortable with in-depth conversations. So, where you may ask one candidate a series of questions, you should ask an introvert one or two main questions. Ask them to elaborate in such a way that answers all of the questions that you would ask any candidate.
Being their friend will allow them to settle and be more comfortable, as opposed to feeling intimidated when they can feel all eyes on them during group activities.
Do your best to understand them
I don’t think I can stress this point enough. I would just like to reiterate: being an introvert is not a disability – being an introvert is just who you are.
Have you ever been in this situation – you feel as though someone is losing patience with you, and you’re doing nothing wrong? It made you feel uncomfortable, maybe even a little incompetent, didn’t it? Now, imagine the majority of people you come across making you feel like that. Not nice, is it?
Be patient. Let them think about their answers. Don’t try and push them or force information out of them. Because, they’ll crawl up inside their own little bubble, and you will have wasted your time. Arguably even worse than having wasted your time: they could have been your best candidate, and you, because you weren’t patient and didn’t take the time to understand them, scared them away.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not trying to tell you every introvert you come across could change the world. However, making a conscious decision to find out is far more valuable than losing out on great talent.
Remember, just because an introvert doesn’t suit the role they applied for, doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to your business in other ways. Make a note of their strengths and weaknesses; where they flourish and where needs development. If your Applicant Tracking System is of a good enough quality, this will be easy – it will allow you to match them with vacancies that will be more suited to their strengths.