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Unfortunately, the media exerts a lot of influence that typically endorses stereotypes; good and bad. We’ve all seen enough coming-of-age movies, usually imported from the US, which show nerdy-types alone in the library are considered losers, while the successes engage themselves in groups.

As we grow older and more experienced, we begin to recognise this fictional state of affairs plays out just as readily in real life, with us all quick to make and often incorrect decisions about people.

At every turn in society we tend to favour well-spoken, polite and expressive individuals; you are more likely get the job if you are a great communicator, keen to engage.

However, for those less expressive, the introverts, businesses are advised to pursue specific approaches, like Strategies for Introverts to Excel in the Workplace or How to Survive and Thrive as an Introvert at Work.

It is clear, being introverted is regarded as a disadvantage and a fault that needs correcting.

Looking beyond initial impressions

Being shy and being introverted are not the same thing, but commonly confusing these personality traits will often impact recruiting choices.

It’s why every candidate should be judged objectively through their skills, motivations and personality and why normative psychometric assessments are the answer

There is plenty of evidence to suggest introverts are the secret powerhouses in many organisations, especially when they are seen as an asset and their worth is fully understood.

It is essential recruiters give them the same opportunity to shine like other candidates. Here is a list of qualities you may witness in a typical introverted individual:

  • They will tend to be more observant and detail-oriented
  • They are likely to be self-learners and more self-motivated
  • They typically put more thought and planning into their work before taking action

The usual strengths of an introvert will often go unnoticed during the recruitment process, especially when job interviews typically prize an individual’s ability to be sociable over core skills alone. To get the real picture, pre-employment assessments are designed to help reveal skills, interests and characteristics in a candidate that may not be immediately obvious from a face-to-face encounter.

Matching skills to the position

Whilst extolling the virtues of the introvert, it doesn’t mean they will suit every role in an organisation. A customer-facing sales position is unlikely to be a good-fit and akin to asking a non-dancer to enter Strictly Come Dancing; terrifying.

Good recruiting decisions should begin with determining the skills, interests and personality traits required for the role for which the candidate is being sought.

Finding the right candidate who best measures up to the benchmark created for this role, will be as easy as matching puzzle pieces together in a child’s jigsaw. Simples!

Many introverts believe it is impossible to achieve a meaningful and satisfying career, but remember, everyone is different and each position requires people with different qualities. You don’t have to be an extrovert to excel at your job, whatever it is.

Introverts have just as much to contribute in the workplace and their value should not be underestimated. It’s time to stop telling people to step out of their comfort zone and embrace their unique strengths.