The Case for Hiring Introverts

Written by on May 31, 2012 in Career - 1 Comment | Print this page

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Introverts are calm and reflective.

Introverts have a terrible reputation. They are often seen as reclusive, antisocial,  or cowards. Extroverts, on the other hand, are revered in American culture. They are seen as brave, independent, and great leaders – all of the things that Americans value.

In the workforce, being an introvert is almost a crime. Job ads will say things like “must be a people person.” No ad ever says “must be quiet and keep to yourself.” According to Susan Cain, author of QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, one-third to one-half of Americans are introverts. Despite this, many people think that introversion is something to be fixed. Introverts, however, bring important skills to a company.

Introverts Let Others Shine

An introvert manager will not try to overshadow their subordinates. Since they do not seek the limelight, they have no problem stepping back and letting others shine.

An introvert manager is also more likely to sit back at a meeting and let others talk and brainstorm without interrupting. An extrovert, on the other hand, will probably opine about each suggestion. This not only takes longer but, it often causes others to hold their ideas back for fear of criticism.

Introverts are Calm and Collected

In a crisis, who do you want leading you: someone who is reflective and a thinker or someone who talks a lot? Now, this is not to say that all introverts are intelligent and all extroverts are full of mindless chatter. But, all things being equal, an introvert is more likely to step back from the situation and contemplate their options while an extrovert is more likely to rush in without stopping to think.

In addition to this, introverts tend to avoid conflict. So, they go out of their way to keep relationships running smoothly. Introverts are also very good at thinking carefully before speaking. This helps to keep a potentially explosive situation calm and conflict free.

Introverts are Creative

Group work may be useful in some situations but, throughout history, writers and artists have needed solitude to complete their work. Picasso even said “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.” Extroverts are not as good at being alone and being quiet as introverts are. As a result, very creative people tend to be introverts. So, if something creative is needed, a company should try to find an introvert for that task.

A good hiring manager will seek to hire both introverts and extroverts at a company. Each group brings important skills to a company and it’s time that the skills of introverts are recognized and appreciated.

 

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About the Author

Jen Small

Jen is a writer who is originally from South Florida. A former recruiter for a Fortune 500 company, she has also worked in several different industries - real estate, insurance, construction, and education. Jen has now taken this experience to help others as a resume writer and designer. She currently lives and works in South Korea. View all posts with career advice.