hire introvert in business

How to Hire, Integrate and Retain Introverts in Your Business

By James Calder

When hiring, some businesses avoid the more shy and introverted individuals as they can struggle to present themselves effectively in interviews. This definitely isn’t always applicable and this whole article should be considered with the fact that no individual is the same; however, introverted employees will benefit from you developing your management style in the following ways greatly.

Hiring Introverts

Introverts may be quieter in interviews, but it’s your job to dig deeper and find out the hidden talents that your business could be missing out on if you overlooked this candidate. Keep questions open-ended and don’t be afraid to talk about their skills further if you sense there’s more than meets the eye.

To ensure introverts (and most other people) can perform their best in job interviews, offer a timetable beforehand that is laid out with all the information a candidate will need. This will help individuals to plan their day effectively to keep uncomfortability to a minimum. Try not to be domineering in your conversation style, small talk is typically awkward for most people but especially introverts. Ensure you are allowing them to take the floor and discuss what they need to, this can develop conversations much deeper than those vapidly trying to the fill the silence.

Integrating and Retaining Introverts

So you’ve made the jump and hired an introvert, it’s time to ensure the integration process is as seamless as possible, this will contribute to your wider retention efforts too!

Integration should definitely not be a huge party or an overboard event, this is going to put introverts off straight away. Instead, try a staggered approach, introduce them to different areas of your business in slow, structured segments. This will also mean that they can explore the business at a reasonable pace, rather than have everything thrown into the bundle at once. Being realistic, no one remembers every single colleague’s name on their first day.

If you can, ensure they aren’t forced to sit in a busy and loud environment, especially if we’re talking about a lot of extroverts making noise. Even having the option to grab a quiet area from time to time will go a long way in encouraging retention in your introverted employees. Flexible workspaces are essential when discussing introverted retention.

Forcing group work upon your introverts to encourage integration is not always the best solution. Why? Because introverts then assimilate as they start to work as an extrovert would and don’t provide their own ideas, which is often where they can shine best. You’d only be doing your business a disservice by hiding your creative introverts in thick groups.

Why You Should Actively Recruit Introverts

Introverts are often much better creative thinkers than their extroverted counterparts. Everyone has different strengths and if you’re looking for outside-the-box ideas and content, these types of people will always have your back.

If that’s not enough, having introverts to balance out your team can be extremely beneficial for business growth and personal development. Introverts at any level will help to balance teams and assess ideas much better than an extrovert steaming ahead to the next goal would. Having a mix of personalities allows ideas to flourish and businesses to take new directions. Don’t be held back by thinking the quieter people aren’t going to contribute as much, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Photo credit: Introverted girl behind a book from Borysevych.com/Shutterstock

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James Calder
James Calder is Chief Executive of Distinct Recruitment, a recruitment agency based in Nottingham, United Kingdom.

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