Do you hire based on skills? Or based on personality? - Antonella Cafaro - Assistente Virtuale
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ACVirtually Skills or Personality

Do you hire based on skills? Or based on personality?

Let’s say you’re looking for a team member.

What will affect your decision more?

Skills or personality?


Since I started my own business a few years ago, I was constantly told: you need to find your USP, or unique selling proposition.


How do your services differ from those of the competition? What do you do better than your competitors? You need to stand out from the crowd so that people will notice and maybe decide to work with you.

Wow! I understood that they were right, all of them! But I had big problems in understanding what they really meant.

I kept on looking at the list of my skills in comparison to those of other VAs. And all their beautiful websites!

I’ll be honest… I felt very inadequate. Really!


They had gorgeous websites and long lists of skills. I couldn’t do all the things they could.
Instead of discovering my USP, I faced a long period of stagnation. I didn’t feel confident enough to put myself (and my skills) out there. A lot of people could do much more than me, and my fears prevented me from taking action.

My big question was: why would someone want to work with me?


There are so many talented virtual assistants out there. Why me? 

I kept on working with my coach and, yes, I finally understood!

It was a slow process.  I tend to be an introvert who needs some time to come out of my shell (even with people I love to be with).
I knew social media was the way to go, but I simply couldn’t understand how. Yes, I shared content, but I realized it was just “cold” content. Nothing of my personality managed to shine through.

Then… I slowly started to understand, and I finally found my way.


Groups. Yes, Facebook groups where I was surrounded by like-minded people. They helped me feel I was in a safe place. I felt confident enough to start showing up, sharing my opinions and even personal aspects of my life.

I had finally found a way of letting the world know who I am, what I do and most important, how I am. Because if you don’t talk to them, how could they know?

I realized I could have real conversations with real people. Little by little I started to feel confident and at ease. This changed everything. My first clients met me in Facebook groups. We had conversations. They liked me. We decided to work together.

Yes, it’s simply that easy.


That’s how I realized people hire people: personality first, skills second.

I’m not undervaluing my skills. It’s just that I know that I have very similar skills to those of many other VAs. But what differentiates me from the others is my personality. It’s how I do things, how I communicate. It’s because of my honesty, my integrity, my kindness, my willingness to learn and grow. I’m highly skilled in some fields. And other skills may be gained or improved; I’m a big fan of lifelong learning, so it’s not a problem.

The most important thing is that I’ve eventually understood that I need to show up and let my personality shine through, without the fear of not being good enough.

And guess what happened? Like-minded people started to notice me. They liked me, and when they needed collaborators, they remembered me.

That was a great confidence booster.


The same thing is happening right now. My business is growing (yes!!!!) and I’m considering adding a team member. I realize I’m acting in just the same way!

If I need to work with someone on a daily basis, well… I want this person to be honest, reliable, kind, willing to learn, respectful, punctual, detail oriented – just like me!

Skills can be improved or gained. Kindness, respect, integrity and many other personality traits… no! Unfortunately, they can’t.

So, yes, definitely! I like to hire for personality first. What about you? Please leave a comment here below!

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Antonella Cafaro

Mi occupo di assistenza virtuale e aiuto professioniste e imprenditrici a risparmiare tempo, crescere e raggiungere i loro obiettivi godendosi la loro attività mentre io mi occupo del resto. Virtual Assistant. I help online entrepreneurs save time, implement their plans, lighten their workload and be more productive.

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