Are You Your Workplace's Personality Hire? That's Not a Bad Thing

Personality hires always remember your birthday and make the workplace a little bit happier each day.

Sara Belcher - Author

Mar. 15 2024, Published 6:05 p.m. ET

It seems spending just a little bit of time offline can leave you severely out of the loop, especially when it comes to internet slang. New terms and phrases pop up every day, and what ones you use could depend on what corners of the internet you frequent.

We won't hold it against you if you see a term or two you need to look up during your doomscrolling time (trust us, we've been there before as well), but some of these terms have started to seep into the workplace.

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Terms like "quiet quitting" and "personality hire" are rampant online, and you've probably seen them mentioned in a workplace skit or two on TikTok. But what does it mean when your coworker laughs as they tell you you're the office personality hire? You might want to buckle in, because it's not necessarily a compliment (though it's not really an insult either).

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What is a personality hire? Explaining the TikTok term.

In the corporate world, the personality hire is the employee who is kept on more for their charming charisma and person skills than their ability to do their job. Though this may come off as an insult at first glance, personality hires are known to have a specific set of skills that can come in handy (beyond remembering everyone's birthday).

This could be the coworker who may not be the most reliable on a group project, but if you have a difficult client who needs to be worked with, the personality hire may be the best person for the job. In some instances, they're also the person with the most connections outside of the workplace, being able to pull strings at the last minute to avoid a corporate disaster.

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A personality hire is characterized by the moral they bring to the team, whether that's keeping things positive in the office on a dreary or stress-filled day or organizing the best office happy hours, their role is useful in a different sort of way.

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Plenty of creators on TikTok have made skits based on the personality hire. Vienna (@viennaayla) on TikTok has a series about the personality hire, where she's shown walking into the office during a stressful situation with complements and half-birthday presents before ultimately helping an event or presentation go off without a hitch. In one, the personality hire calls the "scary" CEO and gets the group a week extension on a presentation, while in another she calls the mayor to get a last-minute permit.

"One thing about her, she earns her keep," Vienna captioned one of these videos. And she's right — though the personality hire's day-to-day may involve tasks that are drastically different from their job description, a good personality hire contributes to their workplace environment in some of the most positive ways (even if they didn't add a single slide to the presentation).

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