Understanding High Personality Scores

by | Jun 15, 2022 | Prescreening | 0 comments

By Kellie Lail

Are you reviewing assessment results, excited to see that your candidate has scored over 60 in some sections of their personality assessment? You might even be thinking “they must be amazing and perfect for any role I could possibly throw them into because they scored so high!” I hate to burst your bubble, but that isn’t necessarily always the case.

If you’ve been following along with our blog, you will remember that just a few weeks ago we talked about how low scores in assessment results can actually be really positive attributes – depending on the role you are trying to fill in your agency. High scores work in the same way. Some roles can benefit from really high scores in certain areas of the assessment while low scores or even mid-range scores in the other sections can be just as beneficial. That’s right, a high score in the assessment is not always the “perfect” result and I’m here to break it down for you.

As a reminder, when candidates apply to your open position, they are automatically sent an email with instructions to complete our assessment. Once the candidate completes the assessment, you receive an explanation of their personality type along with a Performance Index noting their specific scores in our four measured areas: Motivation/Drive, Persuasiveness/Convincing, Structure/Routine, and Thorough/Compliant. When looking at a candidate’s performance index, focus on how they will perform under pressure to get the best idea of what their personality might look like in the office. Think of the performance index scores as a sliding scale, rather than high or low. These results simply demonstrate that this portion of the employee’s personality tips in either one direction or the other.

Understanding High Personality Scores

For example, I have a “high” score (above 60) in Thorough/Compliant, coming in at a 96, and in Persuasiveness/Convincing, coming in at a 71. So what does this mean?

Thorough/Compliant explains how you relate to rules that are set by others. This measures your order, organization, attention to detail, time management, and how much data or information you need to make a decision or how cautious you are with decisions. A 96 in Thorough/Compliant is a very “high” score, meaning I am likely to be a very strict rule follower, great planner, very tidy and analytical, and make my decisions based on fact. I need boundaries, procedures, and set expectations to do my best work. I am also very systematic in the way that I do things. These things are all true! I live by my planner and I set alarms for everything; and I mean EVERYTHING. When I don’t have explicit direction or set expectations, I tend to get overwhelmed because I want everything I do to be perfect. This is a great quality for my role at IdealTraits because I run the blog, work on our Help Center, write custom job ads, and help advise clients on best practices for their recruiting process every single day. It is necessary for me to know all of the job board guidelines, posting rules, EEOC compliance rules, and more! Finding someone with a “high” score in Thorough/Compliance is great when you’re looking to fill a customer service, bookkeeping, reception, or administrative position.

On the other hand, hiring someone with a super “high” Thorough/Compliance is not always ideal for a sales role. High Thorough/Compliance can make it difficult to make quick, on-the-spot decisions without too many details. When it comes to sales, on-the-spot decisions are common and most salespeople need to be able to work quickly and independently. That’s not to say that people with high Thorough/Compliance need their hand held 100% of the time, but they definitely tend to prefer to have time to think and balance or research their options before making important decisions.

Persuasiveness/Convincing is how you relate or work with other people. It measures your relationship-building skills, influence, and extroversion, or how outgoing and optimistic you are. With a 71 in Persuasiveness/Convincing, I am likely to be very animated, enthusiastic, outgoing, trusting, influential, and optimistic. People with “high” Persuasiveness/Convincing are very great at talking to people and quickly building rapport/trust with clients! Again, these things are very true for me. I work independently throughout most of the day, however, I am constantly talking to my teammates about conversations we have with clients, new things we have discovered, ideas of ways we can improve the different projects we’re all working on, and even just what is going on with our lives. My team works fully remotely, meaning we don’t really see each other “face-to-face” every day. What has worked incredibly well for us, especially considering the majority of us have high Persuasiveness/Convincing, is our daily morning meetings and Watercooler break via Zoom. This gives us the opportunity to have designated time every day to talk about what we’re seeing at work, and time to talk about whatever it is we feel like! It’s a great way for us to bond and build friendships so that we can truly work as a cohesive team, even though we are located in four different states!

Now, let’s talk about some high scores that I don’t have in my personality index and what they mean for your employees.

Motivation/Drive shows ego, confidence, and results. It can also demonstrate how task-oriented you might be. People with “high” scores in Motivation/Drive are likely to be direct, decisive, competitive, willing to take risks, and are very goal and task oriented. They will have a long-term vision and expect excellence, so they can be great leaders and can motivate and inspire the people around them. Because they are so direct, decisive, and willing to take risks, people with high Motivation/Drive are great at making decisions quickly. They also tend to work more independently, meaning they may not need as much explicit direction when it comes to taking the steps to accomplishing their goals. They are focused on getting things done, even if that means bending the rules a bit every now and then.

Structure/Routine: Structure/Routine is how you relate to the pace of the environment or change. This is how much you value stability, security, consistency, and your set routine. It also measures your emotional expression, listening and teamwork skills. People with “high” Structure/Routine are going to be very steady, routine oriented, good listeners, want to find the easiest way to get from point A to point B, have a great poker face, and don’t like surprises or sudden changes. They need to understand why something is happening. People with “high” Structure/Routine are going to need some time to process new changes in their job duties or procedures. When I first started at IdealTraits, my Structure/Routine was incredibly high, but over time as I have gotten more used to new projects being thrown my way, I have become more comfortable with changing up my routine. If you have an employee with high Structure/Routine, it is always good to make sure you are easing them into new changes and ensuring that you are explaining to them why the change is going to be beneficial in the long term. A high score in this area doesn’t mean they will be unable to adapt to change, they just want to understand why this change is going to make things better.

Just like low scores, the important thing to remember when reading the performance index is that each of these scores is just a piece of the pie. Every candidate will have different combinations of numbers when it comes to their performance index, and there isn’t any single number that you should consider to be negative or a failure. But, what should you be looking for when it comes to placing someone in a sales role vs. a customer service role?

For sales, you want to look for “high” scores in Motivation/Drive and


. These skills are going to set them up best to tackle their goals and build solid, trusting relationships with their customers.

For client-facing service positions, you want to look for “high” scores in Persuasiveness/Convincing, Thorough/Compliance, and Structure/Routine. This is going to set them up to build those trusting relationships with customers, ensure they are following rules and procedures when it comes to paperwork/admin duties, and is going to keep them on task.

For service positions that don’t have much face time with customers, you want to look for high scores in Thorough/Compliance and Structure/Routine to ensure they are staying organized and following necessary procedures.

The most important thing when it comes to using the assessment as a portion of your hiring process is understanding the roles and opportunities you have available to ensure that you are placing your new employee in a role that is going to set them up to be most successful, even if that isn’t the role they initially applied for! Placing new employees in the role best suited for their personality will not only help you in finding a more successful person for that specific role, but will also help your employees to be more comfortable and happier in their position.

Want to learn more about the IdealTraits assessment? We have tons of helpful articles in our Help Center that break down the numbers, the personality types, and even sample interview questions based on personality results.

Don’t forget!! The personality assessment should be only one of the tools that you use when it comes to making your hiring decision. Make sure you are exploring their resume and experience, interviewing your candidates, and having meaningful conversations with them so that you can truly understand their background, experience, strengths, areas they may need support, and what they hope to gain from working with you. This is going to set you up for the best chance at making a successful hire.

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