By Kellie Lail
When hiring a new employee, you probably have hundreds of questions about what to expect. How will you know where to set your expectations for their performance in your office? How will you be able to quickly identify their strengths and the areas where they may need some support? If your candidate is working remotely, how are you going to know the best, most efficient way to train them, get them up to speed, and trust them to do their job correctly? This is where the IdealTraits Assessment will become your best friend and most trusted hiring tool.
After your candidates apply to your position, they are automatically sent an email with instructions to complete our assessment. The IdealTraits assessment includes three sections: personality, problem-solving, and short answers. The personality section consists of 35 questions allowing candidates to choose which of four given terms they feel describe them most and describe them least. The problem-solving portion includes 15 problem-solving questions and the short answer section is 5 short answer questions. 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/Compliance.
The Performance Index can be a little overwhelming when you’re seeing it for the first time, so let’s talk about the thing that stands out the most – areas that are labeled as needing support. 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.
For example, I have a low score in Motivation/Drive, coming in at a 7, however, this does not mean that I am not motivated to do my job correctly. With everything in life, you must ensure that you are looking at these results from the correct perspective. A weakness in one area may mean strength in another. This is how the assessment will help you ensure that you are placing your new employees in the correct position that will bring both your employee and your business the most success.
Before we break down what a low score in each section of the performance index means, let’s make sure we are on the same page about what a “low” score is. Any score that is highlighted in orange in the performance index is what you could consider a “low” score, but remember, this isn’t a negative thing! 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.
Let’s break down what scores below 31 can really mean for your employee’s personality.
Motivation/Drive: Motivation/Drive shows ego, confidence, and results. It can also demonstrate how task-oriented you might be. People with a score below 31 in Motivation/Drive tend to be more cooperative, easy-going, slow to anger, and always think before acting. People with low scores in Motivation/Drive tend to be more patient and will take the time necessary to ensure they are making the best decisions possible.
Persuasiveness/Convincing: 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. People with a score below 31 in Persuasiveness/Convincing could be a bit more reserved, but this does not mean they cannot build rapport. Someone with a score below 31 in Persuasiveness/Convincing may be a better fit for a role where clients are coming to them with an issue or question to be solved. People with a score below 31 in Persuasiveness/Convincing also tend to be great listeners, very observant, and logical.
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 a score below 31 in Structure/Routine tend to be very flexible and thrive in fast-paced environments. People with a score below 31 in Structure/Routine also tend to be more willing to take risks to get to their desired end goal.
Thorough/Compliance: Thorough/Compliance is 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. People with a score below 31 in Thorough/Compliance tend to seek independence. They are very strong-minded, persistent, ambitious, and innovative; focused on the big picture. People with a score below 31 in Thorough/Compliance may require less explicit instructions, timelines, or set goals because they do tend to be more independent workers.
As you can see, there are a lot of strengths that come with scores below 31 in the various sections of the performance index. 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.
Remember, the results of the performance index are graded on a sliding scale from 1-100, but a low number is not inherently bad, just as a high number isn’t always inherently good. The way you analyze the results of the performance index also relies heavily on the role you are looking to hire for. Combinations of high and low numbers in different categories will appear differently for each of the personalities. Another good thing to keep in mind is that strengths and weaknesses are interchangeable depending on the type of role you’re looking to fill. Someone with a high Motivation/Drive and low Structure/Routine may bore easily in a role where they spend their day bookkeeping or doing paperwork, but someone with a low Motivation/Drive and high Structure/Routine may thrive in this role.
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!
The assessment results are also a great opportunity to discover questions that can be raised during the interview process to better understand where a candidate is coming from. This gives you the opportunity to know from day one of your new employee’s tenure where they might need some support from you and where they are going to be able to take their new role and run with it. 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.