By Kellie Lail
So you’ve learned how to identify a candidate’s strengths and areas that could use some improvement when you’re looking at high scoring personality results and low scoring personality results, but what happens when your candidate’s results fall somewhere in the middle? As a reminder, the score ranges are 0-30 (low), 31-59 (mid), and 60-100 (high). You can think of a score of 50 being a mid line for the assessment. This means that depending on your candidate’s exact score, they may learn on the higher or lower end of the spectrum depending on their environment, role, and responsibilities.
In the same way that high and low scores both offer their unique strengths and areas that require improvement depending on the role, mid range scores can offer some very positive benefits for the candidate. It is important to always remember that no matter the score, a high, low, or mid range result in different sections of the assessment can be positive for some roles and not so much for others. The first step in understanding the results of the personality assessment to ensure you are placing your candidates in the best role to fit their strengths, is understanding the responsibilities and requirements of the role itself.
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.
When it comes to mid-range scores, their personality traits can be a bit more flexible depending on their environment. This is where understanding the results can be tricky. A good thing to keep in mind for mid range scores is if they are above or below 50. This will tell you which end of the spectrum they are likely to lean towards in most situations. You can also take a peek at the scores under Self Perception and Other’s Perception. If you see a mid-range score Under Pressure and high scores under Self Perception and Other’s Perception, for example, you can expect them to lean towards the qualities that come with a “high” score more often than the qualities that come with a “low” score.
For example, I have a “mid-range” score (between 31-59) in Structured/Routine, coming in at a 43. My scores in Self Perception and Other’s Perception are also mid-range. So what does this mean?
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. Since I have a 43 (below the mid line of 50) I am more likely to be relatively flexible, but I still really value stability. With a lower mid-range score, I am more likely to be willing to take risks when I know there is a high likelihood of success following. With a mid-range score, I am still going to need some time to process new changes in job duties or procedures, but will be more quick at falling into the new routine than someone with a high score in Structure/Routine.
People with a mid-range score between 50-59 are more likely to tip towards the “high” score traits. 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.
Motivation/Drive: Motivation/Drive shows ego, confidence, and results. It can also demonstrate how task-oriented you might be. People with mid-range scores 31-49 in Motivation/Drive tend to be more cooperative, easy-going, slow to anger, and always think before acting. They are also traditionally more patient and will take time when making important decisions.
People with “high” mid-range scores between 50-59 in Motivation/Drive are likely to be direct, decisive, competitive, willing to take risks, and are very goal and task oriented the majority of the time. They also tend to work more independently and would be more comfortable making quick, on-the-spot decisions when absolutely necessary.
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 mid-range scores 31-49 in Persuasiveness/Convincing are likely to be a bit more reserved, great listeners, very observant, and logical. They can still have great conversations with clients, but you are likely to see higher scores in one of the other sections of the assessment results.
People with a mid-range score between 50-59 in Persuasiveness/Convincing are likely to be more animated, enthusiastic, outgoing, trusting, influential, and optimistic than someone with a score below 30. They can be great at building rapport and trust with clients, even though it may not be their main objective.
Thorough/Compliant: 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. People with mid-range scores 31-49 in Thorough/Compliant will lean toward seeking independence. They will likely be more persistent, ambitious, and innovative than someone with a “high” Thorough/Compliant score.
People with a mid-range score between 50-59 in Thorough/Compliant will lean toward being more strict rule followers, planners, and will likely be more tidy and analytical. They will also prefer to make decisions based on fact. They may need boundaries, procedures, and set expectations to do their best work.
As always, 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.