Dan Maxwell
April 10, 2018

The price of poor recruitment … more than we want to pay.

Bad hiring decisions result in turnover at a cost ranging from 20% to over 200%.
Poor hiring decisions result in under-performance impacting the team and compounding the cost.
Better hiring decisions result in efficiency, productivity, and synergy i.e. exponential growth!

The point: there is too much at stake to ignore this discussion.

Start with a look at standard hiring practices:
• screening by resume,
• interviewing for past behaviours,
• using intuition to evaluate fit.

Not all bad considering
• We need to know applicant skills, education and experience,
• If they’ve done it before, they should be familiar with the work, (more on this below)
• It’s good to “read people” since they will be part of the team (a lot more on this below).

Yet, all that work, and we often end up saying:

“It wasn’t the right person.”

Question: what IS the right person?

Answer: someone with the core personality traits that motivate the right behavior for the job.

Core personality traits are personal characteristics shaped through genetics and environment that demonstrate themselves in measurable patterns of behaviour.

Here’s why this is the key to improving your recruitment process ….


Anyone can “behave” anyway they choose. Even introverts can be talkative; but it’s the extroverts who want to talk about anything, anytime, anywhere – with anyone. Naturally motivated to create an impression, they are drawn to sales – and do very well in that role. Introverts, on the other hand, are naturally motivated to focus on the task at hand and avoid interaction with others.

These differences (shaped by traits) make them unique AND valuable. Introverts are drawn to technical and administrative roles where it makes sense for them to use their analytical abilities in specific tasks. Extroverts enjoy opportunities to “shine” in sales and customer service roles.

It follows then, we need to figure out what traits are required for success in the job!


What’s your image of the ideal person?

Without a clear picture of the kind of person we need, how do we know what to look for?

Note: an empty frame is quickly filled with the faces of people we like … not exactly an objective way to make such important decisions.

Best practice: agree on required behaviours for success and create a snapshot of the traits that will naturally motivate a person to repeat those behaviors every day!

Besides helping to clarify requirements, this approach is far more accurate – and objective.


Today’s approach demands review for one crucial reason: it overlooks the obvious but important core factor – who the person is.

The solution is simple … layer into the hiring process these trait-based steps:

Step 1. Identify core personality traits required for success in the position.
Step 2. Assess each applicant for these traits.
Step 3. Rank applicants based on their match to the required traits.

The benefits are significant:

  1. Screening can be done based on fit ensuring the right people are included and those with natural ability are not left out!
  2. Interviewing is relieved of the need to “read between the lines”. Focus instead, on the quality of their past experience.
  3. Selecting is no longer guess work.


Improve your recruitment process by getting a clearer picture of the person you need to hire and select them from your next group of applicants – quickly, accurately, and confidently.

For more on this topic, watch this short presentation on “5 Steps to Improving Your Recruitment Process“.

Or … view this brief testimonial by a business leader on how using a process with a focus on the right people saved his organization hundreds of thousands of dollars.