Dan Maxwell
February 8, 2017

What’s missing in the typical hiring process?

It’s not skills, education, or experience. Most of these explored through resumes or interviews.  If candidates are short in any of these areas, they can be trained, given time to gain experience – even be sent to school.  And IQ is certainly important for positions requiring unique thinking skills. However, intelligence doesn’t drive behaviour – an important factor in all positions including those with highly specialized thinking.  We also assume most try to at least avoid candidates with poor ethics or integrity; so we won’t say the missing piece is character.

The one factor most don’t include in their hiring process is how their candidates are hardwired. They haven’t identified their candidate’s traits.

Traits are a person’s natural and lasting characteristics which shape their personality and drive their behaviour. Personality traits are something you can’t change about people.

Throughout the cycle of their employment (from hiring to promotion and every phase along the way) you will either be frustrated by an employee’s traits, or you can figure them out ahead of time and be far more successful in your decisions about their management, training or promotion.

A few examples of what can happen if you don’t figure this out about your candidates:
• It’s a constant effort to manage them – they keep popping back into their original shape in spite of all the efforts to re-form them.
• Coaching is unproductive. Try as they might to apply new skills, their traits keep pulling them back to their old – natural – behaviours.
• Training amounts to lost dollars. Their natural abilities lie elsewhere making it difficult for them to absorb what you’re teaching them.
• Teamwork is a challenge because you’re uncertain about what truly bothers or inspires them.
• Promoting them is a risk; the traits required for a supervisory and management position are always different and they may not have what it takes to e.g. let go of their own work and delegate, or start telling others what to do

Looking at hires this way, it’s surprising more of them don’t fail! Can you afford to take these chances? Discover your candidate’s traits and you’ll be equipped to make informed decisions throughout the full cycle of their employment.