I recently came across an interesting article about some research that has been done into the “Top Five Personality Traits Employers Hire Most”. The article talks about research into 100 prominent companies and what they look for in their potential recruits.
Although I would generally agree with the observations made in the article, I would like to challenge the notion that “managers can read you the moment you walk in the door” as Kathy Harris, managing director of Manhattan-based executive search firm Harris Allied suggests. I think first impressions are important but not to the extent that Kathy claims.
This approach is often referred to as ‘gut feeling’ or the ‘art’ of recruiting. However it has its drawbacks, as I feel that it can lead to poor recruiting which can lead to difficulties in the future for the employee and the employer. Unfortunately it is not an uncommon approach to recruiting still used by less enlightened managers nowadays.
The good news is that there is also a science to recruiting in the shape of psychometric testing. One of the most widely used in the world is called DISC workplace assessment systems. Using the DISC approach to underpin the subjective approach can help recruit much more accurately.
The research from the Forbes article found that professionalism, high energy and confidence are the top three traits employers look for in prospective employees. Translating these findings into DISC quadrants, professionalism would correspond to the ‘S’ or steadiness quadrant, while confidence and high energy would correspond to the ‘D’ (Dominance) and ‘I’ (Influence) quadrants respectively.
The DISC profile helps by giving the employer a bigger picture than that which is displayed by a candidate in an interview setting. For example, if interviewing for an Administrator role, the DISC profile could help by showing whether the applicant was accustomed to working in an orderly and methodical manner and whether they would be comfortable in that role or not.
The best way to assess the efficacy of your organisation’s approach to recruitment is to look at staff turnover; if the wrong people are being recruited into the wrong role, they are unlikely to stay with the company. To go one step further would be to look at the productivity of your current employees and the frequency of conflict in the workplace. If either of these are a cause of concern for you, it may be time to look at addressing the problem at its source.
We hold regular workshops for HR Managers and learning & development professionals to help organisations to recruit the right employee with the right profile into the right role. To find out more, click here.