Getting the Right People in the Right Jobs

The FBI uses profiling to track down serial killers. Marketing organizations use profiling to find prospects. And you can use profiling to find the right person for the right job.

Let's face it, you want people who are motivated to do the job they are assigned. Since most employees express dissatisfaction with the jobs they have, this can be a real problem. If they aren't suited to the work, they don't perform. This leads to increasing costs of turnover and lost productivity. The biggest mistake most employers make is hiring people who are "like them" instead of people who are a good fit for the position. So is it possible to match the right person to the right work? You bet, when you leverage values and the five motivation styles.

Values Profiling
When you ask someone what's important about their work, they often respond in one of five categories: people, places, activities, knowledge and things. These have to do with relating, being, doing, learning, and getting/having.

If you want a receptionist or salesperson who's good with people, THEY HAVE TO VALUE PEOPLE. A meditation instructor would value being. If you have an outdoor job like telephone installation and repair, they will value activities. A teacher values learning. If you have the curator of a museum, they have to value getting/having things.

Think about a specific job in your business. What should people in that position value? If you were writing a job ad for that position, you'd want to use words like people-relating, places-being, activities-doing, knowledge-learning, or things-getting/having/collecting to attract the right kind of person for the job.

Motivation Styles
As you think about this specific job, would the ideal employee need to be:
Achiever or Problem Solver?
Leader or Follower?
Doer or Thinker?
Innovator or Processor?
Evolutionary or Revolutionary?

I worked in software development and maintenance for many years. The predominant profile of most software developers is achiever, innovator, and revolutionary. This means that they're always interested in the newest software and how many different ways there are to do something, but THEY CAN RARELY DELIVER ANYTHING. The only software developers who can deliver on their promises are achiever-problem solvers, processor, revolutionaries. They set goals, follow optimal software processes, identify errors and fix them, and make improvements along the way. Unfortunately, most IT recruiting ads are written to attract revolutionary, not evolutionary software developers.

Attracting the Right Person for the Job
To simplify the hiring process, you will want to both attract the right kind of people and repell the wrong kind of people for the job. Otherwise you waste all of your valuable time qualifying applicants. And if your ad isn't written to attract just the right combination of motivations and values, you won't get any qualified applicants. Using the irresistible language of Motivate Everyone, you can write a job ad designed to attract only qualified applicants for the job.

Do you want an "active leader to achieve goals" (Achiever, Leader, Doer) or an "analytical person to find and prevent mistakes" (Problem Solver, Thinker)?

Do you need an "innovator to redesign the product or business" (Innovator, Revolutionary) or a "systematic improvement specialist" (Processor, Evolutionary)?

Do you want a people-person, achievement-oriented telemarketer? Try:
"Seeking friendly, goal-oriented telemarketing representatives. Call NOW! 800-999-9999." 
Only active, relationship-oriented people will pick up the phone and call on the day of the ad. People who call days later have been "thinking about it" before they respond. You may not want them.

Get the idea? You can craft language for ads that will attract the exact kind of person you want.

Your Job
Think about your own job. Are the elements that you love and elements that you don't enjoy that much? What are the values and motivation styles associated with the parts you love? Who can you hire or delegate to do the other parts you don't enjoy, but they would treasure them?

It's possible to first profile the job you want to fill and then craft ads using the irresistible language of Motivate Everyone to attract the right kind of person for the job. This will save any HR department time and money screening candidates. And it will save many a manager's sanity from trying to deal with misfits.

Profiling New Hires: To get a quick profile of the optimum new hire for any given job, consider using the Motivation Profile with your current top performers in that job. Have them take it at their desk to ensure you get a clear profile. Let them know you're doing it so that you can hire more highly qualified people just like them. Or you might consider giving it to everyone so that you can discover the key differences between the low and high performers. Just compare their results. One or two things are usually the keys to higher productivity and profitability.


Rights to reprint this article in company periodicals is freely given with the inclusion of the following tag line: "© 2008-2024 Jay Arthur, the KnowWare® Man, 888-468-1537, ."