Resume-First Hiring No Longer Works

  • By Pixel Press
  • August 2022

Leveraging Data and Psychology to Drive Performance and Reduce Hiring Costs

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Let’s be blunt for a minute.

Despite the unprecedented amount of information available to you about your new hires, your business probably experiences far more mis-hires and turnover than you’d prefer.

This churn is expensive, costing you additional hiring time, training time, and more.

What if I told you that one adjustment to your hiring process could drastically improve this?

Even if you’re already using software to help the hiring process or extensively researching and testing new hire skills, you’re probably missing the most important facet of successful hiring: 

A job has a personality. When the personality of the job and the personality of the person don’t match, they don’t perform.

Our TRAITS™ system helps you cut through the complexity, uncertainty, and inaccuracies of today’s resume-based hiring process.

Using proven psychology, advanced analytics, and data-driven decisions, our system will improve the quality of the talent you hire.

There’s no complex setup, no need to drastically alter your hiring processes, and minimal training required to start seeing benefits.

Want to know more?

Keep reading to see how personality-based hiring is the only way to ensure results in today’s most competitive industries.

Understanding Where Performance Comes From

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Before we can talk about why personality-based hiring is so critical, we have to look at what makes a good hire.

Simply put, all jobs require a certain level of skill and experience for workers to excel. 

In the recruitment process businesses request resumes, conduct extensive interviews, and even require skills-based tests as part of the interview process to assess whether a worker will perform at the expected level.

Hours are spent calling references, verifying educational backgrounds or certifications, and generally determining if a person CAN do the tasks required of them for the position in question.

But very few businesses stop to look at whether the person they are hiring will be motivated to do those tasks consistently, over and over. 

Even worse, this means they’re also not looking to see if the work required would go against a hire’s natural characteristics and behaviours.

For all of the assessing of CAN they do things required, modern hiring practices do very little to determine if candidates WILL do the things required.

So three months after hiring someone who has all the skills, qualifications, and experience needed to fill the role perfectly, they find they’re underperforming, avoiding certain aspects of their job, or requiring constant supervision. 

Just because an employee has the EXPERIENCE to do a job, doesn’t mean they’re MOTIVATED to do the job.

This is why it’s important to understand where performance comes from.

The 5 Key Components of Performance

  1. Education
  2. Experience
  3. Skills
  4. Personality (Characteristics and Traits)
  5. Intelligence

These final two considerations go beyond simple ability (the “can” factors) and look at the motivations (the “will” factors) which drive high-performing workers and the personality traits required to thrive in a given position.

Why Personality and Intelligence?

To understand why personality and intelligence are essential considerations when determining a new hire’s performance potential, we only need to look at how they differ from the other three characteristics — education, experience, and skills.

The first three components are each something employees can obtain with effort, or conversely, something you can give any employee with training and time investment. 

If the reason for poor performance is a skill deficiency or a lack of experience, then the employee can take some training and performance growth occurs. In other words the first three are changeable.

In contrast, personality and intelligence are mostly set and static from the moment you hire a person (and even long before that). 

While some might debate the ability to improve intelligence or alter personality, neither of these aspects are something that you, as an employer, can change on any significant, long-lasting level.

Since you’re likely to hire someone who has the education required ( and as a by-product an equivalent level of intelligence required to achieve the level of education) the real differentiator in performance is focused around personality.

Consider these scenarios:

  • You will never successfully train someone who is conflict-averse to enjoy a job that involves a high level of controversy and creating accountability. 
  • Someone who is naturally very methodical and laid back will never thrive in a position that requires quick, dynamic thinking and changes in directions. 
  • People who find challenge and compensation incredibly motivating will rarely stay long at a slow-paced salary job. They will always follow the money and the thrill of the sale.

These are all examples of conflicts at a personality level. 

You can’t train your way around them. 

You won’t uncover this in candidates’ resume. 

And they’re killing the potential performance of your team. 

So if you can’t find the information needed to accurately define personality on a resume, where can you find this information? 

How can you quantify personality into something you can define and compare? 

This is where TRAITS comes in. 

Turning Human Personality into Data

Scales are an excellent way of comparing and contrasting information. They provide us with great detail at a quick glance once we learn to read them. They make information more concrete.

You’ve learned scales that provide you information at a glace. Think about a temperature, weight, height, pressure etc. Once you learn to read the scale you’re provided with lots of information at a quick glance.

TRAITS has seven scales based on personality traits every person displays to one degree or another. These traits also provide a shockingly accurate means of determining if job applicants are compatible with and likely to excel in a given job. 

You can see an example of this scale below.

TraitsGraph Fixed English edited scaled

The Seven Characteristics of Performance Personalities

  1. Assertiveness (Accommodating vs Aggressive): The need to exercise control over others/situations
  2. Sociability (Reserved vs Outgoing): The need to interact with/influence others
  3. Patience (Fast-Paced vs Steady-Paced): The need for systems and predictability in their environment
  4. Detail Orientation (Flexible vs Structured): The need for structure and orderliness/correctness
  5. Behavioural Adaptability (Consistent vs Versatile): The ability to sustain behavioural change
  6. Emotional Control (Emotive vs Controlled): The level of sensitivity or empathy
  7. Creativity (Conservative vs Imaginative): A measure of inventiveness

By asking applicants a series of questions that correspond to values along each of these scales, we can turn their personality into quantifiable data.

Expanding this Concept to Job Roles

So how do we use this new personality profile to assess job fit?

In many ways, finding an ideal job for a given personality is no different than matchmaking or making friends. 

A high-performing worker is one who will “get along” with their job well. 

There will be little conflict, things will feel natural to them, and they won’t mind spending time or effort meeting job requirements.

Whereas if a job isn’t a good fit, the little things required might annoy them, or they might not fully commit to meeting job requirements.

They might start showing up late or leaving early because time spent at the job is time spent in conflict with themselves.

So if we can think of jobs as having a personality, then it’s as simple as connecting jobs and people with similar or compatible personalities. 

This ensures a good fit and drastically reduces the amount of time, training, and micromanaging required to achieve optimal performance and drive results with new hires. 

Furthermore, happy, productive workers tend to stay at jobs longer.

Easier hiring and less of it? That sounds like a win-win.

Compare and Contrast

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With your data gathered and an ideal set of characteristics in mind, it’s time to look at your applicants.

Take, for example, a fictional accounts payable position. 

Building a job model would help us determine that the ideal candidate will exhibit the following seven personality traits:

  1. Less assertive: You want an employee who prefers to take direction and enjoys the stability of repetitive tasks rather than independently pursuing new work.
  2. Less sociable: Time spent at the watercooler or walking around the office floor is time not spent working.
  3. Steady-paced: Rushing leads to errors. While you want an acceptable pace, accuracy will always trump speed.
  4. Structured: Again, accuracy is vital. A few transposed numbers or failing to follow SOPs could lead to disastrous results.
  5. Consistent: Accountability and routines are essential to maintaining volume and productivity.
  6. Controlled: The ability to effectively crunch large volumes of data and accurately manage accounts trends toward more logical and analytical minds.
  7. Conservative: This job doesn’t require new ideas or substantial optimization. Consistent following of existing protocols is essential.

When you hire you want to find the people that display these behaviours regularly. You want it to be a part of their makeup. The closer the fit the higher the likelihood that they’ll succeed.

Sales positions are notoriously hard to find the right people for. Recruiting effective (and long-lasting) sales talent is tough to do. 

Businesses spend hiring cycle after hiring cycle bringing in new talent, and competition is often fierce for the industry’s best talent.

This is because sales positions’ scope and responsibility vary drastically from one business to the next — and even between different roles within the same company. 

Does the job require more time prospecting or more time spent on customer follow-up? 

What’s the degree of call rejection? 

Is compensation commission-based or salaried (or even a mix of both?)

Who’s the manager and what are their expectations?!

These considerations will impact who will thrive in this position and who will burn out or get bored quickly.

For example, outside sales often require the most performant sales agents to engage in extensive prospecting. 

Most outside sales specialists thrive under pressure and don’t mind high-aggression calls. 

Furthermore, they love commission-based pay structures that allow them to see an immediate benefit from their performance.

Whereas inside sales likely require little prospecting, emphasize follow-up and relationship building, and candidates who are a good fit are likely more comfortable with a competitive salary over commissions.

A great inside sales candidate would likely find outside sales stressful and too much pressure. 

An ideal outside sales candidate would probably find inside sales monotonous and unrewarding.

Each characteristic required will shift the ideal job candidate in subtle ways you simply can’t pick up by reading a resume, checking references, or conducting a one-hour interview. 

But by taking a personality-centric approach to qualifying applicants, you can ensure an optimal fit every time.

5 Steps to Personality-First Hiring Success

How can you implement these tools and techniques to drive your business performance and stop floundering in the frustration of relying on resumes and gut instincts to screen potential applicants?

Our TRAITS Screen2Fit process uses data-driven decision making to break the cycle of hiring by resume and firing by fit.

The process is straight-forward and slots seamlessly into the typical recruitment process. 

In fact, with the time savings offered by our stack ranked reports, you might even save time over your routine screening and hiring processes.

Creating the Ultimate Job Model

Job profiles are not a one-size-fits-all tool. 

Even for the same position, profiles will differ between different businesses, markets, or regions. 

This means that every hiring cycle should begin with the creation of a customized, comprehensive job medel. 

This model will help uncover hiring matches with the greatest chances of thriving and offering higher performance levels at hire — with even more significant potential over time.

Using Your Job Model to Fuel Recruitment

Businesses often use boilerplate job descriptions or fail to speak to the right audience with their hiring ads. 

This approach limits your chances of hiring high performing, motivated talent before the hiring process even starts!

With our customized job model in place, we can identify critical metrics — including performance motivators and keywords. 

You can then use the metrics to build professional career ads that attract people most likely to score well on your personality test.

Deploy Your TRAITS™ Survey Link to Start Gathering Applicants

Our TRAITS™ system generates a link you direct applicants to. They complete the 15-20 minute survey as part of the application process. 

With a few clicks, applicants provide their responses, and the system handles everything else automatically. 

Our software scores the results, compares these scores to your ideal job model, and ranks each candidate according to fit. You go to the top of the list and start reviewing resumes.

There is no need to manage crazy spreadsheets, piles of resumes, complicated software, or multiple data sources. Just deploy, collect, and consult.

Use Stack Ranked Reports to Highlight Hiring Opportunities Quickly

Depending on your needs, we’ll send you periodic stack ranked reports to help shine a spotlight on ideal applicants. 

We’ll group all submissions based on their fit to your job profile that reflect the degree of risk, from least to most.

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This means you can instantly sort out likely poor performers automatically with zero worries about losing ideal applicants. 

Our reports make it easy to see exactly what you have in your applicant pool and, more importantly, what you might not have without wasting hours tracing references or conducting interviews.

Start Hiring High Performing Workers Who Love Their Job

With your drastically reduced list of applicants and assurance of a good personality fit, you can focus on researching the other three performance components: education, experience, and skills.

By focusing on personality first, you can start with a list of high-quality options and then decide just how much training you will need to provide to achieve results. 

After all, since the results are a match for your job, there’s a strong chance that training will offer fast, meaningful results. 

You can now hire with confidence and break that endless — and expensive — cycle of hiring by resume and firing for fit. 

Take the Hassle Out of Hiring with Concord Consulting

Are you struggling with employee turnover? 

Can’t seem to find employees who thrive in their positions? 

Are you tired of paying excessive fees to talent agencies only to receive below-average talent?

Or maybe you’d simply like an advantage over every business in your industry that is still hiring using outdated methods?

If any of these apply to you, Concord Consulting can help.

You can access our game-changing TRAITS Screen2fit assessment system for 30 days to give you plenty of time to assess your options and find a comprehensive list of candidates to fill any positions you might have.

Prefer to be completely hands-off? In that case, Concord Recruitment will bring perfectly matched and expertly vetted talent directly to you with none of the hassles of screening, researching, or conducting initial interviews.

We believe this system is the future of hiring across a range of industries, including:

  • Construction
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Oil & Gas
  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Financial Services

Ready to stop hiring lacklustre talent and start seeing results? 

Schedule a consultation today to speak with one of our specialists. 

We’ll outline results we’ve achieved for businesses like yours and establish a plan to help you stop struggling with resume- or skills-based hiring and start seeing growth and stability using our personality-based approach.

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