The Hire Success System offers twenty (20) different "trait scales" (referred to below as "scales") within our Personality Profile Test Reports to help identify the unique, business-related traits of an applicant’s personality. Each scale represents two mutually exclusive extremes – for example, Patient vs. Impatient, Tolerant vs. Intolerant, Introverted vs. Extroverted, etc.
The scales are not determined by what is "expected" from any personality type; rather, they are the result of evaluating a group of trait characteristics that would commonly describe each extreme on the scale. These characteristics are determined by the 100 adjectives on the Personality Profile Form, using the applicant’s own assessment of how that adjective applies, or does not apply, to him or her.
At Hire Success, we believe each person is unique, and while the determination of a Primary Personality Type may generally indicate what traits we could normally "expect" from someone with that personality, these expectations should not dictate the results on the report. Our system is set up with the assumption that applicants know themselves best and will provide an accurate assessment of how the various adjective characteristics apply, or don’t apply, to them in a work environment.
The descriptions provided in our Personality Profile offer a traditional, or "classical," description of that personality type. This description provides a background for the trait scales on the individual’s report to help you, as the interviewer, identify the unique traits of the applicant. As an interviewer, you then have an opportunity to hold a more meaningful interview, which will assist you in your overall selection process.
Each trait scale has nine (9) possible values ranging from one (1) to nine (9). A value of "1" represents the strongest, or most extreme, description of the trait on the left side of the scale; a value of "9" represents the strongest, or most extreme description of the trait on the right side of the scale. For example, on the Introverted-Extroverted Scale, a value of "1" is Extremely Introverted and a value of "9" is Extremely Extroverted.
Halfway between the two extremes is the value of “5,” which indicates Not Extroverted AND Not Introverted. Another interpretation of this would be: "Halfway between an Extreme Introvert and an Extreme Extrovert.” A value of “5,” therefore, suggests that the person will probably not exhibit extreme examples of either.
The 9-point scale provides three distinct groups of three values:
For instance, an applicant with a value of "7" on the Introverted-Extroverted Scale would generally be described as an Extrovert. If the position being applied for requires an extroverted personality, this would indicate that the applicant has that trait and would probably meet that need.
If, however, the applicant has a value of "2" or "3,” then the person may not have enough of that trait to fulfill the job requirement of having an extroverted personality.
There are many cases where a position may require some degree of an extroversion, or an "outgoing" personality, but too much might be a problem. For example, someone with an extremely outgoing personality might come across as too "pushy.”
What is an important trait for some jobs becomes a liability for other jobs. This is why the Hire Success System allows you to test the traits of your most and least successful employees in a particular position and develop a "baseline" trait range for each of the scales. Consult our section on Using Baseline Files for more information.
Remember, applicants assess themselves on a 1-5 scale for each of the 100 adjectives on the Personality Profile Test. (Note that the test has a 1-5 scale for the list of adjectives, while the trait scale range is from 1-9). If an applicant indicates a level of "1", this means that adjective describes him or her most or all of the time at work. A "5" indicates the word rarely, if ever, describes the person at work.
A value of "3" would indicate that an adjective applies to someone about half the time, and a response of "2" or "4" would also indicate some degree of applicability. Being able to describe themselves on this 5-point scale maximizes your applicants’ ability to accurately provide meaningful data to the system, especially compared with only a “Yes/No” or “Yes/No/In-Between” response.
Each trait extreme of the 20 different trait scales has a "list" of personality characteristics associated with it, with each characteristic having been described by the applicant. If, for example, each of the characteristics was given a value of "1" by an applicant, then that would indicate the person views him- or herself as "extremely" representative of that trait.
Conversely, if all of the characteristics had a value of "5,” that would indicate that the applicant not only believes he or she is NOT like that trait at all, but would be very much like the opposite trait at the other end of the scale. Therefore, a "5" on one side of the scale is like having another "1" value on the other end of the scale.
Values of "2" and "4" balance each other, and of course, "3" is halfway between. Using this "balance,” the Hire Success System uses a complex algorithm to evaluate information provided by the applicant as to where each person belongs along the 9-point scale. Let’s use some simple examples:
Example 1: The applicant indicates all of the characteristics that describe the trait “Patience” with the value of "1,” and all of the characteristics that describe "Impatience" with "5.” The evidence is overwhelming that the applicant considers himself as Extremely Patient, and would thus have a "9" on that scale.
Example 2: The applicant indicates all of the characteristics that describe the trait "Patience" with the value of "2,” and all of the characteristics that describe "Impatience" with a "5.” The evidence shows that the applicant considers herself to be Patient, but not Extremely Patient – and yet is NOT an Impatient person. The result would indicate a value of "8" on the Impatient-Patient scale. This means the person is Very Patient, but not as patient as someone who describes herself with all "1" values for the characteristic adjectives.
Example 3: The applicant indicates all of the characteristics that describe the trait "Patience" with the value of "2,” and all of the characteristics that describe "Impatience" with "4.” Again, the evidence shows that the applicant considers himself Patient, but not Extremely Patient. However, he also indicates that the adjectives that characterize Impatient may apply sometimes, but less than half the time. The result would indicate a value of "7" on the Impatient-Patient scale. This means the person is patient, but not as patient as someone who describes himself in more extreme terms.
In all 3 examples, we know we’re dealing with a patient person, but there are some subtle differences in the way each of the applicants in the examples above responded to the various adjectives that characterize each of the traits on that scale.
Even though the three people in the examples above are "Patient,” the person in Example 1 would probably exhibit MORE patience than the applicant in Example 3. The question the interviewer needs to ask is: "Can a person be too patient in this job?" In some jobs, the answer might be "Yes,” while in others, the more patient the employee, the better.
For example, let’s look at two very different roles: A nurse and a salesperson. Chances are, extreme patience in a nurse will be an attribute. However, if a salesperson is too patient, he or she might never ask for an order, or wait weeks or months to make follow-up calls or for a customer to pay for what was sold.
One could argue that in the case of an extremely patient salesperson, he or she may have "learned" not to be so patient in those situations and thus would still be good for the job.
That’s true – and illustrates exactly why the Hire Success System is an important tool for both the employer and the employee. The trait scale may indicate the person has too much patience for a particular job, but alerts the interviewer to a potential problem, and the interviewer can ask questions about this during the interview for clarification.
It’s possible that the interviewer will be satisfied that the applicant HAS learned to be less patient in some situations, based on further questioning.
The interviewer might also want to ask the applicant’s previous employers this question to see if it has ever been a problem. If it has been a problem in the past, then the interviewer is now aware of the facts – probably more so than if this issue hadn’t been brought to light in the testing process.
In this example, the end result will be best for both the employer and the employee. If the applicant knows when to be patient and when not to be, the employer may have an excellent candidate. If not, both may be spared the agony of a bad hire, which could ultimately end with the employee’s termination or resignation after a short time.
In short, our objective is help you use our tools to avoid these kinds of problems as much as possible!