What HR Can Learn From Boiler Room: "Telling's Not Selling"
GOOGLE: Now Thinks Those Brainteaser Questions Are A Complete Waste of Time...

Hiring For Motivational Fit Vs. Hiring For Culture...

It's pretty simple, actually:

Hiring for Culture - generally means you're looking for people who are like you - or like your brand - People bubble or have something in common with your corporate values.  This generally gets a bit fuzzy pretty quickly, and is full of "like us" bias.  There are people who are hiring for culture effectively, but there are many more train wrecks out there who do it poorly...

Hiring for Motivational Fit - means you're donig a deep dive of when a candidate has been satisfied and unsatisfied in their career, then you're doing an objective assessment on whether your company, hiring manager and open job can provide the good stuff the candidate finds satisfying without a lot of the bad stuff that doesn't satisfy them.

One is cloud level, one is street level.  When in doubt, go for motivational fit.  It's what will deliver true retention over time.


Scott Allison

You nailed it! My favourite questions in an interview are "what did you like/not like about your last job". I repeat that constantly, and just let them talk... the real person (usually) emerges

Alan O

I find it interesting that, whenever the topic of personality/motivational assessment is broached among HR bloggers, the reaction typically leans negative.

Yet when you lay out the business case for understanding individual Motivation, as you have here, there is little disagreement.

So why is it that we all seem to understand the importance of Motivation in employees, yet we're skeptical of instruments that help us "do a deep dive"... ?

At our organization, we use a combination of assessment and tailored interview questions (The assessment helps us decide which areas of motivation to probe further, based on any gaps between the candidates' needs & drives, and what our position entails)


Hi Alan -

I'm not skeptical at all. What makes you think that I am?

We use a instrument that's similar to yours, I'm sure - something that tells us more about how a candidate wants to work, so we do the best we can to match beyond knowledge, skills and abilities...

Thanks - KD

Alan O

Hey, KD...

My observation wasn't aimed at you or any other particular person. Just a general sense that, whenever this topic comes up on the various blog sites I watch, the boo-birds come out. Over on FOT, Ruettimann riffed on this theme 2/13/13. I've seen the same sentiment expressed elsewhere over the years, and it always puzzles me, since my organization finds assessments so useful--for selection, employee development, conflict resolution, etc.

Granted, Ruettimann singles out the Myers-Briggs, and I'm in whole-hearted agreement that the MB has major psychometric flaws that render its reliability and validity questionable at best. But there are higher-quality instruments out there.

I'd guess 75% of what most organizations hire for, and 99.9% of what most organizations fire for, falls under the category of personality/motivation. So that "objective assessment...on the good stuff the candidate finds satisfying" is crucial.


Alan -

Agree on all points - I think most companies need to find a simple tool they're comfortable with to assess the fit - most manager are just really, really bad on the hiring foront.

We've got one that has a cognitive processing speed, rules orientation, assertiveness, etc - and I think it's great.

Sorry for ping that seemed sensitive - our platform actually shows me as low sensitivity...



I like this post!

James Leclair

I like this

The comments to this entry are closed.