By now you probably know that recruiting the ideal candidate for your business takes more than a heart-stopping resumé and a few glowing references. That’s because the “right fit” is like Mom’s favorite recipe. You just can’t seem to re-create that “secret sauce” no matter how you try because Mom added a dash of this and a pinch of that.  Likewise the good job fit can’t be based on the ingredients of education and experience alone. 

The right job fit also depends on selecting and blending the personality styles that fit your company’s culture and goals. You have to get a feel for how they approach the job and interact with other people in your workplace before you hire.

That is why recognizing the different types of candidates early in the screening process must be an essential skill for recruiters and hiring managers. Identifying these different types of candidates guides managers in asking the right interview questions and getting the most candid and reliable responses.

Two sides of personalitySo what are different personality types you might see during the recruiting process? You can’t possibly prepare for every type of person, but here’s a short list of the most common employee personality types and the pros and cons of each.

1. The Driver

Pros: Recognizing the Driver doesn’t take a degree in psychology.  You will recognize the driven candidate as soon as they enter the room or open their mouth.  All you need to do is watch and listen.  They typically will enter a room with a strong, confident presence and firm handshake.  Drivers are typically direct and to the point.  They won’t beat around the bush, often times forgoing cordial formalities. Expect to hear a lot of “me” and “I”, and not so much “us” and “we” when describing accomplishments (although personal values might skew this a bit.)   The Driver more than other types exudes confidence and innate leadership.

Cons: …but don’t be fooled by appearance.  The right behavior style is only part of the right recipe for great performance. Candidates need ability and skills.  When interviewing the Driver, make sure you drill down into their alleged accomplishments.  Find out exactly what his role was in getting results and achieving outcomes…and make sure he just wasn’t in the right place at the time.  In other words, can he duplicate his past accomplishments in a new time and place?  Most importantly, while these types of employees typically do get things done, they can unfortunately be tough to work with. Driven people are sometimes bossy or impatient, especially if others don’t agree with them or share the same competitive streak. Drivers generally thrive on competition but may not accept second place with grace.

2. The Influencer

Pros: The influencer is energized by persuading others to his (or her) viewpoint.  He is often charismatic and engaging. You might describe the Influence as the natural-born salesperson or motivating leader. He tends to look into a room of strangers and sees dozens of new friends.  The influencer, like the Driver, tends to exude confidence but is much more enthusiastic, interactive, and likeable. Whether on the job or waiting in line at Starbucks, he influencer is sure to be seen doing what he does best – interacting and influencing. 

Cons: At times this outgoing candidate may turn the strength of his smooth talker into a self-inflicted handicap. While some might see him as super-friendly, others may see superficial.  The Influence has a favorite subject – himself! He may become so energized when he has an audience (of one or many), he gets so caught up in influencing that he forgets to stop, take a deep breath, and listen.  Beware when you ask the open-ended question – make sure the influencer candidate stays on track, answers the question you asked, and be ready with the hook to pull him off stage.

3. The Steady

Pros: The Steady candidate is generally the most amiable of the different types of candidates. He is easy going and willing to go with the flow. This recruit values people interaction and enjoys being part of a team. Some might get the sense this steady-eddy candidate is resistant to change. That’s a mistake many recruiters and managers.  They are willing to change; they just need to understand the change and be given time to get acclimated. The Steady candidate can be a good complement and balance for the Driver and Influencer.    He is often the most dependable of all types and can be loyal almost to a fault.

Cons: Because this employee personality type appears to be so easy going, they may have a difficult time saying no. He may also be a push over and allow other employees — or even the boss — to walk all over them. As a result the steady type may take on too much and in the end disappoint.  Regardless of the need to please, each of us has only 24 hours in a day.   As I mentioned earlier, the steady candidate may struggle with quick change. While it may be nice in theory to hire these natural people pleasers, the inability to just say no could results in missed deadlines and incomplete tasks. 

4.  The Analytic (High C Behavior)

Pros: Expect this candidate to come to the interview prepared. In fact, managers who tend to “wing it” might feel like the situation is reversed and they are the ones being interviewed.  The analytic typically has done his homework and prepared a list of question. He is punctual and detail oriented.  Expect to have him arrive early with the expectation of the interview starting promptly. This recruit tends to be conscientious and reliable.  They believe in getting things done correctly the first time because they fear making a mistake (or getting caught!)

Cons: The analytic often sets a high standard for himself and others. This employee personality type can be nit-pickers and critical of others. They may also have a difficult time delegating and trusting others– few people can meet their expectations. For this reason, the analytic may prefer to work alone and is often de-energized with a lot of interpersonal interaction. This could cause problems when projects require teamwork and collaboration.