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How to Hire Top Performers

assessments diversity hiring team building Oct 20, 2018

Have you ever wondered why the individual with a great résumé fell apart after he was hired? Why two employees get along well outside of the office, but always conflict inside the office? Or how someone consistently excelled in one position, yet failed after a promotion into another?

Unfortunately, these scenarios are common to most organizations and aggressively thwart productivity, efficiency, and morale. But perhaps most troubling is that these situations also leave us scratching our heads. Highly talented people, whose IQ and personality look great on paper, don’t seem to work out in reality. Where did we go wrong? Or, maybe the better question is...


Why are cognitive and affective traits not always solid indicators of performance?


Most assessments focus on measuring the cognitive (intelligence) and the affective (personality) parts of the mind. While these tools can be helpful in certain contexts, their insight into a person's future potential is limited. IQ scores are influenced by opportunities to learn, and being smart doesn’t necessarily predict success. Personality traits are situational, and people who seem agreeable don’t always do a job successfully or accomplish team goals.

What's missing? The third part of the mind: the conative, or instinctive, part.

Conation is the third part of the mind, which determines how human beings take purposeful action. Each person has an ingrained method for expending effort to achieve results. One's MO is not taught or acquired, it is fixed throughout life.

Conation explains why two people with similar intelligence and personality can perform so differently in the same role. Or, how individual stars within the company, each possessing high IQ and EQ, suddenly fail when put into a team. Without understanding conation, there will always be a missing link - and most likely poor performance - in your workforce.


How is conation measured?


The only tool that measures the conative part of the mind is the Kolbe A™ Index. Created by Kathy Kolbe of Kolbe Corp (Phoenix, AZ), this assessment and other Kolbe concepts are used by major organizations around the world, including Microsoft, Northwestern University, NASA, Verizon Wireless, The Hershey Company, and American Express.

The greatest benefit of utilizing the Kolbe tools is that they aid in creating a true match of the employee to the position, the direct supervisor(s), and the team. Crafting this ideal fit directly impacts the health of your company and the people in it.


Hiring top performers requires an understanding of all three parts of the mind.


Grasping the interplay of instincts, intelligence, and personality is the best strategy to optimize the effectiveness of your employees. In fact, it's the only way to maintain a highly engaged and productive workforce.

It bears repeating: IQ and EQ are only part of the picture. Conation is the completing puzzle piece, which brings unmatched insight to your workforce decisions.


We are here to help.

If you want support with hiring and developing your employees, we're happy to help. We are experts in selecting and developing high performers. Contact us to learn more.

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