Motivational Assessments

Motivational Assessments

How They Improve Your Hiring Process

Why you need to know what motivates your employees

It would be a mistake to believe a candidate is fit for a role simply because they have the skills required and appear to be aligned with the company’s culture. A high-performing employee won’t just do the job — they’ll want to do the job. And to know whether they are likely to be engaged and satisfied, you need to understand what motivates them and if your company complements their needs.

For example, Harvard Business School has found that money and quotas motivate sales teams, while work-related awards like ‘employee of the month’ can actually demotivate the workforce. That said, the key thing to remember is that people are motivated by different things. Recruiters need to identify the reasons why candidates come to work: the job, their role, the environment and the working style that energises each individual.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that motivation is the only thing you should consider during the hiring process. Here at Chemistry, we believe motivation is very important but has to be examined and balanced alongside other criteria.

The limits of motivation tests for selecting candidates

In order to identify those that are a good fit for the specific role and company, recruiters may require candidates to complete motivation tests. These psychometric assessments can provide an understanding of intrinsic (personal beliefs and attitudes) and extrinsic motivators (motivating factors at work).

These can help employers find out whether a candidate is likely to thrive within the business. For example, somebody that is motivated by material rewards will match a company offering a great salary package. Whereas somebody who is motivated by personal development will probably not be particularly engaged with a company that offers few training sessions or learning opportunities.

Motivation tests are undoubtedly useful, but they do have their limits. After all, context is everything when it comes to talent. Even if someone appears to have complementary motivations, that doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to succeed at a particular role within the context of a specific organisation. For effective hiring, recruiters have to look at the bigger picture, which means examining motivations alongside other relevant factors.

What motivation assessments show you (and what they don’t)

Motivation assessments are incredibly useful — that’s why they’re a key part of the Five Box Model we use to match talent to the context of an organisation. However, instead of looking at motivation in isolation, we examine it in conjunction with other areas to get the clearest idea of how a candidate is likely to perform.
The Five Box Model

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Motivation assessments can provide valuable insights about potential employees, helping to answer questions such as:

- Are they driven by material rewards?
- Are they results-oriented?
- Do they thrive working in a team?
- How much are they motivated by the work environment?
- Are they competitive?

Motivation tests can reveal whether or not the candidate fits the position and the organisation in terms of more than just skills and capabilities.

Most employees tend to be motivated when they first start a new job, but signs of demotivation may start to emerge during the first few months of employment. Introducing a scientifically reliable motivation test will provide these insights early on in the process, increasing the chances of new hires being successful.
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If motivation assessments are the only thing being looked at, this ignores the bigger picture and helps feed misguided assumptions about how talent is defined.

Motivation is one of five criteria that we look at in our uniquely science-led approach to assessing a candidate. Alongside motivation, we look at:

- Intellect: speed and accuracy in taking in, processing and retaining information
- Personality: beliefs, principles and cultural ethos
- Behaviours: what people will do rather than what they can do
- Experience: previous performance

All these areas must be examined together in order to predict how an individual will fare in the context of a specific business. Motivation assessments provide no information regarding these other factors, so relying on them exclusively means unsuitable candidates are more likely to be hired.

Making motivation assessments work for your next hire

Employees will only perform well if they are motivated so it’s extremely important for recruiters to consider this factor during their hiring process. According to Gallup, employees work 20% better when motivated and increase business profitability by 21%, while unmotivated employees have the potential to cost businesses up to $550 billion a year.

However, to make motivation tests work in your hiring process, they need to be aligned with assessments of other core criteria. Those alone won’t tell you whether that person will thrive at your organisation specifically, which is why all assessments must be tailored to your business. Remember, context is everything.

Most importantly, every hire should be assessed on their potential to help you reach your business goals. At Chemistry we call that understanding What Great Looks Like™. It’s the context you need to create an environment for your talent to thrive.

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