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Using Personality to Hire Hourly Workers

Scott Tremper

Creative Director at Traitify | Lover of Film, Games, Music, and Wiener Dogs | Inventor/Planner in Work

Hiring can take many forms, especially when it comes to the type of position being filled. When hiring for salaried versus hourly positions, you'll likely put the salaried role through a much more vigorous vetting process, knowing that their acquisition and departure can be far more costly than losing someone in a lower role, paid by the hour.

But when both types of hire are being given personality assessments, could that data be put to better use with hourly hires? I think so.

Employees paid with hourly wages are incredibly important to the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015 saw 58.5% of all wage or salaried workers receiving hourly pay. On top of this their rate of turnover is far above typical industry standard. Compdata Survey's annual study found that the average industry rate of turnover is 16.4%, but Mel Kleiman reports that hourly positions historically turnover between 50%-120% annually.

One has to assume that organizations with a large hourly staff must be hemorrhaging unnecessary capital just to keep their storefronts and warehouses stocked with employees. And naturally, personality data can save the day.

Understanding The Hourly Employee

Before looking at how personality data can assist in hiring hourly employees, it's important to take a step back and look at how they differ from someone seeking a salaried position. Kleimanhas put together some broad statistics about what exactly makes up an hourly worker. He's found that 39% are under 25 years old, 80% are within a half-mile of their workplace, and almost 75% of them would prefer to work under 30 hours per week. They're also most incentivized by pay and how quickly they can start.

This contrasts greatly to salaried positions, where 92% of workers spend 40+ hours at work, with the average landing at 49 hours a week. Salaried workers typically vet their position themselves, and will accept a position based on opportunity, work environment, and incentives, versus just the first to offer them a job.

Hiring the Best Around

When hiring, it's crucial to consider a candidate's personality as well as the personality of the company, and potentially even that of the new hire's direct manager(s). While these might not always perfectly mesh, focusing on what is important to the exact position can help to determine how much a fit will occur when it comes to the actual job at hand.

An introvert might be lacking in skills when it comes to communicating with customers, but if their personality shows an affinity for attention to detail, they might be perfect for organizing and improving efficiency behind the scenes. Visionaries often see the big picture, and might be great communicating helpful ideas to customers, or providing suggestions as to how someone might get increased value from a service or product.

Focusing on understanding and accepting, rather than trying to redefine, an employee's personality will lead them to great success in the role, and hopefully keep them happy and retained. I've written about it before, but happiness is one of the keys to reducing turnover in the long run.

A Powerful Asset

Of course, personality assessments should be used as a supplemental tool when it comes to hiring. They most certainly can make a difference, but should be considered alongside job applications and resumes, as well as any actual interviews that might take place.

If the assessment has been delivered prior to face-to-face interviews, it can be valuable to consider personality when asking questions, and skewing your path of questioning based on the candidate's personality. Various assessments offer different solutions, but in the case of Traitify, we offer an Interview Guide, filled with potential questions to ask for specific personality types, designed to unearth the exact type of answer you're looking for, from any individual.

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