Recruiting Tips: 4 Personality Types You’ll Have to Close

January 21, 2014


A large part of how successful your recruiting efforts will be is based on how well you can read a candidate. This includes understanding more than just what they’re looking for, but what motivates and drives a particular candidate to take action.

This understanding of what truly motivates a candidate will impact how you close, and ultimately whether you are successful in your recruiting efforts.  

In the article Adjust Your Recruiting Methods for These 4 Personality Types, author Jenny Jedeikin, sites four different personality temperaments established by David Keirsey in the 1950’s. Jedeikin offers tips for identifying which personality type you’re dealing with and how to adjust your close accordingly.

1. Corporate Guardians

Making up 41% of the population, much of corporate America is dominated by the Guardian personality type. In many cases, if you’re looking to fill a spot in a large corporation, you’re looking for this type, because these are the people who are really good at maintaining the status quo.

Motivated by financial gains and status, a recruiter can learn to play to the desires of guardians by focusing on what’s most important to them. If you can’t offer a high salary, try enticing them with something that will play to their desire for status, like a personalized parking spot or a fancy job title.

How to know you’re dealing with a guardian: When asking them what’s most important to them in a job, you can list several factors, but if their answer includes money or status at the top of the heap, you’re probably dealing with a guardian.

2. Inventive Rationalists

12% of the population is comprised of rationalists. This type is much harder to find, but they’re highly desirable when you’re looking for someone who is going to reimagine the wheel, such as a position that needs a major renovation in its structure.

Rationalists are driven by curiosity and their intellect, and you can make the job more attractive to them by emphasizing the aspects of their job where they will have total autonomy, such as setting up a new department, or stressing that this piece of the company is entirely their brainchild.

How to know you’re dealing with a rationalist: When you chat with them about their priorities, they will stress that they want to come in and do things differently, finding a new, better way to accomplish tasks that were previously in place..

3. Creative Artisans

Creative artisans make up one third of the population, and because this is a category that places the highest value on fun, this often isn’t the type of person who is seeking employment through a corporate recruiter. If, however, you’re interviewing someone of this type, chances are it’s for a more spontaneous and adventurous job. The artisan can be enticed to take a job if there is a lot of travel involved, or perhaps a bonus perk of unlimited vacation days.

How to know you’re dealing with a creative artisan: When discussing priorities with the creative artisan, they will frequently bring up travel, and working outside of the 9-5 office structure as their highest priority.

4. Visionary Idealists

Just 14% of the population accounts for this personality type, which places the highest value on doing work that they find to be deeply meaningful. If you’re interviewing someone of this type, often they are seeking a position that is doing something to add value to someone’s life, or helping to improve conditions in the world or within a corporation.

To appeal to these idealistic individuals, a recruiter should stress the social responsibility or mission of the company, or perhaps offer a package that includes paid time off to volunteer for community service projects.

How to know you’re dealing with an idealist: When asked what their priorities are, they often talk about the meaning or mission of the work, or the good the company is achieving in the world.

Remember that every candidate you encounter will be varying degrees of the personality types listed above so there is no specific template on how to close a certain type. However, the more you understand about the personality you’re dealing with, the stronger close you can prepare.

Read the complete article on the LinkedIn Talent Blog here.

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