A-Type people are a great asset to any organisation.  They’re the people we like and admire, others coalesce to them and they consistently over-achieve.

You probably have a few A-types, but mostly you’ll have B-Type people. B-type people are good and they do a good job.  Then, there are the C-Type people. There’s usually a few and they deliver the minimum, never take the initiative, are not accountable and occasionally cause conflict. Most organisations have around 5% A-types, 3% C-types and the rest are Bs. As it’s near-impossible to do much about the ‘Cs’  but if you concentrate on getting more A-types at the expense of the Bs, the result will be spectacular.

Hiring A-types is easy. You simply identify what the applicant can do, and what they want to do. Then you lost out clearly what you want them to do. Then you simply bring all three together.

So Let’s look at these three factors.

  1. What the applicant can do: Start by measuring the applicant’s capacity to reason, how they deal with problems and how they work with others, how agreeable they are and how neurotic (a lowish score in neurocy can be an indication of leadership potential). In fact, there are a lot of factors that make an applicant, and you need  to measure them all.
  2. What the applicant wants to do: This is called motivation, it’s the fundamental things the applicant wants from the job and how closely these align with what your job offers, and – more importantly – how well the applicant sees that, will determine the factor we call motivation.
  3. What you want of the applicant: If reasoning is what applicants can do, and motivation is what they want to do, then personality is how they will behave in different situations. When all three perfectly match what you need for the role, you will have probably found a potential A-type applicant.

In the past it has been near impossible to collect enough data on enough applicants to do this effectively. Today, however, with robotics and big data analysis techniques, this is becoming very possible. Social media can put your vacancy in front of a very large number of applicants, and big data can analyse the results.

However, setting up a robotic interview is more difficult than planning a face-to-face or telephone interview. You must decide every question in advance, and carefully group them. For example, when an applicant claims knowledge of a topic, the robot will lead him or her down a path of questions that will reveal the true extent of the applicant’s knowledge, then reduce this to a number. To analyse a robotic interview is also challenging, simply  because of the quantity of data and you’ll need some pretty sophisticated tools to do it well.

AI and Machine Learning techniques are generating a lot of interest in many areas. Given enough data it can go a long way to offering the holy grail of recruitment by identifying the successful patterns in applicants early in the process.