I’m sure somewhere along the way you have been asked to take a personality test for a prospective employer. I especially love the Myers-Briggs personality test. Each time I take it, I hope the results will change to show that I am beginning to rely on facts instead of intuition - but I guess that is just who I am.

The original developers of Myers-Briggs created it during World War II. They believed that knowledge of personality preferences would help women who were entering the industrial workforce identify the type of war-time jobs in which they would be "most comfortable and effective".

Myers-Briggs categorizes personalities this way:
1. Extraverted or Introverted Sensing
2. Extraverted or Introverted Intuition
3. Extraverted or Introverted Thinking
4. Extraverted or Introverted Feeling

This got me thinking - if there were a personality test tailored specifically to the recruiting industry, what would the categories be? A few come to mind…..

1. Cold Callers - A recruiter who picks up the phone all the time and proactively hunts down his prey. Time- consuming yet effective.
2. Post and Prayers - A recruiter who posts on job boards and prays that a good candidate applies.
If she gets lucky, she may get a good applicant, but her boss probably wishes she would do some actual recruiting.
3. Relationship Builders- A recruiter who calls on the same group of people he has known for years. He hopes they know the perfect C++ programmer, but what if they don’t?
4. Slam Dunkers - A recruiter that specializes in quick and easy spots to fill. She already has a candidate and wants to do as little work as possible.
5. Hollywood Recruiters - A “recruiter” that is well-known for being well-known. Constantly blogs and tweets about the latest hot topic or technique to the point where he is too busy to actually produce.
6. Spammers and Social Media Addicts - A recruiter who blasts her job reqs to email lists, LinkedIn contacts, FaceBook friends,
and Twitter in the hopes that the people who aren’t ignoring her anymore will send a good referral.
7. Search Engine Expert - A recruiter who knows the ins and outs of Boolean search strings and sourcing – but spends too much time trying to perfect
their search string – rather than stay focused on filling the job.
8. “If it’s not in my database, I don’t have anyone.”- No explanation necessary.

To admit, I am a little harsh in my analysis of each of these personality types. But I want to make a point. The Myers-Briggs test doesn’t put someone exclusively in one category – we’re a mix of categories.
You can see when we rely too much on a single category, it becomes a crutch. Each of these personality types have pros and cons, if you let yourself fall too much into a single category you are holding yourself back.

So what kind of recruiter are you? Do you find yourself repeating the same patterns with limited success?
Perhaps we should challenge ourselves everyday to do something different than what we have always done and see if that opens the door to new possibilities.

Whatever the circumstance of your life, the understanding of type
can make your perceptions clearer, your judgments sounder,
and your life closer to your heart’s desire.” -ISABEL BRIGGS MYERS

Views: 5057

Comment by Stephanie McDonald on June 23, 2010 at 12:57pm
hmmm..is there a blend of these that would actually be positive?! I hate to think there are no redeeming traits for recruiters.
Comment by Ron Kubitz on June 23, 2010 at 1:40pm
Intriguing post and I agree with the final challenge! I also like the correlation to the Myers Briggs. As an experienced Recruiter/HR professional who has used the Myers briggs extensively I can take the test 10 times and come up with whatever traits/personaltiy that you would like me to be! I am not saying the test is not valid iam saying that someone skilled in the test can tweak the results to get any type of desired answers/traits!

My point is that a skilled recruiter should also be able to do the same! When looking over placements for a desired time frame a skilled recruiter will see some placements gained through cold calling, relationship building, usage of Social Media or by effective Boolean searching (etc)! A good recruiter has many weapons in his/her arsenal and should be able to use many different patterns leading to solid overall success!
Comment by Charles Rein on June 23, 2010 at 1:46pm
based on the observations it seems the Cold callers and slam dunks (candidate marketers) seem to be the only effective methods. I guess things never change.
Comment by Allenda Simpson on June 23, 2010 at 1:49pm
think as a recruiter, we have to be all of the numbers, 1-7 to varying degrees, meaning that you do all of them in honest search of someone. Number 8 should always end with "But I'll find the right candidate for you, regardless". The post makes a great point of us to just keep an open mind and have candidate driven recriuting methods in mind when looking for talent, and be willing to step outside of our compfort zones. So, in my case, I don't normally use Twitter or Facebook, but If I know I can find my candidate in that environ, I'll work in both worlds to find the right person.
Comment by Olivier Coustaing on June 23, 2010 at 3:14pm
Excellent post, with a nice ironical tone.
Today, a genuine, flexible and creative approach is definitely a key to success in the executive search industry.
Comment by Christine McKenzie on June 23, 2010 at 4:59pm
Great post. How about the "Referral Recruiter" that uses their network (inside and out) to gain referrals for open positions?
Comment by RON WITCHER on June 23, 2010 at 6:34pm
There are a number of Job Fit Assesments that messure the job compentencies for various types of recuriter positions, similar to the various sales personnel positions like : . The Hunter, The Famer,etc.
I have been in the assessement field for more than ten years and used various assessements for hiring job candidates. The Meyers Briggs is not predictive and should not be used for hiring per the company who developed the Meyers Briggs assessment. You will get inconsistent results based on how you feel about yourself when you take it. I will be glad to send you information on Job Fit assessments for Recuriters. They are great deveopment tools for understaning your strengths and development areas for the job. This can help you excel at your job and increase productivity by knowing the best way for working and dealing with your clients, job appicants, etc.
Comment by Harry Wolfe on June 23, 2010 at 9:54pm
It is incorrect to say there is no personality test tailored specifically to the recruiting industry. Professor John Geier's Star Performance profile is exactly that. MBTI is not a personality inventory, it is only about "old brain" temperament. Star Performance on-line profiles look at the input, and interactions, of the "old brain", limbic brain, and neo cortex brain, to identify personality. These profiles identify, psychometrically measure, benchmark, and validate the beliefs, values, motivations and attitudes the candidate brings to the specific job. As attitude determines the information allowed to enter the mind to motivate and predict behaviour, these profiles validate and predict a candidate's: Performance on appointment to the job; Future potential in the job; Leadership & ability to manage change; Culture 'fit'; $ROI in the candidate. You can find more details at www.managementdynamics.info

Harry Wolfe
Comment by Jashan Joshi on December 31, 2010 at 12:28am

Excellent post


I liked the "Hollywood Recruiter" category...well to be honest, I was one in making ;)

Thanks for waking me up mate


Cheers & wish you all Happy new year



Comment by Ravi Goel on January 4, 2011 at 3:21am

very interesting take on the mindset of recruiters.. we come across all kinds.. :) a healthy mix always works out good for the person and the employer.


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