What makes people succeed or fail at their jobs? Is it simply a matter of training, or is there something else?
92 percent of Fortune 2000 companies feel so strongly that there is “something else,” that they actually test for it before hiring somebody for a job.So, what is this mystery ingredient?

It’s called aptitude. Or, in other words, natural talent.
The good news for those making hiring decisions is that aptitude can be quantified, and this then becomes an extremely powerful tool in personnel selection and placement.

One method to test for aptitude, particularly suitable for salespeople, is the Craft Personality Questionnaire,or CPQ for short. Let's take a closer look.

What is the Craft Personality Questionnaire?

The CPQ was developed after many years of study by Craft Systems. It consists of 75 questions and takes approximately a half-hour to take. While the test itself not very long, it provides tremendous insight into the character of each test-taker.

The 75 questions are designed to pull a person's scores, ranging from 1 to 100, for each of the Eight Basic Personality Traits. Once done, these eight scores are plotted on a chart which highlights the ideal ranges for success based on specific job roles.

The eight traits assessed on the CPQ are:

  • Goal Orientation - measures goal-oriented drive and the ability to accomplish defined objectives.
  • Skepticism - ascertains whether the person being tested is distrustful and guarded, or whether they are open and look for the best in others.
  • Social Drive - distinguishes between an individual's desire for public recognition versus a desire to remain alone.
  • Social Confidence - quantifies an individual's assertiveness when dealing with coworkers, prospects, and others.
  • Good Impression - measures the need to manage impressions left on others and how vulnerable the person is to criticism and rejection.
  • Need for Control - contrasts the subject's need for independent decision-making versus skill as collaborative team members.
  • Detail Orientation - analyzes whether an individual makes decisions by interpreting details or by broad, more intuitive factors.
  • Need to Nurture - determines whether the subject is motivated to help and care for others or whether he or she prefers to keep a distance and remain "on task."

For example:

For an outside sales position, successful people in that role scored in the 60%-90% range for the Goal Orientation trait. Therefore, if a prospect’s scores fall within that range for that trait, research has proven the person will be more successful in this position compared with candidates whose scores fall outside this range.

The ramifications are huge and tangible, as hiring the wrong person is like throwing money in the garbage can. For salespeople, it is estimated that a bad hire can be a $150,000 mistake due to wasted hiring and training expenses, as well as lost business that would have been captured had a high-aptitude person been hired instead. In fact, research shows that salespeople who score high on the CPQ outsell those who score low by an astonishing four to one.

Here are some of the additional points that make the CPQ, in particular, an attractive choice when making personnel decisions:

  • Helps build team with right mix of personalities
  • One of only three assessments with the legal standing to be used as a hiring tool
  • Standardized, impartial results
  • Lowers training costs
  • Reduces turnover
  • Easy to administer
  • Takes only 30 minutes
  • Can be taken remotely from any computer
  • Thorough analysis of personality
  • Easy to understand reports
  • Affordable

If you are looking for a way to revitalize your personnel scene and improve performance, some form of aptitude testing might just do the trick. I can personally vouch for the CPQ, and it has become a standard due to its effectiveness. If you try it out, you just might discover a few surprises among existing staff, which could explain why your firm has been struggling in certain areas.

Author's Bio: 

Mr. John W. Asher is Chairman, CEO and Master Facilitator of Asher Strategies. A sales personnel training and sales process improvement consulting firm. Learn More>>