Assessing Candidate Motivational Competencies

Published on May 6th, 2022


You can’t do a good business with a bad person. Find the
right people to work with and you can’t go wrong.

Sir Richard Branson

Part 4 of 6 Part Series on Assessing Candidate Competencies

Hiring expert Dr. Bradford Smart outlined the importance of assessing candidate core competencies in his 1999 classic, Topgrading: How Leading Companies Win by Hiring, Coaching and Keeping the Best People.

Dr. Smart identified fifty core competencies in six key areas, including personal, interpersonal, intellectual, motivational, management and leadership competencies.

Let us examine the essential motivational competencies to consider in evaluating your candidates.

  • Energy: What energy will your candidates bring to your organization? Do they exhibit a strong desire to achieve and a high dedication level? How will you assess their drive and commitment to deliver expected results?

  • Enthusiasm: What are your expectations for your candidates in the area of enthusiasm? Do they exhibit charisma? How about excitement? Charisma? Positive, “can-do” attitude? Do they simply enjoy their work? The challenge for your organization is to determine how you will assess and measure this vital competency!

  • Ambition: What do your candidates express regarding their ambitions for themselves and their role in your company? Are they hoping to grow in responsibility and authority or are they just looking for a position for now? Make sure you know what you expect from your candidates and ensure they are in alignment with your expectations.

  • Compatibility: What are the real drivers for your candidates? Are they motivated by money, recognition, affiliation, achievement, prestige, promotion, power, location, travel or something else? Are their needs in alignment with what you can offer? Make sure you determine if your current and future opportunities are a match with what your candidates desire.

  • Life Balance: Do your candidates achieve sufficient balance among work, wellness, relationships, community involvement, professional association, friendships, hobbies and other interests? How do you assess their ability to meet current work challenges and avoid the possibility of burnout?

  • Tenacity: Do your candidate demonstrate the ability to stay on course when things are difficult and still achieve desired results? Do they exhibit a strong commitment to winning and a reputation for not giving up? How will you assess and measure this vital competency?

Now you know the essential motivational competencies to consider in evaluating your candidates.

Assessing Candidates Effectively

In screening candidates who you may want to interview and interviewing those who pass your initial screening, many organizations are plagued by two core challenges:

  • Lack of an effective assessment process: Far too often, candidate resumes are sorted into winners and losers based on one or two criteria. If the screener sees an attribute, they move the candidate to the interview pile. If not, they move them to the reject pile. The process wrongly excludes competent candidates (false negatives) and often moves unqualified candidates to the next step (false positives).

  • Screener and Interviewer bias: It is human nature to have criteria that define who you want and who you don’t want for a particular position in your company. Again, that causes companies to miss out on high-quality candidates and to move less qualified candidates through the process for consideration. It also affects diversity in the team, with consequent implications for overall company performance.

The key to hiring better candidates faster is implementing an effective assessment process that minimizes screener and interviewer subjectivity and creates a level playing field of objective evaluation.

At HireQuotient, our AI-powered assessments help you create processes that objectively measure motivational competencies while minimizing screener and interviewer bias.

Our chatbot-powered skill assessments are built around realistic work scenarios, ensuring candidates answer structured questions based on the provided data and generate insights into each candidate’s job-specific skills and business competencies.

Learn more about how HireQuotient can help your organization assess the motivational competencies of your candidates today. Just visit to schedule a demo today!


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