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How do you identify a top-performing employee – and find the right combination of skills, talents and personalities to hire your business dream team?

A recent study identified four types of workplace personalities that describe top performers – as long as they have matured within their roles. Hiring managers should assess each of them and determine whether they fit specific positions and overall company culture.

The Giver

This individual consistently puts the needs of others ahead of their own. They tend to be good leaders, but typically don’t want to be the boss. To achieve maturity, givers must fully develop their interpersonal skills including handling criticism, empathizing and recognizing opposing viewpoints.

  • Givers are loyal. Their investment in their job and their company is personal. Turnover tends to be low among this personality type.
  • The team comes first. Givers are not looking to get ahead for themselves, but for the company and the team as a whole.

Givers are adept at marketing strategy, software development, administrative duties, executive support and customer service. Well-known givers include Nelson Mandela and Melinda Gates.

The Champ

The quintessential salesperson, the champ has high energy and loves to engage with people. They have enough “ego” to believe firmly in themselves, the products they sell and the companies they represent. On the down side, they tend to have a chip on their shoulder, which may result from such factors as a lacking socioeconomic status earlier in life, their physical appearance or their educational background. While this typically has a negative connotation, it also can be very motivational.

  • Champs are optimistic. This keeps them positive even in the face of rejection.
  • They are confident, but not arrogant. They are assured of their own ability to understand and respect managers and customers alike.
  • The goal is to be the best. Champs are ambitious and driven, with a strong competitive edge.

In addition to sales, champs do well as CEOs and COOs and in political campaigns. Think Regis Philbin, Charlie Sheen and Barack Obama.

The Matrix Thinker

These employees don’t just think out of the box, they think about where the box came from, why it’s there and how it could be better designed. They are information sponges and as a result, can make connections among seemingly unrelated concepts. This can lead to revolutionary ideas – or just confuse everyone.

  • Matrix thinkers are innovators. Their forte is solving complex problems. Their ability to find inspiration in unique sources combined with their ability to synthesize seemingly unrelated data makes them brilliant artists and creative trend setters.
  • You need these visionary trailblazers. They believe firmly in their own ideas, even if others don’t at first. Matrix thinkers are naturally ambitious and constantly scan their environment to glean input from everything around them.

Areas of excellence for these individuals include software development, marketing strategy, and creative positions such as writing and editing. Prominent matrix thinkers include Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison.

The Savant

Savants are really, really excellent at their jobs. Once they find the thing they do best, they flourish at it and focus on it with unparalleled intensity. They are creative, humorous and often brilliant. But they are introverts who may struggle with communication or be uncomfortable in social situations.

  • Savants commonly need to isolate themselves to work effectively. Once settled, they produce with a laser-like focus on results.
  • Hire savants for their extraordinary potential. Using their profound self-motivation, these employees can turn projects around quickly and efficiently. They refuse to settle for less than the best and take on a high degree of responsibility for the quality of their work.

Savants shine in research and analysis, engineering, creative positions and marketing support. Counted among their ranks are Bobby Fisher, George Orwell and Charles Darwin.

Live the Dream

When you hire your dream team, surround yourself with a rich mosaic of personalities who will dramatically improve on existing and potential areas of your business. Partnering with a specialized recruiting firm can help form the foundation of your hiring strategy. Read our related posts or contact BrainWorks to learn more.


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