5 Truths About Detail Orientation In the People You Hire

Kris Dunn Caliper, Engagement and Satisfaction, Good HR, Kris Dunn, Organizational Development, Recruiting

My company gets the opportunity to be involved in thousands of hires every year. It’s an interesting test tube, especially since we help other companies hire. So, it’s not our culture we’re hiring for most of the time, but the individual cultures of the clients who partner with Kinetix.

As part of that, I’ve grown up a little bit when it comes to assessments. Growing up is healthy, I encourage everyone to give it a shot.

What have I learned about the behavioral traits of candidates? Plenty. Let me give you some notes related to a very important trait that most assessment platforms cover – Detail Orientation.

You know Detail Orientation – People who are high details are list builders, and they have a list to guide them every day.  They have coded priorities in the list, and they get stressed if they are not in a position to cross things off the list. People who are low details (I’m just below the mean) are not list builders. They are less organized than the high detail people. Tasks can slide from day to day and from week to week and they sleep like a baby. The high details person can’t take that.

Apart from the definition, these are 5 things I’ve learned about Detail Orientation in the last 3 years:

1.  On a team of any size, you need high details people to get #### done.

2.  Low details people will drive high details people crazy. Crazy, I say…

3.  High details people don’t generally drive low details people crazy. They think the high details people are adorable when they’re freaking out.

4.  If allowed to, high details people will create a culture where crossing things off a list trumps the value of creativity and ideas. Turns out you need both.

5.  One of the most powerful combinations known to man in today’s business world is Low Rules Orientation, High Detail Orientation.  That means someone likes the chaos of an unstructured situation and wants to create the solution (aforementioned creativity and idea generation comes with that) but has the detail orientation necessary to execute on the plan.

What did I miss?

You know that someone can do the job through knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) + overall work experience.

Don’t forget to dip into the DNA of what makes them tick.

The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing us that diversity is solely defined by Title 7.  Just as important as the normal definition of diversity is making sure you don’t surround yourself with mini me’s/yes men/carbon copies from a behavioral perspective.

Never assume your level of detail orientation is right. There are pros to hiring people who look different than you in this area, whether you’re high details or low details.

FOT Note: This post is brought to you by the good folks at Caliper (a leading provider of employee assessment and talent development solutions) – who like us enough to be an annual sponsor at FOT for all content in our assessment and development track (and don’t expect that we run any of this by them ahead of time). Check them out, friends. Use them to help you select the right person, then maximize performance once they’re on your team.