The Right Skills? The Right Fit? Take the Guesswork Out of Hiring


“Improve the odds” of hiring well & getting a person plugged into the right role

At Insight, it’s no question what tool yields the most useful assessments: the Kolbe Wisdom™ system. We’ve used Kolbe for over twelve years now because it’s different from the other indexes; it neither seeks to identify personality style (affective) nor to measure intellect (cognitive), either of which the majority of other tools seek to do. Rather, Kolbe identifies a person’s natural instincts and drive -- also known as conative style. Personality can change over time due to circumstances, growth, and experience, whereas one’s natural instincts and ways of taking action remain consistent over time.

The Kolbe A Index® measures a person’s instinctive approach to creative problem solving. In other words, it helps you to predict how a person will solve problems and provide solutions for emerging issues. It describes the natural way each person takes action in four distinct modalities/action modes, and since every individual has 100 percent mental energy or creativity that is distributed across all four action modes, understanding a potential employee’s Kolbe A gives you valuable insight into whether and how they will fit into your organization and contribute to your success.

The four Kolbe Action Modes:

  • Fact Finder: The way we gather information. People within this mode range from generalist to specialist.
  • Follow Through: The way we organize information. People within this mode range from being adaptive to being structured/systematic.
  • Quick Start: The way we deal with time and uncertainty. People within this mode range from stabilizers to improvisers.
  • Implementor: The way we seek tangible solutions. People within this mode range from being abstract to concrete.

How to use conative information

Understanding how instincts combine with intelligence and personality will help you optimize the hiring, deployment, retention, and effectiveness of your employees. Assessing and understanding the instinctive methods of all of your employees will create a less stressful work environment in which employees are more satisfied and more productive in their positions.

To see and achieve the big-picture vision you must use multiple assessment tools

You need to use more than the Kolbe A assessment to make a hiring decision. While it does provide information about the person who completed it, the Kolbe A does not tell you whether a person will be good at a particular job - that’s where Kolbe B Index® and Kolbe C Index® come into play and measure the potential gaps a person may have in a role per your expectations of the job or the current or past match of a top performer doing the same job.

The Kolbe B Index® is similar to the Kolbe A, but instead measures the person’s own expectation about fulfilling the job. A significant difference between an employee's Kolbe A and Kolbe B indicates a stress point or strain. This is useful for comparing current and past employee's perception of the required job performance for the position you are hiring to the results of the candidate. It is helpful to know the view of a person who actually performed the position before in order to set your expectations for the job.

The Kolbe C Index® builds on A and B to measure the supervisor’s requirements for the job. A significant difference between the results of the Kolbe C and the Kolbe A identifies another point of tension.

The only way to use the Kolbe A Index® result in hiring is to compare it to the instinct demands of the job you’re filling. When you bring in the complete trio, you have data from both successful people already in the job (when applicable) and from supervisors and others who know the demands of the job. Under fair-hiring laws in the United States (and many other countries), employers must be able to prove that the criteria that they use in hiring are related to the successful performance of the specific job. Implementing the Kolbe Wisdom™ system enables you to demonstrate and document your compliance.

Insight is an expert in the Kolbe process

We’ve developed a recruiting process called “The Insight Whole Mind” that uses the Kolbe Wisdom™ system among other assessments to help our clients in their hiring and workforce development. I am a Copper Circle Member, the only Kolbe Certified Independent Consultant in Michiana, and have more than twelve ears of experience and training using the Kolbe system. Feel free to contact me to set up a consultation and to explore your organization’s workforce development plan.

Comment