The secret to freeing up your time: how to hire a self-motivated employee

If you feel as though you’re spending too much time motivating your employees, you’re probably right. While it’s not an exact science, asking yourself (or other staff managers in your company) will likely reveal that you’re wasting up to half of your working hours on supporting and encouraging your staff to do their jobs.

That’s a lot of hours every month that you could free up – can you imagine what you’d be able to accomplish if you had all that time at your disposal? And can you imagine how your hiring managers would benefit from hiring strategies that deliver skilled employees with the added benefit of a lesser time commitment to maintain their productivity?

You don’t have to imagine it. There’s a simple secret to unlocking all of your tied-up time – and it lies within the self-motivated employee.

These people are motivated intrinsically, not extrinsically. They don’t need you helicoptering around them throughout their workday to make sure they perform properly – they’re already motivated, and their drive is an enduring component of their personality.



So how do you find – and hire – these self-motivated people? The first step is to understand the temperament and traits of the self-motivated employee, in order to learn how to identify their key characteristics.

The makeup of a self-motivated person

The traits of the self-motivated employee are core components in their personality, and inherent in their temperament: they’re born that way, not trained. They’re characteristics that are ingrained in the individual—which is why the most important factor in finding these employees is in identifying them.
Rogers Group has access to comprehensive research into the behavioural traits of different personalities, which shows that there are several distinct groups (or profiles) of traits that are often evident in self-motivated people.

The most commonly identified traits include:

  • Strong independence
  • Preference for risk taking
  • Persistence in completing tasks
  • Competitiveness
  • A sense of urgency in their approach to work
  • Thriving in environments that allow freedom and innovation

These traits can be used to give you a good picture of your candidate’s self-motivation profile—if you’re using the right assessment tools. With Rogers Group’s sophisticated and scientifically valid assessments, it’s easy to separate the wheat from the chaff, and ensure you’re always recruiting the right candidate.

Finding the self-motivated potential employee

If you ask a candidate if they’re self-motivated, they’ll tell you they are. And if you’ve listed it in the job description or advertisement, you’ll definitely come across it somewhere in their resume or the interview. So how do you sift out the truly self-motivated candidates from the others?

A truly self-motivated person will have a stellar record of past performance.

Which you already know is the most reliable predictor of future performance. Uncovering solid examples of their self-motivated behaviour is possible, with just a few behavioural interview techniques designed to shine a light on those elusive traits.




Some sample behavioural interview questions that can help you identify the enduring characteristics in a self-motivated person might include:

  • Have you ever had an innovative idea disregarded the first time you presented it? What did you do when this happened?
  • Can you give an example of a recent time where you’ve needed a lot of extra energy to deliver good results?
  • What are the most ambitious goals you’ve set for yourself?
  • Can you give examples of projects or assignments that you’ve been really excited about?

The same principles apply to your reference checking. Don’t ask whether your candidate is self-motivated, because you’ll just end up with an unsubstantiated confirmation. Ask for examples of past behaviour that demonstrate the traits of self-motivation—like innovation, independence, risk taking, and competitiveness. You should also direct your questions to past managers, who will be able to give an accurate description of how much—or little—extrinsic motivation the candidate needed to perform while they worked together.

Behavioural assessment tools for self-motivated employees

There are any number of specific skills you can train your employees for—but self-motivation isn’t one of them. It is absolute: it either exists in that individual, or it doesn’t. And it’s valuable, because it will ensure that your candidate can be easily and successfully trained in any other area you need.

That’s why it’s so important to be able to identify it, and hire your employees based on it as a profile. Rogers Group can help you incorporate a behavioural assessment tool in your recruitment process to help you snap up those self-motivated candidates before your competitors do.

Our assessment tools can help you by clearly outlining a self-motivated employee job profile, and then checking your candidate’s assessments against it for fit. They also safeguard you against dishonest answers—and can separate the candidates who are simply claiming to be self-motivated from the ones who truly are.

If you’re still imagining what you could do with all the time you’re currently spending on motivating your employees, stop. Contact Rogers Group, and we’ll give you the tools you need to find your self-motivated workers. You’ll soon be on your way towards managing a high-performing and independent team—and you’ll never be wasting your efforts again.