How to Hire the Most Motivated Employees

It’s no secret that employee motivation is a critical component of any organization’s success. Whether you call it internal drive, grit, desire, or just commitment to getting the job done, the employees with higher motivation achieve far greater results than less motivated peers.

Studies continue to demonstrate the direct relationship between employees’ motivation and a company’s bottom line: Highly motivated employees work harder, have better relationships with internal and external customers, are absent less often, and continue working at the organization longer.

Given the obvious benefits of motivated employees, there should be great concern for business leaders to learn that a whopping 70% of the US workforce is disengaged or unmotivated at work. Frequently, these warm-body workers are simply showing up and punching the clock. They don’t have the self-starter, fire-in-the-belly mentality necessary to drive superior performance.

To address the challenges with low motivation, most organizations have historically focused on an intervention-styled approach. In other words, leaders have looked for ways to better motivate and incentivize their current employees. Organizations invest significant time and resources to improve communication, expectations, goal clarity, rewards and recognition with the hopes of increasing the engagement and motivation of their employees.

If you were to stop there, you’d be like most organizations. But if you’re looking to achieve better-than-average results and grow faster than your competitors, you should consider adding a preventative approach to address motivation as well. Taking preventative measures requires identifying and hiring those individuals who are naturally self-driven.

To better identify motivated individuals, Wonderlic has conducted research studies and collected information from thousands of employees and hundreds of organizations across almost all industries. The results of this research demonstrate a handful of characteristics that are possessed by the most motivated individuals (regardless of industry, position, management level or organization). The over-achievers who possess these characteristics contribute meaningfully to the success of the overall organizations. Specifically, they are…

  • 2.7 times more likely to be actively engaged at work,
  • 2.6 times more likely be rated as “top performers” by their supervisors, and
  • 1.9 times less likely to either be terminated or quit

….as compared to employees with lower motivation potential.

Wonderlic has taken this research and incorporated it into the Wonscore pre-employment testing solution. With the completely seamless HiringThing integration, it’s never been easier to identify and hire the most motivated employees.

Want to see how it works? Try Wonscore for free for 14 days – simply go to the Integration section of your Account Details page and click the ‘Wonscore from Wonderlic’ icon.

Ken Silber VP of Strategic Partnerships, Wonderlic


For the past 20 years, Ken has helped thousands of organizations with recruitment and hiring by identifying the best talent, reducing employee turnover and improving the overall bottom line. As Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Ken drives organizational performance by overseeing the partnerships and tech integrations for Wonderlic.
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