Optimize your business by using The Predictive Index.

This post was written by Molly Woeste, Vice President, McSteen Land Surveyors, and originally appeared on Molly’s LinkedIn page.


The key to success in any business, but particularly a service business, is the strength of the team that delivers the product. At McSteen, our long history of success over the past 50 years has been optimized by the power of our people. For years, we have worked to fit people into the right roles; the roles that inspire the best version of themselves, so that we can be the best choice for our clients. While we have historically done this through interviewer intuition, we recently added a tool to our hiring process that allows us to take some of the guesswork out of hiring the right people, The Predictive Index.

We’ve all heard it before: fire fast, hire slow. It’s become such a common phrase because more and more workplaces are recognizing the magic ingredient to success – the people. But how do you “hire slow”? What tools do you use to help take the bias out of the hiring process? To really get to know people before they join your team?

The Predictive Index is, “an untimed, free-choice, stimulus-response tool that measures a person’s motivating drives and needs”. PI is centered around the idea that there are four key factors – or key behavioral drives – that provide a simple framework for understanding your employees’ and candidates’ workplace behaviors. By understanding people’s likely behaviors, we are better able to place people in the right roles. To be clear, there is no right or wrong personal drive, need or behavior.  Individuals with specific key behavioral drives, however, may function much better in certain roles than others.  

Let’s look at a basic McSteen example. Our survey field crews need to be able to work in a quick-paced, fast-changing environment. No two surveys are the same and they have to be able to adapt to that. One of the attributes that the PI helps us measure during the interview process is whether a person likes this fast, always changing work environment or prefers to have a steady, relatively predictable, day ahead of them. At McSteen, we value and need both of those people! But we would not want the person who wants a steady environment, such as sitting at the same desk every day, to be placed into a role that requires them to constantly be in the car, moving from job site to job site, and having assignments and priorities that change by the hour. They wouldn’t be happy or thriving, and as a result, neither would McSteen.

The above is just one example of the countless traits that the PI helps us to measure. We’ve fully integrated it into our hiring practices and have been absolutely amazed by the impact it has had on our success rate. We’re finding our new hires on-ramp faster and have witnessed a greater success rate on new hire retention.

If you’re looking to optimize your business, look first at optimizing your people. The rest will fall in line.

Molly Woeste, CPA
Principal | Vice President
McSteen Land Surveyors


This post was written by Molly Woeste, Vice President, McSteen Land Surveyors, and originally appeared on Molly’s LinkedIn page.