Drives Test

The drives test provides insight into what motivates a candidate to perform their best on the job.

  • What is a drives test?

    Everyone approaches their careers with slightly different priorities. One person might be looking for a job that has plenty of learning opportunities, that will challenge them and expand their skill set, while the next person might be looking for a job that offers security, and provides them with stability.

    Candidates apply for roles they think fit their preferences, but some applicants are a better fit in this regard than others, and they might not know exactly what the role is offering. This test focuses on what makes an employee go above and beyond.

    There are several factors that impact job performance. While an individual’s cognitive and technical abilities set a bar for their minimum level of performance, their motivation is what drives exceptional performance.

    By ensuring that a candidate’s preferences align with what can realistically be offered in the role, you can set that individual up to be a top performer.

About the Drives Test

Hackman and Oldham’s Job Characteristics Model from 1976 laid the foundation to better understand what impacts employee satisfaction, engagement, turnover and performance.

The model lists five core job characteristics: skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback.

The idea is that with the right level of each characteristic, an individual would be motivated to perform their best on the job. Not only does this work out from the employee’s perspective, where they enjoy their job more, but the employer also sees the benefits from enhanced performance.

Try for free
  • Why should you use a drives test for recruiting?

    The insights provided by the drives test allow you to see how each candidate aligns with the role, team and/or company. You can check to make sure you can offer the opportunities that motivate them to perform their best.

    Checking for alignment saves candidates from a job they won’t enjoy, and employers from hiring someone they would struggle to motivate. It helps to identify candidates who are more likely to be engaged in their work, love what they do, and stay with the company in the long run.

    Results can be used to ask follow-up questions during an interview to better understand if there is a good fit between the candidate and the role. Managers also often use these results post-hire. That is, they’ll refer back to them to ensure the employee’s needs are being met and to facilitate discussions about how their role might be enriched down the line.

    Rather than using this test as a standalone data point where candidates are ranked against one another, it is advisable to combine it with other tests to provide additional information on a candidate’s fit rather than qualifications.

    Pre-employment assessments are often used to ensure candidates meet a certain cutoff in an area of knowledge or a particular skill. The drives test is unique as it sheds light on a softer, less tangible side of the individuals applying to a company and how they might get on once in the role.

    drives test model

Picked Sample Report

View a sample report

Results for the Drives Test along with other assessments the candidate takes will be compiled to produce a candidate report. The report is automatically generated and available both online and as a downloadable pdf so they can be shared with other team members and employees alike.

How our test assesses drives

Inspired by Hackman and Oldham’s Job Characteristics Model, Picked developed a framework to comprehensively capture elements of a job that impact employee motivation. With nine work drives, or motivating influences, our test efficiently assesses candidate preferences.

Candidates are given 20 points to spread across the nine drives, awarding more points to those that represent crucial motivators. This brief test takes about 5 minutes to complete and is not very demanding on candidates. Descriptions are provided for each drive for added clarity.

Results are easy to interpret, as the drives are simply listed in the order the candidate prioritised them along with the allocated points. This provides a picture of that candidate’s preferences and can be reviewed for alignment with the role.

Naturally, popular drives often vary across industries and settings. For example, Innovation is often a top motivator for individuals working in tech or product development, while Purpose is more highly valued by those seeking employment with non-profit organisations.

They remain relatively constant but may fluctuate or shift slightly, depending on what happens throughout an individual’s career.

This test was developed and reviewed by organisational psychologists and psychometric experts to ensure the results are meaningful and not disrupted by irrelevant bias or insensitivity. It is consistently one of our most popular and highly valued tests.


Predictor of job success

Picked provides evidence-based recommendations for tests to use for over 750 jobs. Our recommendation engine leverages data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).


Access real assessments

Instant access to our full testing suite.

  • safebox icon

    Fully accredited

    All our Drives tests are written by accredited psychologists and fully validated.

  • geometry icon

    For all levels

    We offer Drives tests for all levels so you can assess all roles within your organisation.


Energize selection process

Streamline hiring with our out-of-the-box tools.

  • patent icon

    Smart automations

    Automated actions such as alerts and reminders ensure a smooth candidate experience.

  • bulb icon

    Instant results

    Receive candidate results in real-time so you can make decisions in hours, not days.


Make better hires

Improve hiring with bias-free, data-driven decisions.

  • notebook icon

    Analytics dashboard

    Our full array of candidate performance metrics will provide actionable data on each of your candidates.

  • laptop icon

    Candidate comparison

    Simple, easy-to-use candidate comparison reports mean you don’t need to be a psychologist to interpret them.

“We used Picked as part of our Finance Graduate Scheme recruitment and it was just what we needed – really simple to send candidates the link to complete and clear to see how they all compared. And great value for money!”
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Drives Test expert

Written by a Drives Test expert

Our team of assessment experts is made up of I/O psychologists and psychometricians who are dedicated to making all of our tests as reliable, valid and fair as possible. They strictly adhere to best practices in the industry and stay on top of the latest innovations to ensure job candidates’ unique profiles of characteristics, abilities and knowledge are being measured accurately while minimising bias. They leverage decades of research and advanced predictive analytics to build assessments that link to outcomes that matter, such as job performance, turnover, engagement, culture fit and more.

“Personality profiling allowed us to perform lookalike modelling of our most successful employees and use this as a blueprint for new hires.”
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain

Drives Test FAQs

Which tests will measure motivation?

As well as the drives test Picked provides, there are a number of different tests that can be used to measure motivation, including the Motivation Scale, the Achievement Goal Questionnaire, and the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory. These tests can help researchers and clinicians understand how motivated an individual is and what might be motivating them.

What are indicators of employee motivation?

There are many indicators of employee motivation, including job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and performance. Job satisfaction is a measure of how happy employees are with their jobs, and it can be measured through surveys or interviews. Organizational commitment is a measure of how attached employees feel to their organizations, and it can be measured through surveys or interviews as well. Performance is a measure of how effectively employees are performing their jobs, and it can be measured through performance reviews or other forms of assessment.

What is the cost for Picked’s drives test?

We believe in simple, transparent pricing. We operate monthly and annual subscriptions so you can pick the perfect plan for you. Don't worry if you're not sure: you can always upgrade or downgrade later, or speak to us to discuss the option of a custom made plan to fit your needs. This is all you ever pay – no set-up or hidden fees.

Can I get a free trial?

Yes, sign up (no credit card required) and we'll give you a 7 day trial completely free. You'll get unlimited access to create as many jobs and test as many candidates as you like. You can cancel any time and you won't be charged anything.

“Focusing on data reduced the subjective decision making from our hiring process and allowed us to reduce bias and make better hiring decisions.”
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden

Ready to try Picked?

Start building your dream team

Try for free