Hiring By The Numbers

While we are on the subject of using facts to make objective decisions, I want to share a bit of wisdom I got from my friend Russ Davis at Sandler Training.

Let’s agree that making a hiring mistake is painful and expensive.  You spend a lot of time and money training someone you then have to let go.  You lose valuable time with the wrong person on your bus.[1]  You have to start the hiring process of finding the right person all over again.  Perhaps most importantly, firing someone or even having one bad employee on the payroll can affect the morale of all your workers.  Hiring mistakes are a mess.

So how to make a good hiring decision?  Russ points out that we are all subjective creatures, and therefore susceptible to making a poor hiring decision based on subjective criteria.  One way to limit your hiring mistakes is to gather objective data when you can.

Russ does this by helping his clients use the Devine assessment tool.  Small to medium sized business owners can use this tool to assess the skills and competencies needed to succeed in a job, and then objectively assess candidates against the criteria.

To tool even provides interview questions designed to look at a particular candidates potential weakness and decide whether those weaknesses exist.

One of Russ’s clients (who shall remain nameless), shared with me a success story using Russ and the Devine assessment.  The client had what he thought was a good candidate for an important job – a job he has been trying to fill for a while now.  After the first interview, he got with Russ to assess the candidate.

The assessment identified some areas of potential concern with this candidate, and generated interview questions for the follow-up interview.

At the follow-up interview, the candidate responded to the questions as the tool had predicted, demonstrating by the data that the candidate was unsuited to the job and would likely have been an expensive mistake.

At Marshall Fredrick, when one of our clients has an important hire to make, we always recommend that they do an objective assessment using a skilled service provider like Russ, or (if in a key technical position) engage a professional headhunter like Barry Newkirk at Intellectual Capital.  We can even sit in on interviews with you to give our advice.  Either way, money spent avoiding a bad hire is usually money well spent.


[1] If you don’t know what this means, take a look at Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t.  I’ll be reviewing that book soon, but it’s a great read.


One thought on “Hiring By The Numbers

  1. Pingback: Create Business Value Now – For a Successful Exit Later | On Business

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