Pro Hiring Tip: Use Assessments

You want to hire the best possible candidate for your open position and you’ve written a compelling job post, asked for referrals, and even engaged a recruiter, but you’re just not sure the candidate, in front of you, is who they represent themselves to be!

If you Google, ‘How to ace an interview,’ you’ll get thousands of well meaning suggestions and ‘tactics’ for the candidate, but these ‘tactics’ can be detrimental to the hiring authority.


The hard cost of hiring. The real cost of a hire is revealed over time and time is money. The cost of a mis-hire is estimated to be somewhere between 3 and 15x salary, plus the administrative expense, lost departmental productivity and damaged internal and external relations.

The soft cost of hiring. When an employee doesn’t work out or isn’t engaged, their productivity obviously suffers. This results in revenue loss that managers expect and count on. This puts undue pressure on the team to make up the shortfall.

The emotional cost of hiring. There is a deeper cost to the organization. The Science of Emotional Intelligence confirms that people are profoundly influenced by the moods of those around them and their productivity can suffer. Are you willing to take the chance?



Candidates are almost always taken at face value and many executives believe their answers to interview questions and the information on resumes. But some candidates don’t tell the full truth, or at least they often finesse it.

The fact is, the hiring process isn’t very conducive to complete candor.

Resumes are edited to highlight successful experiences or to remove others entirely. And, during interviews, people often “adjust” the truth to fit the question. (HBR: Hiring Without Firing, Claudio Fernandez-Aroz)

In 1988, Professor John Hunter of Michigan State determined that the typical employment interview is only 57% effective in predicting subsequent success in a job, which means that the typical interview is only slightly better than flipping a coin!

Humans don’t come with instruction manuals and to my knowledge there isn’t a HelpDesk when things goes awry! Once onboard, the individual brings their true self to the job; many times good, other times, not so much. 

You can level the playing field by using assessments in hiring!

Assessments give you more information on an individual than you could learn in six months working with them! This is critical data that will help you make the most informed decision you can make when it comes to hiring someone to join your team. Ask yourself:

Does the candidate have the skill to do the job, the motivation to do the job, and the instincts/will to do the job?

Assessments are wonderful tools for hiring and can give you critical data you need to make an informed decision. For a fraction of the cost of a typical hire, you can have insight and confidence that the person sitting in from of you is whom they portray themselves to be.

Once hired, there are additional uses for assessments that add to their value, such as:

  • On-Boarding
  • Training
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Communication
  • Team Dynamics

If you’d like more information on assessments and how you can incorporate these critical tools into your hiring, or team processes, we’d be delighted to chat. 



Jim O’Hara is a veteran executive and former agency firm owner. He is now President of Kellen James – Performance Advisors, an Advisory, Diagnostics and Talent Consultancy that helps organizations hire more accurately, lead more effectively and get results more efficiently. To learn more, connect with Jim on LinkedIn or email him at


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