Head, Heart, and Briefcase

I placed 523 CEOs in my career.  I’ve hired and trained 43 recruiters.  As a Certified Interview Architect, I’ve designed countless interviews and selection processes.


Most hiring practices center around the candidate’s briefcase– what’s on their resume (experience, skills, and education.)  Some go deeper and examine the heart (values, interests, and passions) during the interview.


It all begins with the position description.  Normally, HR asks the hiring manager a series of questions to ascertain the requirements and responsibilities of the role.  That document might get tweaked or updated and a headhunter might add a list of key success factors.


The position description gets posted and generates tons of candidates, especially in a market where over 80% of people are looking for a new job (Gallup.)  The recruiter spends an average of six seconds on a resume upon initial review and maybe 5-10 minutes preparing for the interview (The Ladders, Eye Tracking Study).


If the candidate makes it to the hiring manager, they might spend two minutes looking at the resume before the interview.  After the interview, a hiring decision is made.


Not a surprise that 81% of CEOs feel that their external hires are disappointments and that they didn’t get their money’s worth (Topgrading.)  The average cost of a bad hiring decision is over 30% of the first year’s compensation (US Dept. of Labor.)


So how do we ensure that the candidate you thought walked on water won’t sink like a stone after they start?


Later in my career I started using The Predictive Index (PI).  I placed 240 of those 523 CEOs using PI.  Not only were those CEOs more successful, they stayed longer, and it cut my recruiting time in half.


PI gave me the ability to go one step further and measured the candidate’s head.  The briefcase and heart can change over time.  The head (behavioral and cognitive ability) are stable over time.


People have drives.  Drives create needs.  People behave in ways to meet their needs.  When needs are met at work, performance, productivity, and engagement improve.  And, if you can measure it, you can manage it.


Let’s go back to the position description.  In order to attract best-fit candidates, I had three to five stakeholders take The Job Assessment (PRO- Performance Requirement Options) so we knew what combination of drivers we needed.


The resulting position description used language that resonates with people who have those drives.  We examined their briefcase (resume) and heart (interview), and then I sent them The Predictive Index.  When trying to attract the best, I cared about the candidate experience, and it only takes six minutes to complete PI.


Putting some science and analytics to my selection process not only yielded better results in less time (which saved thousands of dollars), it provided valuable data for developing top talent to ensure retention.  When you know where someone might struggle, you can provide coaching to prevent problems from surfacing.


Not hard.  Not expensive.  But absolutely essential to attract and hire the best.