Developing a Data Driven System

Part One: Learn

Employers are facing historic challenges when it comes to talent.

Getting workers in the door is a difficult task in itself. Then employers need to find ways to make sure their people are happy, engaged and willing to stay.

Even with the staffing situation so dire, the talent game is about more than filling roles. It’s about filling the right people and tending to them correctly. It’s a big task, and one that most organizations are botching.

PeopleBest offers a path forward. Our approach to talent is reflected in our name: We want you to find the best people for your company, and then we want to empower you to treat them the best you can.

We know that’s a lofty goal. Quit rates are at a 20-year high, leaving employers dealing with systemic brain drain and gargantuan knowledge gaps. As companies race to maintain staffing, they’re depleting their resources trying to replace a workforce turning over at rapid speed.

There’s a solution, but it’s not at your company’s entrance or exit; it’s right in the middle. When companies give employees the chance to flourish, they slow down the turnover churn. Opportunities for learning, growth and change build workers’ confidence — both in themselves and in their employers. They lean in. They invest. And they stay.

Want to know more? In our new three-part series, we will explore how a holistic talent system can power your people decisions.

  • Part 1 — Learn
    Envision your talent goals and learn how a system can help you achieve them.

  •  Part 2 — Discover
    See how talent systems use data to generate insight.
  • Part 3 — Find

    Learn to assess a talent system’s functions and judge for success.

If your talent strategies need a refresh, fill out the form below to get these insights right in your inbox to hear about how the PeopleBest approach can revitalize your process.


All Behavior-Based Hiring Assessments Aren’t Created Equal

In my last post, we talked about how personality tests are insufficient and how behavioral assessments are conducive to achieving predictive and actionable data.  We established that personality tests fall short when it comes to customizing the data to the things that matter most to you, e.g. your values, your company’s culture, and your strategic business goals.

Lastly, I stated that personality tests are indeed sustainable from a financial and ease perspective, but that the data might not sustain you with the caliber of people you need to help you run an effective organization.

In short, we established that behavioral assessments are the preferred method of creating job fit profiles that you can then measure your potential new hires against to ensure that you’re hiring the best person, for the right job, when you need them the most.

But not all behavior-based hiring assessments are created equal…

A Deeper Look at Behavioral Assessments

If it isn’t clear by now, having the capability to determine how a person will behave in any given situation is the desired state that you want to be in as an employer.

But even behavioral assessments must meet the 4-must-have criteria:

  • Predictive
  • Actionable
  • Customized
  • Sustainable

Let’s see how behavior assessments stack up….

When you measure for behavior, you get results that tend to be able to help you look into the future and get a sense of how someone is going to respond to the world around them. In this way, behavioral assessments check the box for predictive.

Also, because behavioral assessments point toward specific behaviors, you can work with the data. You can come up with an action plan to help your new hire close the gap through continued education, coaching, and mentorship. Or, you can decide that if a person is lacking in one area, that you might want to put them on a team that is strong in that area and mask their deficiency.

Also, on a more positive note, maybe this person is super-strong in most areas…you may want to put them in a role, department, or team that lacks that strength to make the team that much stronger.

There are all sorts of things you can do when you have precise data. So, in this way, behavioral assessments check the box for actionable.

So far, so good. Behavioral assessments check the first two boxes.

Here’s Where Things Start to Go Wrong 

When it comes to the customization of behavioral assessments some companies are better than others. Some of the bigger companies will use card sorting to identify common behaviors of the most successful people inside your organization, create a matrix, and use a bunch of complex math to calculate percentages and analyze their findings. Good stuff—sort of.

I say only sort of because this is where most behavioral assessments start veering away from the 4 must-haves. They just aren’t sustainable. First, the big players in this space, e.g. Hogan, Omnia, and Caliper…they’re going to send in an I/O Psychologist who’s going to take at least a couple of weeks to get their footing and begin aggregating data. Then, it’s going to be a couple more weeks to process that data. Then it’s going to be another couple of weeks to rationalize that data.

In about a month and a half, and $20K-$30K dollars later, you’ll have a profile you can use to start hiring. If time and money aren’t important to you, then you have yourself a winner. I’m not sure I’ve ever met an executive who didn’t care about time and money though…

Another Downfall of Behavioral Assessments

My next point is, admittedly, a little out of scope for this post but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point it out. One of the most insidious downfalls of behavioral assessments actually has nothing to do with the company giving them. Rather, it has to do with how their business model disincentivizes your organization to stay up to date.

Your company is as dynamic as you are. People come. People go. You’re always learning. Always trying to improve. If every time you need to create a new custom profile, it’s going to take 6-8 weeks and $30K—you might do it once every 5 years? Maybe? 10 years? If you think that dusty old profile is going to be as relevant in 5 years as it is the day it was made, you’re sorely mistaken.

In reality, this high barrier to entry actually kills what should be the bedrock of the solution; fast, flexible, and accurate data.

Imagine the Possibilities 

Given what we now know about personality tests and behavioral assessments, what if you could get all the benefits of measuring for behavior, but not have to deal with the crazy-high price points and long lead times?

Imagine if you could gather all the info you need by the end of the day, crunch the numbers in minutes, and have a customized job fit profile that you can use to start hiring immediately—all in house, all at a price that lets you afford to make another one tomorrow once you have access to more data.

That would be a best-case scenario, right? Well, that’s what PeopleBest does.

If you’re interested in learning more about PeopleBest, my door is always open.

Until next time…Happy Hiring!


Personality Tests are Insufficient

Okay. Hypothetical situation…

Let’s say you’re the hiring manager at a call center and you’re looking to fill a customer service position. You know that on any given day, your potential new hire is going to have to deal with a wide array of customers on the other end of the telephone—not all of which are going to be happy campers.

So, as a manager who’s looking to hire someone who can deal with the potential rigors of the job, you want to glean some information from your job candidate that might suggest how this person is going to deal with an irate customer.

Now, let’s imagine you had the opportunity to ask this person 10 questions to help you determine how they might react when Mr. Mad Guy is on the line. After asking your 10 questions, would you rather come away knowing that this person is:

  • An extrovert

  • Easygoing

  • Excitement seeking

  • Experiential

Or would you rather know whether or not this person will:

  • Recover from negative interactions quickly

  • Display empathy & understanding

  • Be quick to anger and lash out

  • Shut down emotionally

If you chose the second set of data, then—perhaps unbeknownst to you—you’ve just chosen behavioral data over the results of a personality test. Good choice.

As an employer myself, I’ve found personality tests to be insufficient.

Recently, I’ve been writing a lot about the 4 must-haves of an effective hiring tool. I’ve stated that to be effective, a hiring tool has to be predictive, actionable, customized, and sustainable. If you’re going to use this criterion to assess personality tests, you’ll soon realize why they’re an insufficient barometer for hiring.

Do Personality Tests Check All the Boxes? 

Are They Predictive? 

They aren’t. Clear and simple. Personality tests are designed to produce results that are descriptive of the individual, but there’s little scientific evidence that the results are indicative of a person’s ability to be successful within a particular job role. In fact, research on occupational attraction shows that certain personality types are indeed drawn to certain careers, but it also shows that all personality types are represented in almost every occupation. Which would suggest that there are other factors at play. So, while personality tests are interesting and descriptive—they don’t tell a complete story and therefore shouldn’t be used as the primary gate for hiring.

Are They Actionable? 

I’d argue that they aren’t. When Carl Jung first started talking about personality archetypes, he theorized that your personality was an inborn, fixed entity that couldn’t change over time. Recent studies, however, have tweaked that theory and suggest that while personality largely stays consistent over time, that some changes do occur as we get older and wiser. However, from the employer’s perspective, personality is a fixed entity. Because either Jung was right and we have no ability to influence it, or employers don’t have the luxury of time to wait years for someone to change.

So, if you’re looking to hire someone who can be effective in the near term, you’d want to know how they’re personality is going to manifest—which means you’d want to know how they’ll behave, given their current personality. To do that you’re going to need a behavioral assessment—not a personality test.

Once you know how a person will behave you can create action plans to optimize for the best possible behavioral outcomes and put this person in situations where they will have positive responses to their environment and are likely to succeed.

Are They Customizable?

Not really. They just aren’t granular enough to address the things that matter most to your business. When I think of customizable, I’m thinking about it from two different perspectives. There’s the “is this person going to be a good fit” perspective and the “is this hire going to help me achieve my strategic business goals” perspective.

When it comes to creating a job fit profile from a personality test, I think you’re going to be hard-pressed to develop an effective one. You could argue that you can extrapolate the results to see trends within your organization.

For example, you could give everyone in your organization the MBTI® and you might notice that 90% of your salespeople are extroverts and 95% of your accounting people are introverts. That says something, but there’s just not enough data. There’s no accounting for why 10% of salespeople are introverts and 5% of accounting people are extroverts. You need to get more granular than that.

On the other hand, when it comes to driving strategic business results a personality test isn’t going to help you do that at all. No business owner is staying up at night wondering how they’re going to get more introverts, enthusiasts, or reds on their team. No. They worry about things like decreasing turnover, cultivating culture, mitigating workers’ comp claims, and customer satisfaction. Again, personality tests just aren’t granular enough to help you uncover the behaviors that will drive the results you’re after.

Are They Sustainable? 

From a cost and ease of use perspective, I must admit—they are. You can easily administer these tests to large groups of people and get the results in a reasonable amount of time. They come at a price point that allows you to administer the tests often to keep your data up to date. And they don’t rely on one-off expertise, so much of the legwork can be handled internally by the Operations Team or an HR department.

So, the process is sustainable, but the question then becomes whether or not you trust that the data is enough to sustain your business needs—hiring, talent development, achieving strategic business goals.

Determining the answer to that question is up to you. 

The Results Are In

So, my results are in. Personality tests get 1.25 stars out of 4 on the must-have checklist and behavioral assessments are the way to go. But not all behavior assessments are created equal.

In my next post, I’ll discuss some of the common pitfalls of behavior-based assessments and how they sometimes fall short


Preventing Bad Hiring Decisions

PeopleBest started with a belief that a well-rounded tool, system, or company (let’s group them and call them products) should embody the following four attributes. Your product should be:

  • Predictive

  • Actionable

  • Repeatable/Sustainable

  • Customized

Some basic products might check one or two of these attribute boxes, and that’s a good start. But if it doesn’t have all four, you’re not really going to be successful with it. Sure, you might see some marginal improvement, you might even get lucky and find your next superstar, but it isn’t going to be sustainable unless all these attributes are in place and accounted for.

In this video, PeopleBest CEO, Jim Hunter digs deeper into each one and outlines what it means to be predictive, actionable, customized, and repeatable/sustainable.

The 4 Must-Haves of an Effective Hiring Tool (Transcript)

At PeopleBest we’re really passionate about four different principles in terms of how not only we build tools, but if in the marketplace, if somebody is going to be looking at a particular tool we would challenge anybody to really address each and every single one of these four principles. We call it PARC, P-A-R-C. P for predictability. Can this be something that will absolutely not just be accurate? There’s a lot of tools out there. There’s Myers-Briggs, not throwing rocks at any of them, but are do they describe me? Yeah, probably, pretty much, pretty much the case. But the challenge here is in terms of the predictability, can this foretell, if you will, how well somebody is going to do in a particular job, not just who they are but where they’re going to fit in a particular unique job.

            The second part, the A, if you will, is the actionability. Once we have this information, be it if we bring somebody on, nobody’s going to be perfect for a particular job, right? Where’s those gaps within a particular person coming on, or for that matter within a particular team? What are those gaps that we need to address? What are those actionable steps to take somebody from where they are to where they need to be? The R, if you will, is repeatable. How do we then take this and make this a concept where the repeatability of a particular job, or in our particular case when we build a job fit, is this repeatable over a sustained period of time? Different types of people, will they fit in this particular role and then how does this grow and repeat separate from any other type of profile tool out there, which is just off-the-shelf, we can then develop a customized repeatable and that’s that last element of customization.

            And this is where I challenge anybody to look at how they can customize a particular set of findings that are absolutely unique and specific to that job, and then absolutely unique and specific to that particular company. Because we know every single company is different and truth be told every single job is different. There is no such commonality of a marketing coordinator or an admin person, or a vice president of sales that fits across every single genre, so it needs to be customizable both to that position within that particular company.

Let’s take this concept of PARC and break it down, peel back a little bit. Let’s start with the first element of P for predictability. There’s a lot of profile tools out there, and there’s a lot of profile companies that will approach a project or looking at success in a probably consistent sort of way. Who are the A players, who are the middle of the road B players, and who are perhaps the lower producers, maybe the C players? But the issue really comes in in terms of the particular profile that they’re using because unless there’s a lot of data, it’s not going to be very accurate. If we’re looking at people that… so the A players are a little bit higher in dominance or they’re a little bit more extroverted or something like that, that’s all fine and well, but the issue is there’s not a lot of specificity and there’s not a lot of scalability.

            By that I mean, PeopleBest, we’ve broken everything down into 29 particular traits, not just 29 traits but on a one to 10 scale. There’s a high level of specificity within those 29 traits. And then we kick it up a notch and not only just look at the specifics around 29 traits on a one to 10 scale, but we develop specific ranges, bullseyes if you will, that we know exactly where those A players, if you will, the differences and the uniquenesses to that. Then when we start talking about a predictable model, if we’re starting to pull somebody in from off the street, or if looking at somebody if they’re going to be successful, we have an absolute template that is highly specific, extremely unique to that particular job that we can predict success better than anybody within that particular area for that particular job.

            The second concept in our PARC is that about actionability or actionable. And so what we mean by actionable is, as we create these Efficacy Attributes or traits, we’re developing a pinpoint accuracy to what is going to be successful in that particular role. Well, as we’ve talked about before, we have 29 Efficacy Attributes and we get very, very specific in terms of where people could fit to be successful. Well, human beings are not cookie cutters, nor would we ever think that everybody needs to look the same. This whole actionability concept is around identifying the gaps.

            How is somebody specifically unique to a particular role and where might they need to be so that if we’re bringing somebody on that is still an A player we know they’re going to be successful in the job, they just may not match up in a particular area. So what is that particular area and how can we make that actionable to then help improve that particular person in that particular situation, be it an onboarding process? The unique thing is two, is that’s directly applicable to everybody inside of an organization? Because once again, not everybody’s going to be that “A player” so how do we identify those gaps and then start to build and develop those people to be more successful than they are.

            The third element that we talked about is repeatability, having the ability to create a model that can be sustainable over a period of time. Unlike other particular models where they have to be customized to fit a particular concept or a particular job, we want to build a repeatable model that is self-sustaining as you go so you can know absolutely if somebody is going to be successful in it, but then we also kind of create a unique concept called smarter-as-you-go. that gives you the ability to then take data and look at who’s been successful, who hasn’t, maybe who’s left the organization, but use that information to build a little bit smarter model and develop more repeatability as you go as well.

            And lastly, the fourth element is that about customization. And this is where I challenge any other profile company to be as unique as we are. When we talk about customization, we really talk about developing a specific model to a specific job within a specific company. Let’s peel that back a little bit more. There’s so many different templates out there from different profile companies that have just this commonality across all jobs. A marketing coordinator, an administrative assistant, a vice president of sales, where this particular template they’ll use to suggest for your particular job in your particular company, this is the template they have.

            And that is absolutely positively not the case, we customize every single job unique to that job within that particular company. We look at the A players, B players, and the C players within that particular job in your company to develop that particular job fit because we know every single job is unique and we also know that every single company is unique, so we customize to exactly both of those criteria.


Stop Calling AI Talent Systems Cloning Machines

People Best Feat Img Rectangle uniqueness vs sameness.jpg

In my last post about Efficacy Attributes, I talked about how PeopleBest uses your “definition of success” or what you already know is working inside your organization to baseline which Efficacy Attributes we should be looking for when it comes to new hires.  

TL;DR? Efficacy Attributes are leading indicators of success that point toward the likelihood that someone will succeed within your organization. These are what PeopleBest look for when we assess new employees. These attributes roll up into 4 Core Styles and 100s of Core Competencies that will eventually make up a person’s profile. They differ from traditional data, things that you might glean from a resume or an interview because resumes’ and interviews look toward the past—they’re lagging indicators of success. 

We do this by running every person in your organization through the PeopleBest assessment and bounce that data off your perception of your employees. After all, you know who’s killing it, who needs to improve, and who isn’t quite working out. 

Next, we look for patterns in the data and create a custom job fit profile template that we can use to measure potential job candidates against. 

Inevitably, someone will say, “But, Jim. If we do that, aren’t we just going to get a bunch of the same kinds of people, who believe the same thing, and have the same values? Won’t we just be a cookie-cutter organization made up entirely of clones? I don’t want to be an army of robots who communicates in only bleeps, blops, and bloops!”  

I’m paraphrasing—with some intentional hyperbole—but the sentiment is accurate, I can assure you. And it’s a valid sentiment. Diversity and inclusion are two of the most important tenets of hiring and should be taken very seriously. Aside from the moral obligation we have toward humanity, studies have shown that diversity has tons of positive side effects for your business.

But what may not be intuitive to most is that AI actually helps you along your path to diversity and removes some of the common biases that plague the hiring community. To make it more intuitive, I’d like to start off by illustrating the difference between what we call “Uniqueness” & “Sameness.”

Defining Uniqueness and Sameness 


Uniqueness is made up of all the things that make you, you. It’s the human experience. It’s when you were born. It’s the things you’ve seen that have molded the way you interact with the world. It’s your religious & political beliefs. It’s your heritage. Your culture. Your familial makeup. Your values. It’s your sexual choice. It’s your ethnicity. Uniqueness is made up of all the things that help us, as humans, raise our hand and self-identify and it helps us understand who we believe ourselves to be. 


If uniqueness is our personal human experience, then sameness would be the outward manifestation of our experiences, or our behaviors. And what’s pretty neat about behaviors are that they’re dynamic, which means that you can have two—or more— people that have similar behaviors, but they’ve come from completely different backgrounds. For example, you can be Hindu or Christian and be fiercely internally motivated. You can be a Republican or a Democrat and still pay attention to detail. You can be a Person of Color or a Caucasian and be dedicated to following through on your commitments.  

If people were mosaics, uniqueness would be the image you see from afar and sameness would be the individual shards that make up the image. And when it comes to diversity and inclusion, we want to know the makeup of the person, not what we can see from a distance.

Humans Aren’t Good at Inclusivity 

Despite some of our best efforts, as a species, humans just aren’t good at looking beyond what we can immediately see. It doesn’t matter how many onboarding training modules we’ve sat through that espouse the virtues of diversity.  It doesn’t matter how many likes we’ve doled out on social media to videos of people doing a good job of being inclusive. 

When the rubber meets the road, we all have our biases. Some of them are more insidious than others. Not every bias has to do with race, gender, sexual choice, or age. Some might be based on what university you attended. Or the clothes you wear to the interview. Maybe you have tattoos, and the hiring manager doesn’t like tattoos. Who knows? The possible combinations of biases are literally endless—ironically—because humans or so diverse and complex.  

AI Software Isn’t So Myopic  

On the other hand, software—if programmed to do so—doesn’t really care what you look like. It doesn’t care where you grew up, who your parents are, what church you go to, what your prior political leanings are, when you were born, or who you love…It doesn’t care about any of that stuff. 

All software cares about are inputs and outputs. And all you should care about is accurate, unbiased data that’s going to help you make the best people-decision in the shortest amount of time. 

My Final Answer 

So, are we creating clones by using AI? Are we eventually going to be a bunch of Stepford Employees who can only respond in certain ways to the challenges we face in the workforce? It’s an emphatic NO from me. 

Actually, it’s quite the contrary. By focusing on looking for the behaviors that make people the same—the underpinnings of success—we open the door to a wide world of unique diversity. A door that humans, historically, have done an incredibly poor job of opening by themselves. 


Better Data Equals Better Hiring Decisions

People Best Feat Img Rectangle better data better hiring.jpg

In my last post, we talked about the 4 Must-Haves of an Effective Hiring Tool. I stated that to be an effective hiring tool, the data the tool gives you should be:

  • Predictive 

  • Actionable 

  • Customized 

  • Sustainable

In this post, I’d like to take a closer look at that first bullet—Predictive. Previously, I discussed the concept of leading indicators vs lagging indicators and how leading indicators are a much more powerful measurement when it comes to determining job fit than the alternative.

People Best Feat Img Rectangle Leading Lagging-2.jpg

First, I’ll dig a little deeper into this concept and of leading vs lagging indicators and then give some examples of the type of data PeopleBest looks for when we’re helping our clients make better people-decisions. 

Lagging Indicators 

The things that most people are looking at to make their hiring decisions tend to be lagging indicators. The things you might see on a resume or find out in an interview, for example. Years of experience, prior job history, titles held, certifications, awards, degrees obtained, skills, and even references. All of those are interesting data points, but they don’t always equate to that person being a good job fit. 

The fact of the matter is that all of those data points have context that don’t necessarily apply to your business. Your potential new hire may have been successful, but what if the leadership at the company they worked for was very hands-on and micro-managed everything, and this person thrives on having a lot of structure? If you’re going for a culture of emergence & collaboration and you need someone who is going to be an innovative problem solver—it may not matter how successful this person was because he or she isn’t wired to thrive in the culture you’re cultivating.  

When you start looking at data points through a predictive lens, the lagging indicators you see on paper begin to carry less and less weight. For example, you can assume that a person with a degree from a prestigious university is intelligent, has the ability to learn, and was once able to navigate the collegiate landscape. But you can’t assume that they’re committed to continued learning and that they’ll be able to navigate the interpersonal landscape of your particular business—not based on a BA or an MA.  

Here’s another example. A person may come to you with years of job experience and may have been promoted several times at their last company. You could assume that they were telling the truth and had held an applicable role before and have all the training and licenses necessary to have that role—a reasonably safe assumption. But what you don’t know is if that person had strong leadership at that company who was able to guide them toward success. What if you’re company is expecting this person to self-start, and they end up freezing? You simply can’t get that info from a lagging indicator. 

All of this isn’t to say that sometimes you might look at lagging indicators, decide to hire a person, and hit the jackpot. It happens. Even a blind squirrel can find an acorn sometimes, right? Rather, I say all of this to emphasize that lagging indicators only show us if someone has the baseline skills to do the job. They can tell us if someone is actually a surgeon or Accountant or a CSR etc. They can point toward whether or not this person has done this type of work before. All of which is relevant data to have, but ultimately insufficient but to make a hiring decision or to help choose one candidate over another. 

The good news is that there are better data sets out there. 

Leading Indicators  

Leading indicators are anything that might point to a person’s likelihood to succeed in the future. Unlike lagging indicators, these predict success. More accurately, they predict a person’s ability to succeed, or their efficacy. That’s why we call these leading indicators Efficacy Attributes. 

Efficacy Attributes are exponentially more poignant than anything I’ve ever seen on a resume or heard in a job interview. Here, let’s play a quick game of would you rather…

Would you rather know: 

  • How many years of experience someone has or how they’ll deal with a crisis? 

  • What someone’s last job title was or if they’re detail oriented with high follow through? 

  • If someone is proficient in Office or if they’re creative and committed to learning? 

  • What university someone went to or if they’re humble & collaborative?  

I believe that most business owners and hiring managers would want to know the latter in all four scenarios because they’re more applicable when it comes to building teams and staffing departments. Knowing someone’s tendency to behave a certain way, in a certain scenario is invaluable data to have when it comes to making hiring decisions. You can use this knowledge to not only assess the individual, but you can also use it to build better, more well-rounded teams and develop specific future job profiles.  

More on Efficacy Attributes 

In my four “would you rather” questions from above, the second half of each question correlated to an actual Efficacy Attribute that we test for when we do our assessments. In total, we’re measuring 29 different Efficacy Attributes on a sliding scale that will eventually help us determine what your Core Styles and Competencies are. Each person has a work, interpersonal, engagement and ego style, as well as 100s of competencies that our Efficacy Attributes help us to measure. This often leads to millions of different calculations and potential profiles. This often comes off as a little overwhelming. 

And one of the questions we get asked the most is how do we weight each attribute? Or how do we determine which ones are most important to measure? If millions of profiles are possible, how do we know we’re using the right one? The answer falls a little outside of the Predictive bucket and lands in the Customized category, but I think it’s worth noting so that you can get a sense for how we’re thinking about this stuff. The attributes are deemed important because it’s based on what’s already working inside your organization. 

One of the first things we do when we get a new client is, we put the entirety of the workforce thru the PeopleBest assessment. Then, we pair the data we get with whatever your particular measure of success is within your business. For example, you know who the superstar employees are. So—initially—once we’ve determined the core styles and competencies that thrive within your organization, we may look at the profiles of those superstars to determine what the profile of a new hire should look like.

Parting Thoughts

Our secret sauce is in finding the “bullseye” within the 29 Efficacy Attributes, the 4 Core Styles, and the Core Competencies. This is the backbone of all 4 “must-haves.” Once we’ve nailed those “bullseyes”, not only do they allow you to be predict the likelihood of an individual’s success, but that potential success is customized to your unique company and culture, too. When applied correctly, the insight they give is actionable and can help you do more than just hire—they can help you craft robust career progression paths and identify and close the gaps that will turn moderate employees into great ones. 

Lastly, the accuracy of the Efficacy Attributes gets better the more you use PeopleBest. This leads to a phenomenon that we call getting “smarter as you go.” The PeopleBest software grows and learns the same way you do—leading to a sustainable hiring tool that you can use time and again with pinpoint accuracy to make better, more effective people-decisions. 


The Four Must-Haves of an Effective Hiring Tool

There are two groups of people out there in the hiring world. The first are the people who rely on, Indeed, and other job boards. Or maybe they think a professional “headhunter” will be able to help them recruit new talent. These are the same people that subscribe to the idea that running hiring ads is an effective tactic—despite diminishing returns on ad spend. All of this while being avalanched with countless cookie-cutter resumes that take hours to pore over. Old school stuff.

The other group are the people who have realized, through trial and error, that resumes, and traditional hiring practices are insufficient. These progressive people have turned to technology in the hopes that automation will help.  These are the people who are using applicant tracking systems to help supplement their current practices – hoping this can help them hire better people.

That being said, there are a lot of tools and confusing options in the market to choose from. DiSC, Myers Briggs and Predictive Index are among the most commonly used profiling tools that companies leverage to assess personality attributes. Beyond personality profiles there are many vendors who attempt to quantify a potential hire’s soft skills—companies such as Applied, Pymetrics, and Koru come to mind.

But before you make your decision, I want you to consider the following…

The Four Must-Haves 

I started PeopleBest with a belief that a well-rounded tool, system, or company (let’s group them and call them products) should embody the following four attributes. Your product should be:

· Predictive 

· Actionable 

· Customized 

· Sustainable

Some basic products might check one or two of these attribute boxes, and that’s a good start. But if it doesn’t have all four, you’re not really going to be successful with it. Sure, you might see some marginal improvement, you might even get lucky and find your next superstar, but it isn’t going to be sustainable unless all these attributes are in place and accounted for.

Let’s dig a little deeper into each one and discover what it means to be predictive, actionable, customized, and sustainable.

Information Should be Predictive 

Products shouldn’t point toward lagging indicators of success. The whole reason you’re looking for a product is because the lagging indicators weren’t working to begin with. Resumes, achievements, awards, and past promotions have no actual bearing on a person’s ability to be successful in a new role. Rather, it only means that they’re qualified.

Lagging indicators are the bare minimum when it comes to hiring filters, a lot of the time they aren’t even relevant at all.  This is evidenced by the fact that we’ve seen many people experience great success in sales and administrative roles that have no prior experience in those roles. They come out of other industries such as hospitality, event planning, and even call centers.

Instead, your product should point toward leading indicators of success, or Efficacy Attributes as we call them. Things like internal drive, ability to adapt, appetite for continued learning, and humility are often exponentially more indicative of future success than the things you might see on a resume like certificates of achievement, or even years of experience.

Data Should Be Actionable

If the data that your product aggregates only helps you say yes or no to hiring a person, then it’s insufficient data. Your product should help you say yes or no, but it should also help you make better staffing decisions by identifying the gaps that a potential new hire might have. Also, the data can help you craft customized career and skill progression paths from the get-go to close those gaps faster.

So, not only do you need to be able to determine if a person has the right Efficacy Attributes, but you also need to be able to quantify and measure them in a way that’s meaningful to your business. This will help you visualize the strengths and/or deficiencies of your potential new hires and give you a head start on paving their road to success.

Having the capability to identify these gaps allows you to make decisions that you may not have been able to make before. For example, team placement. If someone is deficient in a certain are, you may decide to place them on a team that has that area as a strength. And that goes in the opposite direction, too. If someone is really strong in a particular area, you may place them on a team that can use the help in that regard.

Another way you can make the right data actionable is by using it to determine the amount and type of training someone needs to get up to speed. If you have two candidates and one displays the attributes of someone who can get up to speed in a week and the other will take a month, you might choose to make one hire before the other.

Having this type of data at your disposal is proves crucial because not only does it help you make better people-decisions, but it also helps you make better business decisions. Better business decisions will then inevitably lead to lower costs, faster ROI, increased productivity & morale, among a plethora of other secondary and tertiary benefits.

If your product isn’t helping you make nuanced decisions like this, you’re missing out.

The Experience Should Be Customized

This is likely the most intuitive of the 4 attributes, but you’d be amazed at how many people still put their faith in products that have no way of understanding the specific business need to which it’s getting applied. Whichever product you choose needs to know what it is you’re trying to achieve. It must be aware of the current landscape of your organization and be able to give you data that matters to you. Data based on your values, your unique goals, your particular constraints, the exact specifications & duties of the job role, and how you define success.  All of this in addition to the fact that the data has to embrace the culture you want to cultivate.

If it was your personal life, would you place important life decisions in the hands of a tarot card reader, or the daily horoscope in the Sunday paper? Or would you turn to a family member, or some other such trusted advisor, for advice? Most would choose the person who knew the most about them and their history, and who could offer relevant advice given what the other person knows about them.

It’s the same when it comes to hiring products. Always choose the product that is the most customizable to the framework of the values that matter most to you, within your unique company, and in your particular industry.

Let us show you how you can leverage your existing Rockstar’s to build custom profiles based on what we already know works inside your organization. 

I know I just used a lot of squishy, feel-good language, but that doesn’t make It less true. It doesn’t make it less powerful either. When we say custom, we don’t mean that your product should cater to your feelings or whims—not necessarily at least. We mean that your product should have the capability to get situationally specific to the things that matter most to you. For example, maybe you care about decreasing turnover. We’ve created custom profiles that were able to quantify a person’s likelihood of quitting within the first year. Another custom example we’ve done is to quantify a person’s likelihood to get in an accident because a client of ours had a lot of worker’s comp claims over the years and they wanted to remedy that.

Customizing a profile for your culture is one thing. Customizing a profile that will help you hire in a way that enables you to move the business needle in directions outside the HR department is an extremely powerful and profitable capability to have in today’s changing business environment.

The Process Should Be Sustainable 

This last attribute may be the most important of them all. The product you choose has to be sustainable. One thing in the business world is certain, and that’s the fact that change is coming. It’s inevitable and when it happens it’s going to come fast. So, you’re going to need a product that can keep up with you as your business matures and new needs arise. Nowadays, you know more about your business and your market than ever before and you need a product that can learn as fast as you do.

So, what are the main characteristics of a sustainable product?

·      It has to turn data over quickly and with pinpoint accuracy

·      It must be cost effective to allow for frequent use.

Think about it. If you need to hire someone next week so you can sell your next high, 6-figure deal and it takes 3 months to get a profile—is that going to help you sell that deal. Probably not. If developing a job fit profile costs you $20K each time you need one and can only be done as a one off by an expert I/O psychologist—are you going to want to create a new one monthly? Annually? Probably not. If it costs $20K and the profile sits on the shelf for 5 years—do you think it’s going to help you when you need it? Probably not.

Our software makes it easy. The algorithms crunch the numbers and make millions of calculations in seconds, so you can start implementing your data and seeing results immediately

If you had a cost-effective system that could pump out custom profiles in minutes, the possibilities are endless. Not only could you hire someone when you needed them and use an up to date profile to do it but you could also use it to tighten up hiring practices in general, save money on training & onboarding,

Imagine a world in which you can run profiles over and over again as new data becomes available. That new data being employees whom you’ve hired and employees who’ve left the company. You could then tweak the profiles ever so slightly on a whim, getting your job fits tighter and tighter. The tool would—in effect—get smarter the more you used it. It would learn new things about your company and the people who work there as fast as you wanted it to.

Parting Thoughts

There are a ton of players in this space. Many companies are out here offering hands-on consulting, intuitive software, cutting edge psychology & behavioral science. And I don’t think for a second that any one of them are being disingenuous or aren’t trying to be helpful in some way.

In fact, I think a lot of these companies do a lot of things well. Some of them might check the predictability and sustainability box. Others might check the actionable box. While others excel at customization. But I challenge you to look for a company that embodies all four before you make your decision. Again, without all four of the attributes in place and accounted for, the product you choose is going to fail you at some point.

At PeopleBest, we built our software and our business plan with these attributes in mind. And, if given the opportunity, I’d love to show you how we do it.

Thanks for reading and happy hiring!

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