Confirm Your Gut Feel and Select the Right Candidates Based on Fit!

How Human Psychology Impacts Hiring

Hiring managers are essentially the gatekeepers of a company, because they have the largest influence over a candidate’s admission. But, with this authoritative position and essential responsibility comes the demand to hire the right job fit while preventing employee turnover within the company. This can be a challenging process because hiring managers are, for lack of a better word, human, and it is our inherent nature to create bias or pass judgment when interacting with other people. This makes it difficult to distinguish whether a candidate is actuallya job fit or simply someone you see yourself golfing with on the weekends. Brad Wolfe of says that, “The biggest psychological issue we have as humans is dealing with other human beings, not our cat or our stuff.” It is our fallible quality that makes it impossible for us to be objective in our perceptions of people, which is magnified in an interview setting.
Consider these issues of human psychology that influence the hiring process.

  • As I mentioned earlier, bias is weaved through our DNA, so we tend to assign a positive or negative bias based on a number of attributes.
  • Humans and hiring managers alike assign bias based on how similar or different a job candidate is to themselves, through assumptions based on work experience, or simply stereotyping based on name, age, gender, race, or how they look—even though hiring managers know this kind of judgment is frowned down upon when hiring for job fit.
  • Although psychologists agree that most bias occurs in the subconscious as a result of an individual’s past experiences and upbringing, most job fit decisions are strongly influenced by how much the hiring manager likes a candidate.
  • Whether you consider yourself to be an “emotional” person or not, it is impossible to conduct an objective interview.
  • Interviews fail to reveal the abilities and genuine personality of a person and this is why “46 percent of all new hires fail within 18 months, according to a recent Forbes article,” mentioned Wolfe. However, interviews are still a crucial tool for determining certain soft skills.

Here’s what hiring managers can do to combat these challenges.

  • Focus on the needs of your organization then, evaluate the function and goals of the position you are hiring for. Keep in mind how a candidate aligns with those performance objectives and company culture. “Good talent managers think like businesspeople and innovators first, and like HR people last” said former Netflix Chief Talent Officer, Patty McCord. Hire a job fit that works best for the company and its culture, do not just hire a body to fill a vacant position.
  • Use a pre-hire assessment like the ProfileXT® (PXT) to identify specific qualities and measure certain capabilities of a candidate that reveal a number of things you’ll want to know about, before extending an offer to a potential candidate. Hiring managers that incorporate pre-hire assessments into their hiring and recruitment processes have the advantage of uncovering the characteristics of a candidate that they might not have picked up on during an interview.
  • The assessment results provide hiring managers with a holistic view of a candidate’s learning styles, ability to adapt, response to conflict, manageability, and reliability, among many other competencies. Check out this presentation, by Jason Ingram, 101 Things (Everyone Should Know) About Assessments, if you want to learn more about assessment solutions and how they can add value to your business.
  • “The PXT always correlates to a company’s business results” says Ingram, and assessments reveal whether someone is a strong job fit based on how a candidate approaches and behaves in a given situation—NOT based on the numbers they answered “correct”—this is a common misconception because assessments do not have “right” or “wrong” answers.
  • After you have used an assessment to narrow down your candidate pool of people who can perform the necessary duties of the job and that have a higher probability for success, it is time to extend an invite to interview. Wolfe suggests that hiring managers should “Prepare your questions in advance to learn more about the candidate’s skills, experience, attitude, and values, so the interview doesn’t get sidetracked by whether you like or dislike the person. This helps improve objectivity. And remember, a ‘bad attitude’ is often the effect of poor [job fit] or environment and not the true cause of the person not working out. Attitude is rarely a stable characteristic. It usually becomes more positive or negative depending on job and culture fit.”
  • Hiring is a tricky responsibility, but if you follow these tips you will be amazed at how much time, stress, and money you and your company will save.

    To Learn more call us at 877-855-1179
    or email our team at

Hiring is a tricky responsibility, but if you follow these tips you will be amazed at how much time, stress, and money you and your company will save.

To Learn more call us at 877-855-1179
or email our team at

Special Announcement from Assessment Specialists!

We are delighted to announce that Michelle Caspole has rejoined Assessment
Specialists effective Monday May 18.  Michelle's role will be new business
development and she will work as my peer in backing up client services needs
of our clients developed over the past 17 years since we began our business.
Her addition to Assessment Specialists greatly enhances our ability to
respond to both client and prospect needs as our business continues to grow.


Michelle comes to us with a strong background in client services, assessment
knowledge, the PAC and a client centric focus on helping businesses hire,
develop and promote the right people.  She spent the last 2 plus years
working at Profiles International developing a deep understanding of our
assessment tools used in corporate environments from selecting key
executives, to sales and talent management/succession planning,


Prior to that she worked three for us as a client services representative
with focus on teaching clients basics of the ProfileXT and the assessment
center as a talent management system.  Before that Michelle worked as an
intern for us while getting her BA at the California State University at San
Marcos in Communication.


Please welcome her aboard.  Michelle can be reached at and via phone at 760-805-1684.


John Caspole

Assessment Specialists, Inc.



Lessons of a grandparent….timeless leadership and vision lesson!

Tour boats ferry people out to the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii every thirty minutes. We just missed a ferry and had to wait thirty minutes. I went into a small gift shop to kill time.

In the gift shop, I purchased a small book entitled, “Reflections on Pearl Harbor” by Admiral Chester Nimitz.

Sunday, December 7th, 1941–Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington D.C. He was paged and told there was a phone call for him. When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the phone. He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet.

Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet. He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941. There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat–you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war.
On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters every where you looked.

As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, “Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?” Admiral Nimitz’s reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice.

Admiral Nimitz said, “The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America. Which do you think it was?”

Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, “What do mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?” Nimitz explained:

Mistake number one:
The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave.
If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk–we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.

Mistake number two:
When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired.

As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America . And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.

Mistake number three:
Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is in top of the ground storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply and burned half the island down. That’s why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make or God was taking care of America.

I’ve never forgotten what I read in that little book. It is still an inspiration as I reflect upon it. In jest, I might suggest that because Admiral Nimitz was a Texan, born and raised in Fredricksburg , Texas — he was a born optimist. But anyway you look at it–Admiral Nimitz was able to see a silver lining in a situation and circumstance where everyone else saw only despair and defeatism.

President Roosevelt had chosen the right man for the right job. We desperately needed a leader that could see silver linings in the midst of the clouds of dejection, despair and defeat.

There is a reason that our national motto is, IN GOD WE TRUST.

Have we forgotten?

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Great Customer Service made simple…..

Last week a colleague shared five simple steps to great customer service.  This was just too good not to share

1. Say hello — great them graciously and mean it!

2  Smile!

3  Really listen to the client!

4  Go the extra mile!

5  Say thank you!

If you are lucky your parents probably told you this a hundred times but we all still need practice!  Some do it naturally and some do not.  As a pre employment testing expert this can be measured and if it is there in a candidate or employee it can be honed.  If it is not why not avoid that candidate?  Learn more at

A reason to live….. mom sent me this pic….so it is special!

A reason to live.....  mom sent me this it is special!

You cannot pick your family.
You can pick your spouse.
You can slightly control your exist from this world.
Make every day special!
Make every day count
At work, at play at home!
If you were born in America you are among the luckiest on the face of the earth! I am for sure!

People matter!!! Every day and especially today!

Measuring Employee Engagement to Drive Results!

As we approach the first quarter of 2014 a key metric that will determine how successful any organization will be can be measured in how highly engaged it’s employees are.  Your strategy may be 110% on target but how well it gets executed will be decided by how engaged employees are in their day to day activities, commitment and your leadership’s ability to motivate them.

Holding your leaders accountable for their departments engagement is a powerful method to drive your results.  Here is a tried and true method to focus on this important fundamental element of your success. It has been well researched that employees level of engagement fall into one of four categories.  Nationwide studies have been conducted that allow you to measure how engaged your individuals and departments are.  Here is a key national metric to compare you team to. 
National research shows the average firm has this level of engagement:

7% of Employees are Highly Engaged

49% of Employees are Engaged

43% of Employees are Disengaged

1% of Employees are Highly Disengaged

How would your company compare to national norms?  How would your departments and or regions do?  There is normally a correlation to engagement and performance.  Savvy clients use this measure as a way to show leaders how they can improve their teams performance.  Raise the engagement and you will raise performance.  Savvy companies use a combination of Engagement Surveys and 360 Leadership Feedback to hold managers accountable for performance and engagement.  They openly share how each department ranks in terms of engagement and performance. 

The Engagement Survey is repeated to show improvement and raise the bar on a regular basis.  No manager wants to be the low marker and all want to improve in an easy way to measure.