They say that when jackals start worrying about the welfare of sheep, you know there’s an election coming. So I guess I was naive to ask a recruitment agent whether he was interested in a joint venture selling my system for accurately identifying the right employee for the job.
The system is simple enough (except for a bit of statistical analysis): you psychometrically test a sample of employees from the role in question. Then you work out which personality traits, competencies and values separate the high from the low performers. New applicants applying for the role then do the same test and you simply select those who look more like your high performers.
This approach gets it right about 70% – 85% of the time which is a hell of a lot better than flipping a coin which is what businesses are effectively doing by using off-the-shelf psychometrics and untrained interviewers. But the proof of the pudding is that clients typically report 15% – 30 performance improvements. Whether this is our system or simply because it makes people pay more attention to new personnel is an interesting debate, but the point is – it gets results!
But perhaps asking a recruiter to partner to sell it was naive. As he pointed out: “Max, your system might reject applicants that I put forward”.
“Well, doh, yes” I said, “Isn’t that the idea? We reject the candidates who look like low performers and progress the ones who look like high performers”.
“But that’s bad business for me because then I need to go back and try to find them a high potential candidate. That’s more work for me”.
“So are you saying you’re happy to take the money from the client even if you aren’t providing them with high performers?”
And that was the end of our conversation.
The bottom line is that good science is effective, but it won’t win the support of intermediaries who make money whether or not they perform.
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