Predicting Suitability for Attracting and Assessing Talent

Jerry Scher

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Assessing candidates for specific positions is one of the most important functions of any organization. The life blood of your company will be based on the talent you are able to attract and your ability to recruit and select the most appropriate candidates. Most frequently team members are selected based on their qualifications including past work experience, formal and informal education and the skills that they have acquired. We refer to this as a candidate’s eligibility. For most positions, unless highly technical in nature, one’s Eligibility represents only 50% of the decision and through an eligibility assessment we attempt to determine if the candidate can do the job. The other 50% that must be factored in is whether or not the candidate will do the job and if they will be a good fit within your organization. We refer to that as their suitability and most often we attempt to predict suitability via the interview.

While interviewing candidates to verify eligibility and determine if they will be a good fit, depending upon the skill of the interviewer and the subjective bias that they bring to the experience, predicting suitability is very challenging. It is quite common that people are hired based on their eligibility and then fired based on their lack of suitability. Considering all of the costs related to attracting, recruiting, hiring and training/developing a new employee, it is obvious that any organization focused on profitable, sustainable growth cannot afford to make these kinds of hiring mistakes.

Suitability is much more difficult to assess than eligibility because we have to first determine what suitability factors are important for each job and how each of these factors will impact overall performance. When we look at behavioral competences, work preferences, leadership competencies, motivation, personality, interpersonal skills, etc. it is imperative that they we not only accurately measure these traits but that we also prioritize them for specific job requirements. A highly validated and accurate suitability assessment tool should look at a minimum of 100 traits and should be based on extensive behavioral research.

In addition to providing job specific insights, the assessment questionnaire should be work related, easy to administer and provide validated information based on consistency scoring. You should be able to administer the assessment remotely and have the ability to customize job specific templates (incorporating 25-40 key traits) to meet the needs of your organization. Job specific traits should be prioritized as essential traits, desirable traits and of course traits to avoid so that you can make an intelligent, objective prediction about each qualified candidates suitability.

The Harrison Assessments Talent Solutions System assesses eligibility and suitability to implement an effective Interview component.

Request our FREE Sample of the Harrison Assessment Job Success Analysis

If you’re struggling with recruiting/hiring and want more information, visit  And be on the lookout for our continuing series on Defining Eligibility, Predicting Suitability and developing your Interview Expertise.

Part 4: "Developing Your Interview Skills for Attracting and Assessing Talent" will be featured next Friday, March 30th.

About Jerry Scher

Jerry Scher - Founder and Principal at Peak Focus
Jerry’s known by many names -- business builder, executive, conference speaker, trainer, facilitator, coach, mentor. Regardless of the title, the end result is the same -- making people around him significantly more successful. His ability to diagnose business issues and effectively communicate appropriate solutions, that can be acted upon quickly, truly differentiates him.

About Peak Focus

Peak Focus is the only soft skills training, coaching and publishing group dedicated to helping select entrepreneurs, professionals and business owners create sustainable businesses.