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Would You Hire This Person?

Suppose you’re CEO, leader, or decision maker in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) company with an opening that requires a great deal of mathematical prowess and research capability. A clean cut 26 year old put in an application and made it through the interview round but honestly … was just averagein the interview. He seemed to be extraordinarily bright, however, and a glance at his resume proves that point. The position will be doing research and complex computations anyway so social skills aren’t high on the priority list. This candidate:


  • Graduated Harvard at age 20 (he skipped 6th grade).
  • Enrolled at the University of Michigan after graduating Harvard and earned a PhD in Mathematics, specializing in a branch of complex analysis known as geometric function theory.
  • Was described by professors as “very focused” with a “drive to discover mathematical truth.”
  • Wrote his doctoral thesis by solving a mathematical problem so complex his professors could barely understand it.
  • Won the University’s “best mathematical doctoral thesis” of the year.
  • Held a National Science Foundation fellowship while a graduate student.
  • Taught undergraduate students for three years.
  • Was published six times in various mathematical journals.
  • Became an assistant professor at UC Berkeley, teaching geometry and calculus (held the distinction of being the youngest professor ever).

When asked why he is interested in leaving academia and going to work in private industry, his reply is, “I’m just ready to do something else. I’m not all that comfortable in front of a classroom and I like doing research more than public speaking.” The position will rarely, if ever, have to do any public speaking. References check out very well.

Would you hire this person?

  • Education is A++
  • Work history is A+
  • Proficiency is A++
  • Accomplishments are A++++
  • Interview was a B-
  • References are good though no one understands why he’s leaving, so B
  • First impression is a B+ or even an A-
  • Credentials are A++

Would you hire this person?

If not, why? On what basis would you pass? What in his background, his accomplishments, his education or training, would make you say no? His intelligence, his mathematical abilities, his research capacity are all off the charts and that’s what you need. He seems like the perfect candidate and will surely be the perfect employee … kinda quiet, super-smart, loves research and mathematics.

Too many people put all the emphasis on the good old, traditional resume/interview/background check process and make hiring decisions without using a VALIDATED assessment of the employee’s behavioral tendencies, motivations and de-motivations, emotional intelligence, acumen, or core competencies. Given the ease of administering these assessments and their extraordinary validity, it’s difficult to understand why they’re overlooked so frequently. Perhaps it’s because they aren’t fully understood. Perhaps it’s because they believe a MAGIC QUESTION they pose in the interview will reveal all they need to know (psst … job candidates know those questions too and have practiced for them).

Let’s move beyond 1970’s thinking and examine the core person because who you hire has more to do with the success of your organization than anything else – more than your products, your patents, your service, your copyrights, your technology, your strategies, or your exclusive agreements.

Competitors can copy your products, but they can’t copy your hiring and retaining of your talent.” ~ Carlos Brito, CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev

Behavioral Tendencies

These will tell you how a job candidate will handle stress, what their behavioral style may be, and how they take in and process information, how they handle people and the pace of work, and any potential power struggle issues. Though there are four main styles, there are intensities among each of them that could yield as many as one hundred million different variations (100^4). Remember that the next time someone says there are 16 different types of personalities. Before you get too worried about mountains of data, we simplify it to 384 behavioral styles. Let’s see, 384 vs 16 … which do you think is more accurate?


These tell you what motivations are behind many of those behavioral tendencies. Is a person motivated by learning, by a return on their investment, by power, by harmony, by traditions, or by doing good socially. The six motivators add hundreds of variations and nuances not found in any other assessment.

Emotional Intelligence

How well does the candidate know his/her own emotions and the effect they could have on others? How well can the candidate self-regulate any negative emotions? Does the candidate remain motivated in the absence of money or prestige? How well does the candidate empathize with others? How well does he/she build networks?


What is the candidate’s understanding of their own performance? How strong is their situational awareness? What is their capacity for solving internal and external problems? What is their “reaction index” — their ability to appear in rational control and in conscious command of themselves when faced with a crisis? How well will they handle and solve business problems?

Core Competencies

We measure 25 different core business competencies … everything from Customer Focus to Flexibility to Written Communication Skills to Personal Accountability. Wouldn’t you like to know if you have a salesperson who has negotiation skills? How about the bedside manner of a nurse? Would you like to know if an employee has freedom from prejudices before an issue arises?

Hiring without a VALIDATED assessment is a shot in the dark

Don’t forego the interview, the resume review, or the reference checks. Don’t ignore past accomplishments, education, or training classes. Don’t ignore a job candidate’s experience, and don’t rely on your gut instinct (past thinking and experiences). But don’t solely rely on those metrics either. Always add a recently validated assessment product that gives you the full picture of your job candidate … or of an existing employee you’re considering for promotion or development.

Would you hire this person?

Oh, and the job candidate mentioned at the beginning of this article? That was Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, who mailed 16 bombs to various targets, injuring 23 people and killing three.

Based solely on his accomplishments (the new hiring buzzword), references, work history, and education, I believe that 95 out of 100 hiring managers would’ve given him a job offer … including me.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia


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Certified as a Professional Behavioral, Motivators, and Emotional Intelligence Analyst, Ron Haynes specializes in using the science of TTI’s TriMetrix HD to help companies select and develop their top talent, create job benchmark solutions, and implement succession planning.

He has recently developed an auditing process to help organizations more accurately calculate true cost of employee turnover. It’s staggeringly higher than you think.

Need a solution to your employee challenges? Contact him at or at 870-761-7881.