Why waste money on turkeys?

It is quite irresponsible to publish, in Dr John Sullivan’s article, ‘How many turkeys do you hire?’ (Human Resources 25 February 2004), the fallacy that some percentage of new hires will be mistakes

It is quite irresponsible to publish, in Dr John Sullivan’s article, ‘How many turkeys do you hire?’ (Human Resources 25 February 2004), the fallacy that some percentage of new hires will be mistakes. World best practice instruments enable every selector to identify, appoint, and place the ‘right candidate in the right job’ every time. World best practice selection instruments answer Dr John Sullivan’s key issues of:

• ‘Interviews are inherently misleading’ with a description and a simple analysis of the candidate’s culture that clearly identifies the difference between what the candidate says at interview, how the candidate ‘talks’ the job, and how the candidate will actually ‘walk’ the job or position.

• ‘Assess cultural fit’ by quantitatively measuring the: culture for high performance in the job or position; culture of the candidate in the job, or position; ‘cultural fit’, the cultural difference between the culture for high performance in the position and that of the candidate.

• ‘Assess the candidate’s ability to work in a team with others’ with a description of the culture of the candidate in the position, plus the quantitative measurement of the cultural fit of the candidate in the position

• ‘Focus on the future’ with a description, plus a simple analysis of the culture of the candidate in the position, which identifies whether or not the candidate focuses on the future

• ‘Avoid the nervousness of interviews and hold a professional conversation’ backed by a description and a simple analysis of the candidate’s culture, that clearly identifies the difference between how the candidate ‘talks’ the job at interview, and how the candidate will actually ‘walk’ the job

• ‘Don’t rely on references’ – World best practice selection instruments place minimal reliance on past references.

Your article ends with the note that in part 2 Human Resources looks at some advanced tools for reducing bad hires.

Advising our clients on worlds best practice in selection instruments, instruments that provide accurate answers to Dr John Sullivan issues, is our business. I hope the tools you describe in part 2 will also be at least world’s best practice, and also provide accurate answers to all of Dr John Sullivan’s issues.

Why waste money on turkeys?

Harry Wolfe, director, Management Dynamics International

Human Resources gave Dr John Sullivan the opportunity to respond to Dr Wolfes letter:

I like when vendors measure the success of their products and services, even if their viewpoint is biased. However, what most disturbs me is when vendors boast 100 per cent accuracy. No system ever developed has proven scientifically that it produces the right result 100 per cent of the time. There is always a probability of error.

Despite the boasts of any vendor, the success rate of hiring is never 100 per cent. The interview alone adds an error rate that is unavoidable because candidates don’t ever tell the truth 100 per cent of the time. Measuring a firm’s culture is also fraught with errors because a firm’s culture is full of local variations and largely dependent of the viewpoint/perceptions of the person assessing the culture.

Add to all of these issues the fact that job descriptions rarely provide accurate information about 100 per cent of the job responsibilities for a position and you further increase the probability of error in the process. Assessments can prove successful in decreasing the probability of error in some jobs, however boasts of 100 per cent make me laugh.

John Sullivan, professor and head of San Francisco State Universitys HR program

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