If you’ve ever had to decide about a new hire, you know how difficult these choices can be. Picking the right candidate from a short-list can feel like reading tea leaves or trying to predict the future. 

And odds are, the situation is even worse than you think. Multiple studies have shown that the failure rate for new hires hovers around 50%.  

If any other business rate held a failure of 50%, heads would roll! But when it comes to hiring, we continue to use the same decades-old practices that deliver these dismal results. 

Bad Hires Harm the Entire Business 

It’s hard to overstate the impact these bad hires have on the business. Of course, the most obvious impact is the expense of recruiting a replacement when someone quits or gets fired. However, there’s also the broad impacts of putting the wrong person in a position.  

The employee generally underperforms, leading to a direct cut to our profits. Bad hires often create personality conflicts and spur infighting, harming the performance of otherwise good employees. Lastly, we damage morale by making our employees deal with someone who is either unpleasant or bad at their job. 

All in all, it’s estimated that a bad hire can cost you anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000. Now remember that half of all hires are bad hires, and you get a sense of the magnitude of the problem. 

It’s clear we need a better way to hire. But first, we must understand the flaws with our traditional selection processes. 

Why Our Selection Processes Come Up Short  

Traditionally, we base our hiring decisions on interviews, resumes, references, and possibly some work samples. These elements are great at giving us a feel for a candidate. They’re also pretty good at determining whether someone has the necessary skills to perform the required duties.  

What we always miss is whether someone is cognitively and behaviorally wired to excel in the role. Someone may have all the right skills and experience, but if the work doesn’t meet their unique drives and needs, they’re going to fail or underperform. 

Consider basic personality traits and behaviors required for different positions. If you’re hiring for an accountant, you want someone with an affinity for order and structure. They should be comfortable – and ideally content – performing repetitive tasks and spending large portions of the workday alone or working individually. 

If you’re hiring for a sales position, you need the polar opposite. This person should enjoy talking to others and will appreciate variety in their work. 

We might think we can learn these traits from an interview, but we can’t. It’s all too easy for someone to lie about their preferences. Even more likely, the candidate might not even have the self-awareness to know for themselves! 

Another issue is that we might not know what behavioral profile we need for a position. For example, many people assume that the best sales people are big extroverts. If we followed that train of thought, we would have passed on the best salesman we ever hired in 20 years of doing business. It goes to show the “common sense” notions here often lead us astray. 

The good news is that there are scientifically-validated methods to drill down into these cognitive and behavioral dynamics.  

Bringing Science into the Mix 

Here at Qualigence, we work with the Predictive Index to create job targets that describe the ideal cognitive and behavioral profile for a role.  (SEE VIDEO AT THE TOP OF THE ARTICLE)

In a nutshell, a job target measures and compares candidates on a spectrum of four factors: 

1) Dominance – the drive to exert one’s influence on people or events. 

2) Extraversion – the drive for social interaction with other people 

3) Patience – the drive for consistency and stability 

4) Formality – the drive to conform to rules and structure 


We can create job targets by tasking your team with a short set of behavioral and cognitive questions about the job requirements. If you already employ successful individuals in this role, you can have them take a behavioral assessment to generate a target.  

Once you have defined a job target, candidates can take the quiz online in a matter of minutes. The results are forwarded to you, and you can compare the results with the target to assess their fit in the role. 

Furthermore, you receive a detailed write-up of areas where the candidate aligns with the position as well as areas where they may face difficulties. The software handles all the heavy lifting – you get a high-level report summarizing all of their findings with as little or as much detail as you need.


Altogether, these tools offer 60% greater predictive ability in assessing whether a candidate will succeed. It truly is a game-changer. 

In addition to determining whether someone is a good fit for the role, a job target also offers insights on how a new hire will play into your existing team dynamics. Every team is different, but a job target can give you data on how a new member will compliment your existing team…or whether it will lead to conflicts. 

Altogether, these assessments won’t make your hiring decisions for you. However, they will give you reliable data to fall back on. It provides insight that you can’t get from interviewing or resumes and provides a valuable set of data points to guide your decisions. 

Employers Have a Choice…. 

The writing is on the wall. Our current processes for hiring are bad – really bad. Half of all hires fizzle out and leave us back at square one. 

Employers have a choice. We can either keep using the same old broken selection tools – resumes and gut-feel from interviews. Alternatively, we can look to the future and adopt scientifically-validated methods to make better hires. 

What will you choose? 

Click here to take the behavioral assessment for yourself and learn your motivating drives and needs. It takes only 6 minutes and you might be surprised what you learn… 

The right people, empowered to perform.