The Good Hire, the Bad Hire, and What's Your Sign? Share:

Steve Williamson, Sr. Project Manager, eRep, Inc.
Monday, May 21, 2018

Back in the day, "What's your sign?" covered a lot of social ground. There were twelve possible answers that, in theory, explained everything you might want to know about a person during a first meeting. There are 7 billion humans inhabiting this planet and their personalities, likes, dislikes, and world views are supposed to be neatly categorized and grouped into twelve tidy descriptors.

Would you hire someone based solely on their astrological sign?

"Sorry, Bob, we can't bring you on board because we already have too many Scorpios on the accounting team. We need to diversify."

The Fun of It All

We needed more than the sign of our birth month. Personality tests came out in magazines, and readers would quiz each other to try and guess each other's results. Most were taken in fun and the results were rarely within the orbit of reality but most people understood that their value was for entertainment purposes only.

The Internet came along and some of the first online apps were short and sweet polls. Back in the 90's it was a common request of web development clients to include a poll on their company website. Some were serious, some were silly, but the method (and madness) remained the same: ask people questions about their opinions and tally the results. It wasn't scientific but it sure was prolific.

The Seriousness of It All

The next evolution took place when the business world threw away the glitter, put on a power tie, and grabbed hold of the personality test and made it Operating Procedure De Rigueur, with accompanying policy and designated chapter in the Employee Handbook. Names like Myers-Briggs and Strengths Finders became required vernacular if you wanted to fit in with all the other cool kids in the Buzzword Boardroom.

Things started to get serious because your test results could determine your employment or promotion, or even your termination. These psychometric assessments, as they were called, were complex, yielded long-form results, and some could require hours to complete. Many needed specialized training to interpret.

The Effectiveness of It All

Today, the psychometric assessment heavy hitters are still around. Despite the weight their names carry in the business world, has anyone asked the real question...

Are psychometric assessments effective at improving employee and operational success?

The use of psychometric assessments are extremely effective during the hiring phase for obvious reasons, but they also play a critical role during performance evaluations and promotion decisions. Without an accurate assessment of the individual, how can you know if that person's innate unchanging nature is aligned with the role's requirements and responsibilities?

Albert Einstein once said, "Everyone is a genius, but one does not berrate the fish for its inability to climb a tree." Without an accurate psychometric assessment like the Core Values Index, you won't know which is which.

When employees are aligned with their role, they become engaged and enthusiastic about their contribution. Engaged employees outperform their co-workers by up to 200%, while disengaged employees can cost up to 3x their annual salary in lost productivity.

The math on that comparison is easy with a clear result: the Core Values Index psychometric assessment pays huge dividends in employee and operational success.

Other questions that need to be asked are:

  • How do you measure the effectiveness of a psychometric assessment program?
  • Which tests are the most accurate?
  • Are they cost-effective, providing the most positive results for the dollar?

The accuracy of psychometric assessments can be measured by their repeat reliability. If someone takes an assessment when they are 25 and again when they are 65, how similar are the results? If the assessment truly measures the innate, unchanging nature of the individual, the results should be 100% the same.

The cost-effectiveness of a psychometric assessment program is easy to measure as well IF the assessment is accurate. The cost is straightforward but the effectiveness depends on how well the assessment program is implemented within the organization. An unused tool is a useless tool, so proper implementation is critical. Using an accurate assessment tool at the very beginning, when you make the best hire possible, is by far the best way to maximize the tool's effectiveness.

Putting the right people into the right seats is the ultimate goal. Why?

Unhappy employees have a cost and happy employees provide a benefit.

The combination doubles up, swinging the profitability pendulum one way or the other. If you use the right psychometric assessment at the appropriate time — during hiring — the benefits will manifest very quickly.

How do you measure the impact of a bad hire? How do you measure the benefit of the right hire? Several studies have shown that an unhappy, disengaged employee can cost the company up to 3x their annual salary in lost productivity. Here's the scary part: up to 70% of workers are unhappy in their role. Do the multiplication and you'll quickly see that's a lot of bad juju.

It's also a lot of opportunity.

For a given organization, without changing anything operationally — the widgets they make or the services they provide — simply hiring the right people can provide huge benefits. We refer again to the industry studies that show a happy and engaged employee can be up to 200% more productive than their coworkers. That's a lot of good juju.

The Implementation of It All

The use of an accurate and cost-effective psychometric assessment program in the hiring and human capital space can truly set an organization apart from the competition.

Which assessment is the most accurate? That's also an easy question to answer:

The Core Values Index has a repeat reliability score (based on longitudinal studies) exceeding 97%. Nothing else even comes close, not even the big names like Myers-Briggs, The DiSC, or Strengths Finders (the closest competitor barely cracks 70% repeat reliability).

Is the Core Values Index cost-effective? Unequivocally, yes. The CVI assessment takes 8 minutes to complete and costs less than $50 per employee for a full report (there is a basic version of the CVI report that is free for individuals).

There is another component to making the most of a Core Values Index assessment program within your organization. It's called the Top Performer Profile™ and we'll cover that in another article.

Stay tuned.

Go to to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.
The Good Hire, the Bad Hire, and What's Your Sign?

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Steve Williamson

Steve Williamson

Innovator/Banker - Sr. Project Manager, eRep, Inc.

Steve has a career in information technology and software development spanning nearly three decades. He is the author of a trilogy of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles, and when he isn't writing he enjoys motorcycle adventure touring and buzzing around the skies in his home-built flight simulator.