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Hire With Your Head: Using Performance-Based Hiring to Build Great Teams Hardcover – June 29, 2007

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Hire With Your Head: Using Performance-Based Hiring to Build Great Teams + The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired: Performance-based Hiring Series + 96 Great Interview Questions to Ask Before You Hire
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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

A superior system for hiring superior people

Any organization is only as strong as its weakest link, and just a few poor performers can adversely affect your entire company. Though there's no foolproof method for hiring the right people, there is a system for minimizing mistakes and consistently recruiting better, more successful candidates.

This up-to-date and fully revised edition of the bestselling Hire With Your Head presents a proven system for hiring superior people, individually or in groups. Written by veteran headhunter Lou Adler, this powerful resource—widely acclaimed by managers and human resources pros—gives you the tools to sidestep potentially costly mistakes by making better judgments on who fits the bill and who doesn't.

Though most managers understand the importance of hiring wisely, many don't know how to do it. In the end, they often choose prospective employees based on gut reactions. While this strategy sometimes works, more often it leaves managers with ineffectual or unmotivated employees who drag the organization down. Decisions based on emotions, biases, personalities, or stereotypes often reveal themselves as bad decisions in hindsight. The key to dodging this pitfall is to train yourself to base all of your hiring decisions on reason, not emotion.

Hire With Your Head introduces you to the Performance-based Hiring system, a methodology designed in response to the needs of top recruits and based on how they actually look for and accept offers. This unique, step-based system involves:

  • Writing compelling job descriptions that emphasize the opportunities and challenges, not just the skills and qualifications required

  • Focusing every aspect of your sourcing—job descriptions, Web copy, phone calls, and all communications—on attracting top people

  • Using the interview process to both assess competency and entice the candidate with a rewarding career opportunity

  • Integrating each step in the hiring process, combining recruiting, interviewing, negotiating, and closing into one smooth process

Hire With Your Head shows you how to focus on candidate performance rather than your own impulses—and it shows you how to use these techniques to recruit and hire individuals or groups with consistency and success.

Fully updated to cover all the recent developments in online hiring and other new technologies—and packed with fresh case studies from leading companies—Hire With Your Head is more practical than ever. Full of invaluable tips and helpful exercises, as well as useful checklists and revealing benchmarks, it's the indispensable, hands-on guide every manager needs to hire the right person every time.

From the Back Cover

Hire with Your Head

Updated with new case studies and more coverage of the impact and importance of the Internet in the hiring process, this indispensable guide has shown tens of thousands of managers and human resources professionals how to find the perfect candidate for any position. Lou Adler's Performance-based Hiring is more powerful than ever!

"We have chosen Performance-based Hiring because it's a comprehensive process, it's behaviorally grounded, managers and recruiters find it easy to use, and it works."
—Marshall Utterson, Director Staffing, AIG Enterprise Services, LLC

"Everyone's looking for the perfect means to make effective hiring decisions. A trained interviewer armed with the right tools is the best solution. Performance-based Hiring is a proven methodology to get these results."
—John Ganley, Vice President and Chief Talent Officer, Quest Software

"Any staffing director that doesn't send all of their people through Performance-based Hiring training is missing out on top talent, plain and simple. This should be the standard throughout the industry."
—Dan Hilbert, Recruiting Manager, Valero Energy Corporation

"Performance-based Hiring has been the most successful recruitment tool that we have added to our organization over the past few years. In fact, these tools have not only produced amazing outcomes—in terms of selecting the best fit in an extremely tight labor market—but with a level of success among our operations customers that I have rarely seen with other HR products."
—Trudy Knoepke-Campbell, Director, Workforce Planning, HealthEast® Care System

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 3 edition (June 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470128356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470128350
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lou Adler ( is the president of The Adler Group (, an international training and consulting firm helping companies implement Performance-based Hiring. He is the Amazon best-seller author of "Hire With Your Head" (John Wiley & Sons, 3rd Edition, 2007), the Nightingale-Conant audio program "Talent Rules! Using Performance-based Hiring to Hire Top Talent" (2007) and "The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired" (Workbench 2013). Adler is a noted recruiting industry expert, international speaker, and columnist for a number of major recruiting and HR organization sites including SHRM, HRPA, SMA, ERE, LinkedIn, Kennedy Information and He holds an MBA from UCLA and a BS in Engineering from Clarkson University.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Schreier on July 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the hottest topics in human resource (HR) management right now is the latest HR Competency Study calling for HR professionals to become "credible activists" and to practice the craft "with an attitude."

Lou Adler and the 3rd edition of his "Hire with Your Head" again proves that he epitomizes both these traits - as he has done for recruiting and selection consistently since the publication of the first edition in 1998.

Reviewing the new edition thoroughly would require noting and commenting on each step of the system. For the sake of brevity - and because it is stated so clearly by Lou Adler himself, "If you want to hire superior people, use a system designed to hire superior people." "Hire with Your Head" lays out the clearly best practices for attracting, selecting, closing, and taking the necessary first steps to retain top performers. In this newest edition, he also outlines both the advantages and disadvantages of the latest technologies in hiring - in a new environment where he correctly advises that the hiring process has significantly changed to most of the power being possessed by outstanding candidates.

The system is fantastic and it works - as Lou Adler demonstrates through dozens of new case studies - and I have had first hand knowledge of the system working with several outstanding organizations - which basically "get it."

And perhaps, this is the greatest strength of the new book. Lou Adler does not hesitate one bit in pointing out that a) the best candidates are different from the rest, b) the hiring systems of most organizations are fundamentally flawed, and c) there are easily almost a dozen correctable problems that prevent organizations from hiring top talent.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By VKS on March 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been in the recruiting for more than 30 years and was amazed at how this book and the principles and techniques it describes have changed the way I conduct my business. Performance-Based hiring has changed my approach in dealing with my clients and has moved me from a position of an order taker to being an integral part of the hiring process. I now function as a partner or consultant in the clients eyes. Not only does it give me more control, but it realy is the right way to hire. The clients get educated and make better hiring decisions. It truly has made a difference in the way I do business as a recruitment professional.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gary V. Lemon on July 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alder's process and advice are a sensible and a relatively easy fix that will help hiring managers find the right people for their open positions. A bonus is that people hired using this process are more likely to stay for a longer time because they will,on average,be more engaged in the company and its work.
I recommend it to all my clients in my workforce development practice. By using Adler's approach a company will find top canidates for positions that many people think will be impossible to fill. In other words, using the Adler process will uncover more and better candidates to choose from. At the same time the process will make the postition more appealing to the candidates. Gary Lemon, President, Great Lakes Business Consulting, Inc. 866-801-4522.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By D. Stuart on June 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Lou Adler distinguishes himself by being a feet-on-the-ground style of HR writer - acknowledging that the business of hiring the right people, and helping them grow successfully into their new role is far from perfect. He's critical of people who make hiring decisions based on gut decisions - the sense of a right fit - and, rather, focuses on a much more (dare I say) scientific approach to the process.

But "Hire With Your Head" isn't lofty theory - this is a pragmatic, systematic focus on the things that matter when making a hire. It develops the commonsense that he set out five years ago in the previous edition of this work. (Hire With Your Head: Using POWER Hiring to Build Great Teams, 2nd Edition.)

What Adler does is suffuse his writing with an added of measure of realism that I seldom see in employment books (other than the still excellent What Color Is Your Parachute? 2007: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers (What Color Is Your Parachute).) Indeed what Bolles did when he first wrote Parachute was get inside the head of the employer and show job-hunters that they simply need to market themselves. Adler takes the same view, fundamentally, and by getting inside the mind both of the hirer and prospect he shows how the dialogue can be much less hit or miss than it often proves.

I'd strongly recommend this for anyone making hiring decisions. It will give you focus and a greater consciousness of what the process is really about. Not many people love either hunting for a job, or interviewing and screening prospects. This book breaks through all that and turns the process (and the critical post-appointment process) into a really constructive and positive journey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Johnston on November 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I originally bought this book as a candidate because I wanted to better understand the recruiter/employer perspective. I found this book very effective in that it explained the reasons and rationale behind recruiting practices I was experiencing as a job seeker. It gave me insight and confidence throughout the whole process: searching, applying, interviewing, reference checks and negotiating the offer. While few companies precisely follow all of the book's recommendations, I regarded this book as a set of 'best practices' that many top organizations appeared to more-or-less emulate.

The book is easy to read, clearly explained and is grounded in not only the author's broad personal experience but also the scientific literature and expert testimony. I found the explanations convincing and insightful.

As a bonus: even though I was motivated to buy as a candidate and I am not in a 'HR' position directly recruiting staff, I have since found many of the book's suggestions very useful in attracting people to my group within my employer's business.
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