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Customer Review

76 of 123 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money - get "Hire With Your Head" instead., November 20, 2008
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This review is from: Who (Hardcover)
Within the hiring world, there is a split:
* Interviews can predict great hires,
* Assessments (like IQ tests) can predict great hires.

This book is all about longer and more complex interviewing.

The book focuses on hiring CEOs and top management, so remember that when looking at this book.

This book is useless for hiring college grads, IT professionals (Software Developers, Project Managers or Business Analysts). In fact, as I specialize in hiring tech people, I find this system goes against best practices for hiring technical people in any field as the book focuses on interviewing direct reports (people the candidate manages).

The main problem that I had was the that the book (nor the website) provided their research for review. Interviewing as the main stay of hiring has been PROVEN to be the WORST predictor of hiring success. However, this book suggest the main solution is to do more stringent interviewing.

The book supports three questionable interviewing techniques. The first is to THREATEN the candidate. The books suggest that the interviewer use phrases like, "WHEN I speak with your last boss, what will they tell me your strengths are." The author suggest that the use of "WHEN" lets the candidate know you will be speaking with their past manager. This, and other suggestions, seems a little heavy handed.

Then their is a lack of transparency in this hiring process. This system is quite manipulative and an experienced candidate could be turned off. One technique is to get the candidate to agree to the compensation early in the process. Any shewed candidate that wants to hold off salary negotiations until they know enough about the position, is toss out. In fact, the book authors brag about only hiring one person in 500 (at their web site) This is NOT a useful metric.

More bothersome is the suggestion that the interviewer find out about the candidate's spouse. This can be all sorts of illegal as martial status can be grounds for discrimination law suits. The book suggest that the candidate's spouse, and family, must be sold the job as well. While I agree that a candidate may decline an offer if their spouse objects to moving, a company needs to be VERY careful how they ask this question. "Would you and your family be comfortable with moving?" would be a much better way to ask this question. If the book's advice is followed, an inexperienced HR manager may ask, "would your SPOUSE be comfortable with relocation?" This is all kinds of bad.

The author's website says they have only a 97% client satisfaction rate. That is not all that good given the author's suggestion of the success of their technique.

To end on a positive note, ...
There is research that suggests that interviewing is only 50% predictive in hiring. That is, you could flip a coin and do as well as if you interviewed a candidate and chose. I am of this camp, I am a believer in cognitive assessments. But, if you are going to use interviews as your main screening method, I suggest "Hire With Your Head". A much better system.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 15, 2012 10:26:11 PM PDT
A quote from the book:

"To test our observations and to glean new ones, we engaged Dr. Steven N. Kaplan and his team of finance wizards at the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago to conduct the largest-ever statistical study of its kind to help understand what types of candidates are successful performers and which are not. Kaplan and his team spent the better part of two years sifting through data we had gathered on over three hundred CEOs to discover some surprising insights.

Books reference research they don't regurgitate it. The above quote tells me that this is a research based methodology. I believe if you could find the research done by Dr. Kaplan at the University of Chicago if you wanted to.

And in regards to the 97% satisfaction rate, hiring is as we all know an imperfect art and science. How many companies do you know that make great hiring decisions 97% of the time? I can't think of ANY. Thus in a world full of lesser talent and bad fits that get positions every day, I believe that if there is a methodology out there that helps companies be satisfied with their hiring 97% of the time, that is amazingly good.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2014 6:37:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2014 6:40:24 PM PST
I know the above comment is 2 years old but I think my response will help other readers.

I think Simone misunderstands the original commentator's (OC) complaint. He states that the 97% success rate isn't a good indicator because the author's system only selects 1 person out of 500 applicants. I agree with the OC- sounds like a bad system. If I created a system that picked 1 person out of 500 applicants, I'm sure the client would be happy too.

Posted on Feb 23, 2016 1:56:58 PM PST
Charles says:
This is bang on. I wouldn't ever let a lowly recruiter run me like this- let along interview my subordinates.

second, IF this book is only geared toward CXO class job hunters where can the author can get 500 candidates (assume other ceo's) applying for this 1 ceo role. Is total BS or his system doesn't work- imagine the time to screen 500 on paper qualified candidates- going by the books numbers this would mean;

166 hours or 20 8hr days just interviewing. Forget the actual set up of having strong candidates lining up 8, 830, 9, 9:30, 10, 1030 etc. Total bs. AND this would only be the initial screen telephone, times this by 3 plus interviews.
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