Today I had to visit my former dentist in Perth – an old high school buddy of mine. While in the dental chair but with my mouth still not plugged we went through the normal small-talk flow talking about kids and so pediatric dental services, week-ends, movies and stuff. Finally he asked me what am I doing these days. I gave him my normal elevator (well, in this case rather dental chair) pitch about starting a company just like Fremantle dental clinic that will solve the issue of screening employment candidates while utilizing scientifically valid approach… I expected him to agree with me on the importance of this task for mankind, wish me luck and get on to the drilling, but instead to my astonishment he put the drill back to the tray, took of the face mask and said “seriously? we’ve been using this stuff for years!”. Wow!
Okey, I’m out of the dental chair. Still a bit dizzed and numbed. My first words after rinsing my mouth: “can you show me this stuff”? We go to the back room and he shows me a big pile of papers with some kind of personality test questions. Another big pile: IQ test. Then there is a desktop software that score the results that prints out nice chart with with different traits of a candidate. Pretty slick.
“So” I’m asking “did you use this to hire all your employees?”, and the answer is “Yes”. And he sais the results are amazingly accurate. I’m wondering how does he know that the results are accurate and then he goes on to tell me that in fact he fired all employees that he hired this way for the exact reasons that were predicted by this test at the time of their hiring. My astonishment grows! “So why for crying out loud, you hired them if you knew that they have problems for which they might get fired?!!”. His answer deals me the final blow and all of the sudden everything start making sense again: “Well, that was the best from what was out there…”
I left the office thinking about this anecdotal story and trying to understand whether we are doomed to also only be confined to “the best that is out there”, and my guess and my hope that the answer is “Absolutely NOT”.
By screening early, and widely. By utilizing the power of social media and weighing in on not just one or two, but all factors that make people a great company we will not confine ourselves to only “the best out there”.
And without it – it’s a toothless hiring…