Only 11% of candidates are terminated due to lack of skill according to Mark Murphy, author of Hiring for Attitude. He also found that 89% are fired for their attitude – things like their motivation and communication skills.

While this data is fascinating, we need to keep in mind that candidates are thoroughly screened for skills and abilities when they’re hired. Determining if someone is capable of performing the functional parts of a job is the easy part. Determining if they can or will implement those skills is much more complicated.

Recently, I’ve witnessed a resurgence of the cliche, “hire for attitude and train for skill.” I find this to be far too simplistic. In certain jobs, skills are critical components to success. Most teams don’t have the expertise or the time to properly teach new hires, brand new skills alongside typical training.

Let’s get to the point: focusing on one area of a candidate interview is pointless. People aren’t one-dimensional and jobs shouldn’t be either. It’s impossible for the candidate interviewing process to be successful 100% of the time because human beings are multi-faceted by design.

Why most job descriptions suck

A majority of job descriptions out there look extremely similar to each other. There’s a summary of the position at the top, a number of responsibilities followed by skills, education, and certification relevant to the position. While this is standard fare, there seems to be one glaring omission: the deliverables. Very few job descriptions address specific key performance indicators (KPIs).

KPIs show how the position in question supports the bigger picture of an organization. To be effective, KPIs follow the SMART method:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Results-Focused
  • Time-Bound

Recruiting candidates who have and are able to accomplish specific goals is very different from recruiting based on a set of skills. Job descriptions take on a new meaning when using quantifiable objectives instead of just a set of requirements.

Breaking down the core 4

Once the job description is looked at from a results perspective, the same must be true for the candidate. As I mentioned previously, people are multidimensional. The questions that we ask our candidates should be as well. Use the Core 4 Methodology to curate your results based interview.

Core 4 Production

  • Objective: What objectives have the candidate fulfilled that align with the objective defined by your job description?
  • Outcome: Were the outcomes of these objectives successful?
  • Obstacles: What’s the main obstacle a candidate will face in the role you’re recruiting for?
  • Outlook: What similar obstacles have the candidate experience and what processes have they used to address them? In addition, how would they address a similar situation today?

Core 4 Profile

  • Capacity: Does the candidate have the skills for the role?
  • Character: Has the candidate shown they’ll do the job with honesty and integrity?
  • Competency: Does the candidate possess the competencies or behaviors required for the role?
  • Culture: What values does the candidate possess and do they fall in line with the companies beliefs?

Core 4 Personal

  • Pain: What does the candidate experience in their current role that they want to change?
  • Pleasure: What does the candidate have in their current role that they would want to stay the same?
  • Pursuit: What does the candidate currently not have that they need in order to be happy in this role?
  • Personal: What personal circumstances does the candidate need accommodations for?

Following the Core 4 Methodology is critical to better understanding every aspect of your candidates. Results based interviews increase the success of each interview exponentially. Although nothing is guaranteed, it’s about increasing the odds of success. How do your odds stack up today?


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