Don’t forget the “connection” factor in hiring an individual, but don’t solely base your hiring decision upon that connection.
Interviews pick up about 20% of the understanding of an individual. In an interview, all individuals are in “role style,” thinking about their impact upon the other person or persons. What is harder to get it is the individual’s “operating style,” what one is like when focused upon a problem or situation and not thinking about the impact.
To get at “operating style,” the use of psychological assessments is extremely important. While there is error in any set of measures, using a battery increases the accuracy of conclusions. Careful interviewing along with assessments that do not indicate “correct” answers can hels to validate as well as to understand how and why an individual’s behavior may be different from what might be predicted.
In this day and age, hiring managers cannot rely on recommendations as many past employers are worried about being open and honest, given potential legal action that might result. Having a valid method to ascertain an individual’s real strengths and weaknesses is extremely important.
That being said, if a hiring manager does not feel a good level of rapport with a candidate, it isn’t worthwhile paying for an assessment process. Even if one can’t put one’s finger on why there is a lack of connection, in my experience in over 1500 prehire assessments, that candidate will not work out. A good fit with the hiring manager to begin with is an important piece of the puzzle. In the prehire process, I want to only see those individuals who pass the “rapport” test. Whatever it is that gets in the way of that connection will cause difficulty later on.
The flip side is that some individuals can size up the hiring manager or other interviewers and make a good impression, but may not really have the strengths for the position. Connection and getting at operating style are both important in the hiring process.