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Hiring for Success – Part 7

With AI, there’s a new math for hiring. It turns out everyone can now be in the top half of the top half. To get there candidates and hiring managers both need to be more discriminating and make wiser decisions. Getting to the top 10% takes a little more effort. For some it’s worth it.

Let’s start climbing.

Step One: don’t make any mistakes. Let’s be frank, those in the bottom half are only there because someone made a bad decision to either offer the wrong person a job or accept a job offer for all of the wrong reasons. Just avoiding mistakes puts those who are hired into the top half, which is a good start. This post on reducing bias shows how hiring managers can eliminate most hiring mistakes. This post shows how candidates can avoid accepting offersfor all of the wrong reasons.

Step Two: Hire people who are self-motivated to do the work you want done. This means everyone you hire will at least be in the top third. Here’s how to define the work you need done.

Step Three: Hire for strong soft skills and fit with the culture and situation especially the hiring manager’s coaching and delegating style. This means everyone you hire will now be in the top 25%.

Step Four: Hire proactive change agents, but you must give them the resources to get the job done. This means everyone you now hire will be in the top 10-15%.

Step Five: Hire potential leaders and get out of their way. This is how you hire the top 5-10%!

Step Six: DON’T SKIP STEPS 1-5!

However, none of these wonderful things are possible until you shift to a performance management approach to hiring. This is the gap you must cross first. Candidates can force the issue by asking this questionat the beginning of the interview. Hiring managers can reverse engineer the same question.

Companies can cross the gap at scale by scoring “7” or above on all of the factors shown in the “Hiring Effectiveness Index” graphic. The most important is the “Job Analysis and Cultural Assessment” since it links all of the other steps into a common framework. This form describes how each factor is calculated.

Be sure to join our Hire with Your Head book clubwhere we’ll show you how to hire people who will wind up in the top 10% or help you be those who get hired. I hope you get to see the view.


Lou Adler is the CEO and founder of Performance-based Hiring Learning Systems – a consulting and training firm helping recruiters and hiring managers around the world hire more leaders. Lou is the author of the Amazon top-10 best-seller, Hire With Your Head (John Wiley & Sons, 4th Edition, 2021), The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired (Workbench Media, 2013) and LinkedIn Learning’s Performance-based Hiring video training program (2016). His new course on LinkedIn Learning – Integrating Performance-based Hiring in into the Performance Management (2023) – in now available. Make sure you check out his Hire with Your Head Book Club for the latest hiring ideas and trends.