Recruiting & Hiring icon
Recruiting & Hiring

5 questions to ask before your next hire

illustration of woman guiding a man and a woman as they prop up a giant clipboard with 5 steps depicted on it

Topics covered in this article

“Don’t throw good money after bad,” the old saying goes.
Well, that applies to hiring decisions, too. 

Bad hiring decisions cost money. Everyone knows that. But the most tragic loss for your company may be the time and energy your good employees waste trying to salvage someone who is simply not the right fit for the job.  

A recent study by Robert Half found that firms average 17 weeks working to fix hiring mistakes. They found that bad hires wasted time, increased stress on teams and managers, and reduced confidence in management.

To reduce the incidence of bad hires you need to find out how your candidates think, how they’ll behave in the workplace day-to-day and what they’re passionate about—before you hire them. And once hired, you need to show your new employees you have a plan for their future development. 

old tools, new urgency

Pre-hire assessments have been around for a long time. But the urgency for employers to use them now is growing. Hires that don’t work out just cause too much damage. Assessments can help you answer these five critical hiring questions:


Does the person fit the job?

Sounds obvious, right? But many hiring managers never seem to ask the question.

Assessments can keep you focused on what skills are actually required to succeed in the job, before you even consider anything else. Managers often hire people because they’re hard workers. This energy is useless if their aptitudes and interests don’t match the job.

Total-person or job fit assessments like PXT Select™ can help you find out how well a prospective employee could fill a particular job. Job fit assessments are designed to uncover key job performance indicators like thinking styles, behavioral traits, interests and aptitudes.

Are you maintaining your objectivity?

The emphasis on networking today has created an “it’s not what you know but who you know” mentality when it comes to hiring.

Networking is important, but far too many people get jobs because they know someone in the company. When job candidates are given priority because of their connections, hiring managers are often less strict about their actual skills and experience. Assessments help you remain objective and unbiased. 

A desire to hire a friend or acquaintance is never an excuse to rush through the hiring process. An assessment gives everyone an objective analysis of the person’s knowledge and behavior styles. The candidate also benefits by being spared the experience of a job that’s not right for them.

Are you aligning talents with business needs?

Every company has unique human capital needs. Hiring managers need to know which skills will contribute most to their company’s success. Business needs should always be the foundation of the hiring process.

Assessments help managers eliminate candidates who don’t have the skills the company needs. When a manager hires a candidate because of perceived potential and not core skills, the company is put at risk. Potential may be great, but the core skills your company needs to grow are what’s more important.

Are you measuring hard skills?

Skills should be the foundation of the hiring process. But how do you measure whether or not a prospective employee has those skills? Any candidate can put a skill on their resume, but that doesn’t prove expertise.

A skills assessment can measure specific skill sets. If a candidate doesn’t have the necessary skills to do a job, there’s no need to waste time and money measuring job fit and personality traits.

What’s your development and retention plan?

Once you’ve hired people with the core skills you need, personality assessments like PXT Select or Everything DiSC Workplace can help you develop them. 

Every employee has strengths and weaknesses. Assessments can help you identify both. So you not only help your employees overcome their weak areas, but also find ways to put their strengths to work for your company. They may not even know what they’re really good at!

Used wisely, assessments can be one of your best hiring tools. They move candidates along the hiring process based on skills and job fit — the two most important factors for employee success.

You’re still going to make mistakes in hiring. But assessments can be an important tool for identifying qualified candidates who, as employees, can help your organization grow and succeed.

Originally posted on Workplace 101 by Diamond Richardson on Nov. 2012. Updated and edited by Kristeen Bullwinkle, March 2018 and Michael M Davis, February, 2020.