Assessments can reduce failed hires — and technology is available to help

By Mary Marcus
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/03/2005

Mr. Jones was very excited about Mark, the new customer service representative who was starting Monday. Mark had interviewed well, demonstrated incredible enthusiasm, and his references were glowing. At last, they had found someone who could potentially move up to the supervisor role that would be available in two years.

But six months in, Mr. Jones is beginning to seriously question his ability to judge character. Not only is Mark not a candidate for the supervisor role, he is on the verge of being terminated for poor performance. Why didn’t he catch this in the interview?

This scenario is more common than most of us would like to admit. According to HR academic John Sullivan, professor of management at San Francisco State University, research shows that as many as 20 to 50 per cent of new hires fail to live up to the expectations of their employer. Many of these individuals either end up leaving the organization voluntarily or are fired. If this problem is plaguing your organization, you may be asking what can be done to improve the selection process.