Did You Pick the Right Candidate?

Oct 4, 2019 11:42:35 AM / by Molly Alton Mullins

Handsup I love my job. I am one of those people who lives to work, and who loves interacting with clients, pitching new business, you name it. Every day at SEVEN12 Management is a little bit different than the previous, and I thrive in that kind of constant activity. However, if you ask me what my least favorite part of my job is, I can answer you without hesitation: I HATE hiring employees. I hate writing a job description, trying to find a good candidate, interviewing them, I could go on. But I know it’s a necessary evil because our company does not exist without quality staff running it. So how do I make interviewing less painful? I pay for tools that help streamline the process to ensure that once I offer a position, I know I’ve selected the best person for the job.

Predicting” The Right Decision

Back in 2017, SEVEN12 Management partnered with Predictive Index (PI), a psychometric testing company whose mission is to understand people—specifically what drives their behavior at work. Every time SEVEN12 is looking for a new employee, the first step is to draft our job description and feed it into the PI system. From there, we receive a detailed profile on the type of candidate we are looking for – long before the first interview ever takes place.

Understanding Your Company’s Reference Profiles

Predictive Index has 17 major reference profiles to identify work personalities and strengths and weaknesses related to specific skill sets. Their methodology quantifies people’s behavioral drives related to four areas: 1) Dominance: The drive to exert one’s influence on people or events; 2) Extraversion: The drive for social interaction with other people; 3) Patience: The drive for consistency and stability; and 4) Formality: The drive to conform to rules and structure. At SEVEN12, we assess each employee (even retroactively for those who have been with us for 20+ years) and have virtually every type of PI profile on staff, which I find surprising. So, we are either all unique and bring an interesting perspective to our job function or we must work extra hard to respect our nuances.17 Reference Profiles-1The goal, however, is to ensure the persona of a certain position matches the candidate you are interviewing. Once we advertise a position and start receiving resumes, the first thing we do is send qualified candidates a link to take the PI. It’s only two questions (and takes about five minutes) but it really helps weed out candidates who, while they might be incredibly talented, simply aren’t the right fit for the position.

Culture is Key

I love data and believe that tools like the PI are life-changing to employers. But, I will never underestimate the importance of a potential employee buying into your company’s culture as the “make or break” for long term success. I will be honest; SEVEN12 is not an easy place to work. We are busy, all the time. We have a busy travel schedule. We do not miss deadlines. We do not fail our clients. And for some, that can be daunting. But we also close the office at 3 pm in the summer on Fridays. We have lots of happy hours together. We bring our dogs to work. We have a unique culture. And if you like it, you will thrive here. But we must be honest about expectations. And if that isn’t someone’s particular brand of vodka (I prefer Tito's), I totally get it. Don’t work here.

Sometimes, You Fail

source-1I would be lying if I said I haven’t hired a "Flawless Employee" to have them quit or be fired in less than a year. They can have a perfect PI, want the job, love the salary and culture, yet simply not work out. That’s just how it happens sometimes. I believe it is crucial that once you realize it isn’t working, you have to provide tools to help rectify the problem, as soon as humanly possible. PI has profiling situations where you can match two employees who are having difficulty and receive guidelines on how they can better work together and build the efficiency of their teams. That can be helpful to see where your employee teams lie in terms of conflict and how you can reorganize to help manage personality conflict and strife.

But sometimes, it just doesn't work, despite every HR tool at your disposable and having all your ducks in a row. That’s all part of learning process because, at the end of the day, we are all people and somewhat unpredictable. Regardless, you hope the employees that don’t work out are able to contribute something to the company during the time they were there and that you both learned something from it. Sometimes that is all you can hope for because tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to wow our clients.

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Topics: Association Management, Human Resources

Molly Alton Mullins

Written by Molly Alton Mullins

Molly Alton Mullins is CEO and Chief Strategist of SEVEN12 Management, a full service, management company whose sole mission is to help member organization clients improve their company’s bottom lines. Molly loves the Washington Capitals, spending time with family and friends, and is working toward hiking every national park in the U.S. She can be reached at