THE Proof™

You know what THE Right Fit (your hiring formula) looks like, sounds like, and acts like. You’ve designed THE Obstacle Course (the interview process) to get candidates to act authentically over time, through at least three steps. Now you need a way to keep track of how each candidate matches up against each the context points in THE Right Fit and coordinate your hiring team so you can all share your thoughts. At The Hire Effect we call that THE Proof. This will help you make an objective and effective choice in the end.

The most powerful thing about THE Proof is the ability it gives you to Bless and Release. If you Bless and Release, you won’t hire the people that you really like but that you’ve proven don’t fit on your team. It’s no longer you making the choice but the evidence of an ill fit for both you and the candidate. Honestly, how many times have you encountered a candidate, liked them so much and known with a just a little niggling doubt that there was something that didn’t quite fit, and then you hired them anyway?

Just because a candidate doesn’t fit doesn’t make them bad. They were either not experienced enough, had too small of a network to effect what you needed done, or some other thing you could explain away. But you still really like them.

How do you give yourself and your team permission to NOT hire someone you really, really, really like? First, you hold them up against THE Right Fit, observe their behavior closely, and make assessments based on your observations, then you Bless and Release the people who don’t fit, knowing you’ve made a good choice for you AND the candidate.

Assertions (opinions) and Assessments (facts)

Assessments are evaluations, judgments, or opinions about the world. He knows relationship building.

An assertion is a claim about what is observable in the world or facts that you can state about your perspective. Three references we called mentioned how he builds trusting relationships fast.

You and your hiring team need to share some language around this concept of assertion and assessment in order to be effective with THE Proof. Some teams decide to use “fact” and “opinion.” The point is, choose words here and agree to use them consistently. You’ll see in a moment how this plays into THE Proof and choosing the best candidate consistently and effectively. I’ll be going with the classic of assertion and assessment so we can stay on the same page.

Assessments | Plus, Zero, Minus

Remember THE Right Fit? All those context points will come in quite handy here as you make assertions and assessments about each candidate. Take a look at THE Proof example. This is a tool we use for each interaction with a candidate to track each of the hiring team member’s assertions and assessments. Obviously, your context points will be different.

Just to be clear, each time any one of your hiring team engages with a candidate they will use this tool. To the left are the context point reminders—in this case there are fourteen. It’s important to review THE Right Fit definitions for each context point before you start an interview or examine your observations from an assignment. It is so easy to declare that you “know” them and not review them. You can start to lose sight of the shared meaning if you let go of this practice.

The assessments include:

  • Plus: use this assessment when the candidate’s responses and behaviors exhibit a correlation with a context point. (i.e., you see behavior and answers that show this context point is in keeping with the way they really are).
  • Zero: use this assessment when the candidate’s responses and behaviors do not give you any indication of a correlation with a context point. (What do you do if you get a zero? We’ll catch up on that a bit later.)
  • Minus: use this assessment when the candidate’s responses and behaviors exhibit an indication that they are working against a context point (i.e. you see that their behavior is inconsistent with what you want in a particular context point).

Each one of the context points will receive an assessment as the candidate engages with a team member.

The more you and your team practice, read and do things around THE Right Fit, the more you will know it and be able to make consistent team decisions, support your culture, and meet needs you have by making a good hire.

Once you know THE Right Fit you can begin to look for assertions during the interviews. Many of your assertions will be born from watching carefully as your candidates experience assignments. Some of your assertions will come from the verbal responses they give others or whether their words match their actions.

You’ll be recording those assertions on the right hand side as a reminder regarding your assessments. This practice will help you to keep the different candidates straight.