Happy Halloween from Purpose HQ!


I love the spookiness of this time of year. The ghosts and ghouls come out to play. Who doesn’t love a good horror story? However, even the scariest haunts can’t top the hiring horror stories HR professionals know.

We’ve all heard the tales lurking in human resources—the legendary account of the old sales lead or marketing manager who woefully exaggerated their experience or almost set fire to the office. Spectators cringe and gasp, but it is up to companies and hiring managers to create a hiring process that will avoid any more of these HR spooks. 

There are four necessary steps to creating a fool-proof hiring process to make a manager’s life easy.
  • Job Target
  • Assess
  • Trait Based Questions
  • Employee Onboarding


Job Target

The first step in avoiding a hiring horror story starts before the hiring manager even posts the position. Sure we are accustomed to the same old job description outlining the tasks needed for the role -but how often we think about the behavior traits required to succeed in a position?

Involved parties such as a direct manager and HR must determine what skills, cognitive abilities, and desired behaviors an employee will need to succeed. Getting the manager and HR on the same page as needed eliminates any confusion into what skills and behaviors are required. Once key players have come to a consensus, they must turn the information into a target. This pre-work ensures that hiring managers interview only qualified candidates in both experience and behavior.



Once a target has been established – a pre-hire assessment is essential to compare to that target. The evaluation can be an industry-standard like Predictive Index or something unusual like playing a video game. For example, a friend relayed that he would ask prospective software developers to solve Fizz Buzz Buzz’s coding challenge. If they were unable to, he knew that the candidate was not a good fit.  

How you assess is entirely up to you and the job target created. For instance, if you are hiring a candidate required to quickly absorb a lot of information, assessing their cognitive abilities. On the other hand, if you’re hiring a customer service manager – you might want to evaluate a candidate’s emotional intelligence. We call this the Head, Heart, and Briefcase method of hiring. Data provided by cognitive, behavioral, and EQ assessments are essential to ensuring your new employee has the characteristics needed to succeed in their new job. 


Trait Based Questions

 Nothing puts off a prospective new hire than a poorly conducted interview. Once the assessment data is collected and compared to the ideal job target, you can create trait-based questions to determine if the candidate can operate within the job target. Having a framework and process for interviewing candidates ensures that you obtain the information you need to make an informed decision. 


Employee Onboarding 

Think about the times that you have started a new job. What made integrating into your new role a breeze? What made it difficult? The chances are that you seamlessly integrated into your new company by going through a defined onboarding process. Nothing is worse than starting a new job drowning the deep end without having the tools to make your transition more comfortable and successful. 


HR walks a tightrope supporting employees but also the business.We know it can be a scary world for HR pros, but at least you know whatever horrors come your way—you’re not alone! Contact Purpose HQ to learn more about implementing a hiring process to avoid any more horror stories at your company. 


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