Recruiting Myth #6: I Know Right Away if Someone Will be a Good Employee

Illustration by Dreamstime
Illustration by Dreamstime

Editor’s Note: Humetrics CEO Mel Kleiman has been helping employers standardize and systemize the way they recruit, select, and retain frontline hourly employees/managers for over 30 years. He knows what works — and what doesn’t. This is the sixth of his “Recruiting Myths.”

By Mel Kleiman

Psychologists assert that most people make a hiring decision within 14 seconds of meeting a job applicant while a study out of Michigan State (Testing as a Predictor of Training Success and Job Performance, Dr. John E. Hunter, 1969) found that: “The interview, when used alone, is, on average, only about 8 percent more effective than flipping a coin.”

Why are so many hiring decisions based on fleeting first impressions and gut-instinct interviews, when the actual best predictors of success on the job are:

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Best predictors of success on the job

  • Testing — 53 percent;
  • Temporary job assignment — 44 percent;
  • Reference check — 26 percent;
  • Experience — 18 percent;
  • Interview — 14 percent;
  • Academic achievement — 11 percent; and,
  • Age — 1 percent

There are all kinds of tests on the market that can help you screen in the best and screen out the rest. There are tests for attitudes, personality, intelligence, and honesty to name a few. You can also create your own tests for capacities and skills and ask attitude and personality questions in the interview.

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog. His last Recruiting Myth was “It’s All About the Money.”

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at


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