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Would You Hire OJ?

That's a trick question... The real question is whether your interviewing process is so weak that you're actually evaluating candidates in roughly the same way Chris Darden decided to prove to the world that OJ did it - by having him try on a crusty, half-frozen glove that was bound to prove nothing either way....

--Look!  The glove fits!  It was him! (Interview equivalent - the hiring manager asked the candidate some questions.  She sounded good, looked the part.  Let's hire her!!) Would You Hire OJ- small tile

--Whoops.. The glove didn't fit.  Can we blame it on the LAPD? (Interview equivalent:  Hiring manager: "I just didn't like her".  You: "Why not?"  Hiring manager: "I just didn't get the sense that she'd be a fit for the team"...)

Gut feel and fit in your hiring process.  It's like asking the candidate to try on a glove.  Whether it fits or not, you really have no clue whether the candidate can do the job in question, because the hiring process at your company likely falls into one of three scenarios:

Scenario #1: The Wild, Wild West.  If your company is in this camp, you locate some candidates who look like they fit what you need, then forward them on to hiring managers who haven’t been extensively trained to interview. The hiring managers interview whoever they want, ask whatever questions they want, then make the call on whom to hire.  Good luck and God bless.

Scenario #2:  The Good Intentioned Train Wreck.  This scenario has great intentions, but poor execution.  You’ve spent time training managers on how to interview with a great system like behavioral interviewing or Topgrading, maybe even provided some standardized questions for them to use, but the training was a one-time event.  There’s not enough time or resources in your organization for you to reengage your managers periodically to ensure they’re effective at using the tools you’ve given them.  You feel better about what you’ve done, but late at night, you still assume many hiring decisions are a train wreck.  You’re probably right.

Scenario #3: Command and Control. Your company understands the risk that scenarios #1 and #2 present and has moved to minimize that risk by introducing common assessments like the DISC or Myers-Briggs and requiring multiple interviewers compare notes on candidates before a hiring decision is made.  As a result of the due diligence, you make fewer mistakes, but the interviewing and hiring process is still far from scientific.  You still miss.

So what can you do?  I've never been a huge fan of assessments, but I got exposed to one in the last six months that I really, really like.  We're rebranding it at my current company (Kinetix) and calling it Talent DNA.  It's got some cool stuff, measuring capabilites of candidates in some interesting areas like cognitive processing speed, rules orientation and a faking good index, then matching the capabilities of a candidate next to what's required in the role in question.

We did a related whitepaper on the tool at Kinetix called... wait for it....Would you Hire OJ?  It's interesting stuff, so if you want to read more, go get the whitepaper here (registration required).  Not a sales pitch, just interesting reading related to a blind spot almost every company in the world has.  I wrote it, so if you like what you get here, you'll like the whitepaper...

If you find registration for content personally appalling, I don't even know who you are anymore.... Just kidding, just email me or hit me in the comments if you're hiding from the authorities and are naturally suspicious, and I'll send you the PDF...


Joel Kimball

This right here? CLASSIC KD! Well done, Brother Dunn. As with all good-great ideas, I'm stealing your whitepaper - thanks for the link!

And - just for the record - hell NO. We would not even interview Orinthal James!



I think many companies have been in all 3 categories at one time or another. Especially if they are working off of referrals. They give them a shot because of the ties & keep them around for the same reason when they are not working out. You also see this a lot in the local government system- current employees getting hired for a job in another department because they got extra points for already being employed with them. They could have no background for the new role- they just get the job because they already had both feet in a door down the hall.


Hi Kris, is committed to uphold the quality standards of blogging. We strive to maintain and promote only the most credible blogs in their respective fields.

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