5 Keys to Behaviorally Smart Hiring: Don’t rely solely on resumes, concentrate on who the person is

Great resumes can be bought. Behaviors can’t be.

The only way to effectively hire and retain candidates is to ensure you not only fit the right skills to the right job but that you also find the right cultural and behavioral style fit for the role and team.

Validating behavioral intelligence will deepen engagement in each human interaction the candidate will have in the business as part of their performance. A person’s skills will be a moot point if he or she can’t effectively interact with the team and/or customers or if the person is a social butterfly when a task-oriented person is needed.? The process of exploring and validating behavioral intelligence should also uncover life and business decision-making patterns as this could determine whether or not a candidate will be a long-term, loyal, and successful hire.

Happy Candidate in the Right Role

Key 1: Alignment of vision and life direction; engaging head, heart, and talent

Ask questions to discover if the vision and direction the candidate has for his or her life aligns with the vision and direction of the organization. Another important question to investigate is whether the organization can deliver its part to bring a successful outworking of the candidate’s vision and life direction? If the answer is yes, then not only will it be a great hire, but likely a long-term relationship. An individual is less likely to consider leaving when he or she is a part of working towards a shared key goal or milestone.

Key 2: Uncover life and decision making patterns

Understanding how to communicate effectively is the most valuable route to uncovering behaviors, decision making patterns and strengthening engagement. Knowing the communication style of each candidate prior to the hiring interview will enable the interviewing panel to customize their questions to the individual’s communication style.

To be able to effectively uncover life and decision making patterns, it’s important to understand how to communicate and the right questions to ask.Gaining insight into the communication and behavioral style of a candidate will reveal how well the individual/ he or she will fit with colleagues and respond to managers and supervisors.

Key 3: Match behaviors as well as talents to the role–having the skills to do the job isn’t enough

It is best to keep in mind, however, that having the skills to do the job isn’t enough. People want to work with meaning. Jobseekers will apply for positions they feel match their skills, but often the hiring process fails to match both talents and behaviors to the job. Whilst organizations need to secure the talent necessary for the success of the business, matching behaviors, as well as talents to roles, builds foundational blocks for long-term success.

Key 4: Don’t hire yourself

The trap many hiring panels fall into is assuming that a great exchange between candidate and hiring panel translates to best role fit. To avoid this pitfall, the interview panel needs to understand their own individual and collective behavior, communication and decision-making style in advance. This awareness will enable the panel to adapt their communication and interviewing style to the candidates. It is natural to feel more comfortable with communication that mirrors one’s own style. Conversely, it’s also the case that there could be an adverse response to communication styles that do not align.

Key 5: Be known as a champion organization; one that has candidates lining up to get in. Everyone wants to work for a winner.

Be Known as a Champion Organization

Understand and implement each of these 5 keys, and you are more likely to hire effectively and retain top talent. People want to work for an organization that values talent, communicates effectively, and is known not only for its success in business but its inherent ability to know, understand and engage with employees to get the very best out of them/unlock their potential. Having a reputation as an organization that delivers their employees vision, in addition to delivering the vision of the business, will attract top talent.

Key 1: Alignment of vision and life direction; engaging head, heart, and talent.

Key 2: Uncover life and decision making patterns.

Key 3: Match behaviors as well as talents to the role; having the skills to do the job isn’t enough.

Key 4: Don’t hire yourself

Key 5: Be known as a champion organization; one that has candidates lining up to get in. Everyone wants to for a winner.

There’s no such thing as the perfect candidate. Look for candidates who can perform at the job with a bit of training and practice but have a communication and behavioral style that’s the best fit for your current team dynamics.

Remember: Great resumes can be bought. Behaviors cannot be.

Carol Pocklington

Carol Pocklington

Carol Pocklington - Chief Insights Accelerator

Carol is a Human Performance Accelerator. She has worked with Hugh Massie since 2001 since the Financial DNA understanding concept was conceived. She works with people and businesses worldwide. Her real-world application of behavioural insights, gives her the capability to serve as a business strategist, coach, mentor, and trainer. She is also a prolific blogger, a public speaker and author, specializing in human behavioural insights.


Carol's DNA Natural Behavior Style is - Facilitator


Carol is a Facilitator. Facilitators are persistent, goal-oriented people who promote team effort in order to complete tasks. Facilitators lead by setting examples and by achieving goals. Their strong work ethic encourages others to excel and they have an excellent ability to deal calmly yet firmly with people using a facilitative style.

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