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Selecting High Performers

"Interviewing and Selecting High Performers: Every Manager's Guide to Effective Interviewing Techniques" Review

“Interviewing and Selecting High Performers: Every Manager’s Guide to Effective Interviewing Techniques” by Richard H. Beatty.  

(John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)

Richard Beatty heads his own human resources consulting firm.

How would you like to be able to give every candidate a numeric grade on every interview?  Would a tool like that be valuable to you in selecting the best performers?  Absolutely.

In his book, Richard Beatty discusses the relationship of people in your organization to profits (a wonderful concept these days).  Many companies take great pride in their technology, product, service, manufacturing philosophy, equipment, and etc., but assume that people are replaceable.  Possibly they are, if their company has not taken the time to hire the best performers.  Why would a company hire the best performers?  Don’t they cost more?  Aren’t they harder to replace?  Possibly better questions are:  Will they be more resourceful?  Will they help us increase our profits – or put us into a profitable position more quickly?  Who controls all of our resources (capital, equipment, technology, raw materials/intellectual property, and other people)?  

Hiring the best people is important because they control all of the other resources of the company, including the staff.  Therefore, people directly contribute to your bottom line.  In the book, Richard Beatty states: “Behind every business problem is a human resources problem – we either have the wrong person in place or the person lacks the necessary skills and/or motivation to get the job done.”  Either way, the wrong person is in place.

What is the cost of a poor selection?  In his book, Richard gives us a way to measure both the direct costs and the indirect costs of poor selections – and those costs are much higher than you would imagine.  After reading this section, you will be more motivated than ever to find the best candidate for every one of your open positions.

Once his foundation is in place, Richard covers the importance of a structured interviewing process that includes the following elements: Candidate selection criteria, interview techniques, and interview design.  He goes into great detail on each of these elements and helps a hiring manager design an interview where the hiring manager will be able to grade each candidate.

Chapter seven contains over 500 behaviorally based interview questions covering a number of topics.  Combined with the interviewing techniques that he gives, you will be able to measure a candidate’s ability to be successful in your position.  He also gives you forms to use in the candidate’s evaluation that helps you give the candidate a grade.

If you use Richard Beatty’s structured interviewing process, but still lean towards trusting your “gut” on a candidate to whom you offer a position, you will probably some day hire a candidate who only received a “29” on the interview.  However, I guarantee that will be the last “29” who receives an offer.

The potential downside

Overall, I am in total agreement with Richard Beatty.  The only potential downside of the book lies in his behaviorally based questions.  I would strongly suggest that you avoid using the questions on “childhood”.  While the information may be valuable in seeing how the candidate developed over the years, it is also very close to the line of questions that you may not legally ask.  

This book was my favorite on the selection of the best candidates until I read “Topgrading” by Brad Smart.  However, both books have strengths and weaknesses.  Pick and integrate the best of both books and your selection process will be much stronger.

Therefore, RecruiterGuy strongly recommends that you read “Interviewing and Selecting High Performers: Every Manager’s Guide to Effective Interviewing Techniques” by Richard H. Beatty.  You may purchase this book from


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