Hire Harder: The Problem behind The College Admission Scandal

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Most of us have heard of the recent college admissions scandals involving USC and UCLA where certain affluent individuals have been caught bribing colleges to admit their children, and they’re doing it through sports.

When someone applies to a college or university, they are placed in a large pool along with all the other hopeful applicants. But, if an applicant meets the minimum requirements to be a student-athlete and a coach at that institution is interested in them, then they get an acceptance letter. That’s how the world of college athletics has always and continues to operate.

These scandals were spawned out of the idea that those privileged enough to afford it could pay off certain coaches or Athletic Directors in order for them to be interested in their child as a potential player on their college sports team. But, then when their kid receives their acceptance letter, they decide they no longer want to participate in college athletics and so they attend the school in a purely academic context.

As for the case of USC, beloved Aunt Becky from the television show Full House bribed the Athletic Director with hundreds of thousands of dollars so that they would pretend to be interested in her daughter as a new addition to the student-athletic department at their university. Then, when her daughter was accepted to the university, she decided that playing college athletics just really wasn’t her thing and she never joined the team.

While we, unfortunately, cannot prevent the upper-class from exploiting and wielding their wealth for their own personal gain, we may be able to do something about the inner-workings of college athletics, and it starts with hiring.

The process of selecting new hires is virtually the same at every organization. You post the job listing, gather resumes, call people in for interviews, maybe conduct multiple rounds of interviews, and then make your selection. But, what goes on during the actual interview?

The boss or interviewer most likely reviews the candidate’s resume and then asks them a series of questions based either on their past experience, skills listed, or a generic list of inquiries they use for every interview. But, do interviewers even think about why they’re asking the questions they’re asking?

Sometimes I find myself thinking during an interview, Why does it matter what kind of tree I would be? What on earth does that have to do with my workplace skills? Or I will silently wonder, What’s my spirit animal you ask? Hmmm anything that will allow me to fly away from this god-awful interview as fast as possible. Maybe a falcon.

The questions applicants are asked during an interview are crucial in order for an interviewer to truly know if that person will be a good fit at their organization. Yet, the questions that are asked during interviews often don’t reflect the importance of the process.

No matter the applicant, if they are asked if they’re a team player, they’re going to say yes. Because, no job applicant in their right mind would say, “Nah, people just really aren’t for me.” Applicants will do or say anything they need to during the interview process in order to get their foot in the door of your company. That’s why interviewers need to be so diligent during the interview and selection process.

Hiring today needs to be more scientific. Interviewers should have a plan of specifically laid out interview questions they intend on asking before it even begins. Interviewers should look beyond an applicant’s resume and past experience, and instead look at their overall personality and behavioral style.

Luckily, Profile’s behavioral assessment technology can help you specifically tailor your interview questions to every applicant that shakes your hand. We can tell you what external factors influence that applicant’s decisions and behavior. We can tell you if an applicant is truly a team player or if they really prefer to work alone. We can help you pinpoint the true weakness in your applicants, like if they’re rule-breakers, if they’re uncoachable, or if they’re know-it-alls.

We can help you predict not only how an applicant will really behave in your workplace, but also how they’re motivated, and what kind of risks you’re taking by hiring them in the first place.

It will always be in an applicant’s best interest to save face during an interview. Our job is to help you cut out all the guesswork that goes along with hiring a new member to your team, and instead, get you to the point where you feel comfortable and confident in your ability to hire a truly valuable addition to your workplace — one that won’t accept hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes at the expense of your organization’s integrity.

It’s simple really — if you want to eliminate cancerous cultures within your corporation, it all starts with the people you select as new hires. You need to hire harder in order to manage easier. Let us help you get there.

Profile is a firm believer in the use of behavioral assessment technology in order to help people get better at people. We use the information gathered via mobile assessments in order to help you learn more about your applicants so that you may hire more intelligently, train and retain your top talent, and fix cultures that could be cancerous to your organization.

Chad Q. Brown’s Profile is a retained consulting firm incorporating distinct team building and talent strategies utilizing proprietary technology and behavioral assessment infrastructure. Our mission — help people get better at people.


Chad Q. Brown

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