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  • Writer's pictureSherry

Finding the Game Winning Player in your Candidate Pool

Our colleague, friend, and longtime supporter of our HRoundtable, Ed Eynon, was recently featured in Forefront Magazine and naturally we had to share! Eynon relates workforce talent to something most of us are familiar with… sports and athletes.

“In his HR selection processes, Eynon assesses an individual’s talent in three ways: skills, knowledge and natural behavior. He gives priority to natural behavior every time.”

Natural behaviors are reoccurring traits that are “deep down, hardwired in your DNA,” according to Eynon, such as being friendly or being blunt.

“The natural behavior of wanting to be excellent can’t be taught,” Eynon said, whereas knowledge and skills can. Skills are the “how-to” steps to an activity, such as boiling pasta, changing oil in your car, or running on a treadmill. Knowledge refers to having relevant information stored in your brain.

If we return to the sports theme, there are several examples of the power of natural behavior. In 1999 U.S. defender Brandi Chastain blasted the team's fifth penalty kick past the Chinese goalkeeper after 120 minutes of hard fought competition to win the FIFA World Cup on U.S. soil.

Brandi Chastain

Or there is the young Kobe Bryant in 1996, who led Lower Merion High School to its first state championship in 53 years and would then go on to win multiple championships in the NBA.


Natural behaviors are either in you or not, but how can HR discern whether the right behaviors exist in a candidate or not? Eynon uses a scientific method to discern the presence of the desirable attributes and the absence of negative ones. He uses a proctored interview, at a fast pace, with validated and open-ended questions to scientifically assess candidates (you can read more about this in the article linked above).

Hiring the right employee pays off. Whether you take Eynon’s approach and measure through social media reviews or you prefer to use engagement surveys, there is no disputing that hiring and retaining the right talent is a smart and necessary business move. Some studies (such as SHMR) predict that every time a business replaces a salaried employee, it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary on average. That can get expensive fast!

So as you hire for your next opening, it might be worth looking at those intangible qualities in candidates.

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