Hiring Assessments & Astrology

It’s pretty obvious recruiting isn’t rocket science, but it might as well be.  The goal of talent management, after all, basically involves looking for “stars” and making sure they’re ‘aligned’ with organizational needs, lest they end up in the “black hole” of the hiring process.  That’s why it’s time to take a look at the newest weapon in the war for talent: astrology.

If you’re feeling skeptical about the ability of planetary alignment to predict quality of hire, remember that first feeling you had when you learned your Myers-Briggs acronym?  They have about the same amount of scientific validity (to true believers, anyway), after all, and both rely almost exclusively on confirmation bias to generate (and validate) their findings.

Truth is, when it comes to candidate selection, there’s really no scientific approach; intuition’s the most powerful tool in the recruiter’s professional tool kit, hands down.  After all, interpreting the meaning of things like “soft skills” and “cultural fit” is inherently as subjective an art as, well, looking at planetary alignment to determine if you’re going to have a good day.

Align Your Company Stars: An HR Horoscope

Is that final candidate the right one? Here’s what the stars have to say:

ARIES (The Ram) March 21-April 20: Known for their fiery personalities, the Aries doesn’t take bad news well; take special care with candidate experience or else risk a severe hit to your employment brand (or Glassdoor.com ratings).  Companies must carefully weigh their outstanding salesmanship and business development acumen with the known employee relations and retention risks associated with Aries.  Hiring Manager Compatibility: Sagittarius, Leo

TAURUS (The Bull) April 21-May 20: Considered a “feminine” sign, the Taurus will likely help meet diversity requirements while slating.  With “earthy” demeanors, Taurus candidates are team players looking for process oriented, tactical work; not a significant long term flight risk, they’ll help retention numbers, if not the company’s bottom line. Hiring Manager Compatibility: Virgo, Capricorn

GEMINI (The Twins): May 21-June 20: A “masculine” sign, Gemini fit in well with the aerospace, engineering and manufacturing sectors (or the average C-Suite).  Skilled communicators and extroverts, they’re likely already in process with several companies, so move them quickly through the hiring process (and the corporate ladder).  Be warned: they’re unlikely to accept a first offer, so give room for negotiation. Hiring Manager Compatibility: Libra, Aquarius

CANCER (The Crab): June 21-July 20: Largely introverted, Cancers don’t do particularly well in interviews, so it’s very important they have great resumes and excellent credentials before presenting for a role.  They’re generally not focused on title or compensation (or at least won’t push back too much on an offer).  The challenge with Cancer candidates lies in getting them through process, where they’ll often succeed only as a politically safe pick or “fall back” choice.  Hiring Manager Compatibility: Scorpio, Pisces

LEO (The Lion): July 21-August 20: Creative and loyal, Leos present well in an interview and get along well with most hiring managers, with whom they often share the traits of pomposity, bossiness and egotism.  And your organization likely already has enough of that to go around.  Hiring Manager Compatibility: Sagittarius, Aries

VIRGO (The Virgin): August 21-September 20: Considered to be “passive” and “introverted,” Virgos generally don’t get along well with people and are extremely process oriented, making them a great fit for HR roles. Hiring Manager Compatibility: Taurus, Capricorn

LIBRA (The Scales): September 21-October 20: Libra candidates aren’t afraid to ask tough questions and are highly spontaneous, meaning they require a significant amount of coaching prior to meeting a hiring manager…or presenting an offer. Hiring Manager Compatibility: Aquarius, Gemini

SCORPIO (The Scorpion): October 21-November 20: Scorpios are known for their intelligence, charisma and big-picture thinking…but also for their scheming abilities.  While introverted, they’re always on the lookout for new opportunities, so there’s a good chance that they’re using your company as leverage for a counter offer….or will soon. Hiring Manager Compatibility: Cancer, Capricorn

SAGITTARIUS (The Archer): November 21-December 20: Type A all the way, Sagittarius candidates are more likely to interview you and the hiring manager than vice versa and approach situations opportunistically.  Their desire for control makes them an excellent fit for a management role or struggling department, but difficult to engage or retain. Hiring Manager Compatibility: Aries, Leo

CAPRICORN (The Goat): December 21-January 20: Down-to-earth, approachable and easy to get along with, Capricorns are great mediators and can get along with a wide range of personalities while reconciling competing demands.  This means they’re likely happy with where they’re at, so you’ve got to make a case (and often, a hard sell). Hiring Manager Compatibility: Taurus, Virgo

AQUARIUS (The Water Carrier): January 21-February 20: As extroverts, these candidates will talk your ear off during a phone screen, even if you’ve already disqualified them, so allot plenty of time for interviewing.  On the plus side, they’re likely to come prepared and ask a lot of questions, but hiring managers will find it difficult to get a word in edgewise.  Better for pipeline than just-in-time recruiting. Hiring Manager Compatibility: Libra, Gemini

PISCES (The Fish): February 21-March 20: Pisces love brevity.

This handy candidate horoscope should help you make the right decision without paying an expensive vendor, although this methodology is completely transparent (unlike many on the market).  The horoscope, of course, represents the 12 signs of the Zodiac; an astrological sign can be easily determined during the screening process by asking for a candidate’s date of birth.  Unlike those “overqualified” candidates, though, this method’s completely legal.

And probably makes about as much sense, frankly.  Or at least as much sense as most standardized culture fit assessments (which, admittedly, isn’t saying much).

2 Comments on “Hiring Assessments & Astrology

  1. Hiring assessments are one of the most misunderstood, misused tools out there. They can be a very useful data point, as long as the assessment has been validated for the job family and employee population for which it’s being used. A big issue is that many companies buy a tool and then never bother to internally validate whether or not it’s useful. Worse yet, they randomly pick a “cut score” that has no bearing on hiring validity and run with it.

    Just like an interview alone isn’t a good hiring tool, neither is an assessment…or a reference check, or a background check, or anything else. It’s a combination of all these data points that you can use to try and make a good hiring decision.

    (Oh, and the MBTI is for development, not hiring. PLEASE don’t use it for hiring!)

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