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  • Writer's pictureAndy Foy

Why you should hire the 'whole person'

In New Zealand, we are faced with a shrinking working population. The difficulty we have finding workers now will only exacerbate over time. Added to this that many are being lured overseas with new opportunities the labour market is going to get tighter.

How do you find skilled workers if they don't exist?

If you’re struggling to build a high-performing team, consider this solution: Hire someone who doesn’t have the experience necessary to do the job… yet. An amazing employee or group of people might be sitting right under your nose.

The biggest problem employers face is they recruit poorly, because they are using an old process that doesn't fit with today's world.


Most companies fail to define the abilities and attributes required for success in a given role accurately and then fail to assess candidates against those attributes effectively.

Job descriptions are re hashed from old job descriptions, managers are poorly prepared for the interviews and a set of standard interview questions and/or managers favorite questions are rolled out. If we are honest, many people are hired on instinct and the way they make us feel.

By taking a data driven approach you can hire for aptitude and ability and train for skill.

First start with a data driven job profile. One that can take inputs from a variety of stake holders and hone them down to the key drivers, attributes and behavioural needs of the role. Add to this a cognitive ability benchmark and you have an objective idea of what you are looking for. This can take as little as 10-15 minutes to create.

Next assess your candidates against this profile. Before you even meet your candidates you will know if they have the raw cognitive ability to do the job. The Behavioral Assessment lets you know what qualities and traits the person has and how they will add to the culture of your team. (Why hire someone to fit team culture? When you have an opportunity to enhance and build.)

This way you are able to ask informed questions to target areas of strength, opportunity and potential. Use these insights to enable you to interview the whole person. People often get hired for the skills and experience they bring to a role but it's the head and heart that governs HOW that person will perform in the role and your team.



An open briefcase can be filled with skills.


I can train a person to become a truck driver, IT professional, accountant or engineer. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to train someone to be more careful, detail oriented, to be a deep thinker etc. Know that those elements are first then look to what skills they bring.


If you don't you will only ever be in a responsive mode when it comes to talent attraction and management.


You want to have a talent management and selection system that is smart trustworthy and backed by science. You want to know that you are bringing on smart, driven, committed people who will not only fit your initial role but will be able to grow into other roles in the team and expand their skills and knowledge. All the while contributing to the company's goals, success and adding to its organisational culture.

Smart companies are responding to the labour market challenge and are updating hiring training and talent management practices and processes, with people data. Use a science backed approach to understand the whole person sitting in front of you.




Author: Andy Foy – Talent Optimisation Consultant & Certified Predictive Index (PI) Associate


I know how frustrating it can be when you cannot get the organisational results you desire. There is no way around it; people drive business and all business problems at their root, are people problems.

For over 25 years, I have built my career on solving business and people challenges in the most practical, pragmatic, and cost-effective way across a variety of industries, countries and cultures. I know business and I know people.


Using the innovative, market-leading Talent Optimisation tools from The Predictive Index (PI), I help organisations align their people strategy with their business strategy to create better workplaces and achieve optimal results.


These tools are practical, fast, scientifically validated, easy to use and deliver deep insights to help managers hire the right people, manage their teams, and improve performance. Moreover, I train and educate managers and their teams so they can understand each other, hire the right people and build cultures and interpersonal relationships that drive business success.


I have helped hundreds of companies and teams across the world & have an extensive network of consultants in New Zealand around the world I can draw upon to solve many of your business challenges. I'm here to help you.




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