Talent Acquisition:

The 10 Lessons I learned from evaluating, testing and selecting over 56,000 applicants in the last 10 years.

Lesson 10


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Through the evaluation and selection of almost 60,000 candidates in the last 10 years, we at Hirebox learned many hard lessons. These became practical tips that we would use on a daily basis to separate the real performers from the talkers, and the honest applicants from the liars, the pretenders, the unscrupulous and the criminals. 

As a professional recruiter, I keep reminding myself that over 30% of all bankruptcies in America are due to employee dishonesty. Don't believe me, check the FBI statistics. It has always been for me a moral duty to ensure or at least to make everything possible so that my clients would avoid being part of that sad statistic.

Here you go!

  1. Hiring is Marketing
  2. The deadly power of social media
  3. The biggest mistake in hiring
  4. The second biggest mistake in hiring
  5. Dealing with candidate ghosting
  6. Why business owners must be great headhunters
  7. Never trust what they tell you
  8. Never offer the job before doing these 3 things
  9. 51% of hiring failures occur… AFTER the hire
  10. Hire for happiness: THE key to success.



Since the Pursuit of Happiness was declared an unalienable right by the U.S. Constitution in 1776, much has been written and debated on the subject. Can happiness have an impact on performance, productivity, profitability and employee loyalty?


A few years ago, the Harvard Business Review (“HBR”) presented, in an article titled “The Value of Happiness”, much scientific evidence that employee well-being does indeed drive higher profits.

As outlined in a whole series of articles, the HBR demonstrated that when people are happier, they’re healthier and they strive to accomplish more. They work better in teams, and they’re more immune to burnout. Putting employee and customer happiness at the top of your business goals is a guaranteed strategy for success.(Source)

If you still have any doubt that happiness at work has a profound impact on productivity and profitability, consider these facts:

  • Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%.(Source)
  • Happiness in the workplace boosts sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%.(Source)
  • Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh wrote the book “Delivering Happiness” to explain how he boomed his company by valuing happiness as the main core value. He highlights the importance of strategies such as helping staff grow (both personally and professionally) and ensuring all employees understand that customer service and happiness are everyone’s responsibility.(Source)
  • Laszlo Bock, Google’s Chief Happiness Officer (“CHO”), considers that nurturing people in your organization doesn’t require expensive perks or touchy-feely gimmicks—it’s about motivating, engaging and listening. Nurturing passion for what people do is a superior formula for happiness—and above-average performance.(Source)
  • Employees who report being happy at work take 10 times fewer sick days than their unhappy peers. They stay twice as long on their jobs, spend twice as much time at work focused on what they’re paid to do, and believe they’re achieving their potential twice as much.(Source)
  • The businesses listed in Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” enjoyed a raise in stock prices of 14% per year over a seven-year period, compared to 6% for the overall market.(Source)

Happy vs. Making Others Happy


I have heard too often that if you hire happy people, they’ll make you happy. This is actually not always true. One can be happy when others are miserable and give absolutely no importance at all to their well-being.

You probably have, at least once, experienced the following: you hired a very enthusiastic employee who tacitly promised to improve the business conditions and/or help you solve major challenges.

Yet, a few months later, you had to terminate that employee after repeatedly trying to get them to 

    1. Support your plans, 
    2. Work well with their teammates, and 
    3. Perform as requested. 

What went wrong with that enthusiastic employee?

Well, here is a MAJOR mistake you want to avoid: do not confuse “being happy” with “willing to make others happy.” Many pre-hire assessment tools measure a “happiness index,” and many recruitment interview techniques search to discover the candidate’s level of enthusiasm. Such selection criteria are important, but they can be extremely misguiding.

Instead, think of a “Happiness Contribution Index.” What if you could “predict” a candidate’s willingness and ability to contribute to others’ well-being at work and to their organization’s overall success?

Here is the crux of the matter: your best chance of success in personnel selection is to hire for happiness—attract and select only those who are willing and able to contribute (this is the key concept) to their peers’ and organization’s success and happiness. Evaluate all of them primarily on this basic and universal criterion; this is what we call the Happiness Contribution Index.


Hiring for happiness is a surefire recipe for the most effective talent acquisition strategy. If you want a profitable and stable expansion, you need to focus your employer branding strategy on two major levels:

  1. Provide a working environment conducive to job satisfaction and, generally, happiness at work.
  2. Hire ONLY people who will contribute to the happiness of your employees and customers.

When we hire for you, we always evaluate applicants with our exclusive preselection assessment, the “Pre-Selector.” This unique tool provides you with a happiness contribution index for each applicant and helps you evaluate how much applicants are REALLY willing and able to contribute to the success & happiness of your teams. 

Visit www.hirebox.com/testing to find out how we you help you hire the best fit. 


Best success!

Patrick Valtin,

CEO Hirebox