When you hire employees for a small business, recognize that each employment decision has an enormous impact on the culture of the company. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to use as many assessment tools as possible to get the right candidates.

In a larger company, a bad hire’s influence can be diluted.  In a small company, the mistake can be compounded and multiplied.

What Every C.E.O., Founder, or Entrepreneur Needs to Understand About Hiring

If you want to become an entrepreneur, you probably already know that starting a business can be a high-risk endeavor.  It is an endeavor fraught with perils that can certainly be minimized with good data.

“In God we Trust.  All Others Bring Data.”  –Deming

Hiring for Small Business:  Use Science-based Tools to Increase Self-awareness

When people take personality tests, their self-awareness goes up and they quickly figure out their strengths and weaknesses.  Anna Thompson, a career counselor in Georgia, says, “Taking an assessment is an inventory.  It’s like counting the shirts in your closet.  You need to learn what your talents are and then you need to know how those talents can Fit in.”

As a small business owner, you have to determine “fit” for every employee.

Hiring for Small Business:  Use Science-based Tools for Accuracy

If you are an individual, career tests, personality tests, and other types of assessments aimed at understanding yourself can dramatically improve your accuracy in determining your Fit.  Fortunately, the PXT Select helps you use science to your advantage.  It also helps the small business owner.

It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data.”
Sherlock Holmes (
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes)

Hiring for Small Business:  Use Science-based Tools to Help Employees Succeed

hiring perfect employee

If you are a CEO, founder, minister, or entrepreneur, it’s not just about your fit, but helping others find their fit within your organization.

Niche Fit assessments can not only “help you help others” to find their right Fit, but they can also help you by avoiding the wrong Fit.  Such was the case with Patrick.

Patrick was Loved By Everyone but Failed

Patrick was hired for eight months with the understanding that he would create enough paying work to sustain his salary.  It didn’t happen.  Patrick was congenial, loved by everybody, and a wonderful shoulder in a storm, but he was not a “creator.”  He could not see the possibility and then go create it.  This position needed someone innovative and enterprising.

Patrick Was a Good Person But Did Not Fit

Patrick was hired into a job where he did not Fit, and unfortunately, he personalized the failure.  It was a mismatch.  The ultimate outcome was that both Patrick and the employer were disappointed in each other and the arrangement.

The boss did not use an objective assessment in his hiring, and because of it both Patrick and the organization suffered.  Thankfully, the employer realized his mistake and told me “In the future, I will never hire someone again without using a test to understand who they are.”

Patrick was hired by an established organization, but the greatest risk of all in hiring is during start-up.

Hiring for a Small Business: Start-up Success

Jim Novak is a scientist and an MBA who started a high-tech company that ultimately failed  [1] (Hall, 2010,  When he was sharing what he learned from the process with other entrepreneurs hoping to create start-ups, he had these four points to share [2] (Novak)

1. As an Entrepreneur, You Need to Overcome Your Inexperience in Hiring

“In a small company, it only takes one specialist avoiding (or being unsuited for) extra-specialty activities to have a profound negative impact on the willingness of the team to do whatever it takes.

The problem facing technology startups is that entrepreneurs are generally inexperienced in eliciting complete, broad information about candidates–the focus is usually on the area of specialization.  To partially offset this deficit, in future opportunities, I expect to make use of pre-hire assessment tools, or diagnostic analyses of the candidate’s aptitudes.”

2. Using Good Tools can Offset Inexperience

“Many varieties of profiles are available, and I believe that would provide enormous value to entrepreneurs, particularly in early hiring decisions.  These tools are amazingly inexpensive when compared to the ‘leverage’ early hires have on establishing an ideal corporate culture and the time and dollar cost of making a mistake.

They can provide information to the potential employer about the candidate’s thinking styles, work habits, and communication style.  This helps evaluate the match between the individual and the ideal corporate culture, and can be useful in coaching and team building once they join the company.”

3. Expand the Use of Tools for Investors and Board Members

“Insofar as the entrepreneur, investors, and outside board members are also part of the team, it seems these tools would be beneficial to the deal-making process as well.  These assessments could be a very important tool for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to assess each other.”

4. Understand that One Wrong Hire Has an Enormous Impact

“Recognize that each early employment decision has an enormous impact on the culture of the company.  Use as many diagnostic tools as possible to assess candidates.”

A Gateway Drug:  Do Better Tools Equal Better Results?

Bridget Kennedy-Hull, the Director of Human Resources of a multi-million dollar company, Palletone, (and a client for many, many years who has a wonderful sense of humor) explained the use of the hiring tool as “simply the gateway drug.”  I laughed and said, “Never did I think of myself as a drug dealer, but I guess I am.”  She said, “It is a wonderful feeling to be able to wrap your head around a candidate’s Fit with your organization.”

Hiring for Small Business: Is It Legal to Use This Assessment?

Absolutely.  Tools that are used for hiring have to be rock solid in their reliability and validity. Reliability and validity are key determiners of the quality of an assessment.  (Reliability is analogous to consistency or stability of results, while validity is analogous to accuracy.)

It still astounds me after twenty years of using assessments to help people understand themselves and find their Niche and helping companies find people who Fit with their organization that there are folks out there who do not rely on objective data.

The rational, objective, logical mind is not the end-all to thinking, but it certainly has its place.

“Data!data!data!” he cried impatiently. “I can’t make bricks without clay.” Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure Of The Copper Beeches)

Forensic science is compelling because of its accuracy and objectivity, and Niche science is equally as compelling because of its ability to accurately and objectively get you and the people you are working with to Fit.

It’s so easy to avoid the lowered motivation, the confusion, the stress, and the lowered self-confidence that comes with not being in your Zone of Fit.  And, of course, the worst is that you could make pivotal decisions that lead you in the wrong direction!

Use reliable and valid assessments as tools to help you find the Niche Fit, use them if you are an entrepreneur starting a company or if you are an established company.  They are an invaluable starting point.

Use every possible source of information at your disposal. Other methods of investigation are important add-ons.   Tools are one resource of Intelligence Gathering that is constantly available and should be used at every opportunity.

Can You Predict Who Will Become a Navy Seal?

Out of 110 recruits, only 19 made it to become a Navy Seal (not to mention how many had been winnowed out before the 110).  I was stunned by the numbers.  Surely, after years of experimentation and objective testing, the Navy had the predictive value of selection down to a fine art.  Not so, I was to find out.

Bill Payne was One of Those 19 Out of 110 Who Made It. 

And he went on to explain the process, “They have been trying for decades to predict which ones will make it and which ones won’t.  They have had psychologists for years trying to help them predict.  They don’t know exactly why one person will make it and one won’t.”

A Pro NFL Football Player Dropped Out

Bill continued, “They didn’t think I would make it past the first month, much less become an Admiral.”  He went on, “We had an NFL pro football player drop out after the first week.  We had an Olympic athlete drop out after the first week.”  Tapping his head, he said, “It’s up here.”

As Duncan Watts [3] said predicting atoms is easier than predicting humans.  Nevertheless, having an objective tool as part of the process can certainly help you.

Assessments help decrease self-blame and increase hiring accuracy, self-awareness, personal growth, and ultimately success.

The value of objectivity in hiring when you are a small business cannot be underestimated.


1 Hall, J. (2010). Sandia manager Jim Novak to be inducted into Anderson School Hall of Fame. Retrieved from Sandia Lab News:

2 Novak, J. (Writer)  Attracting Equity Investors–Securities laws, Intellectual Property, Term Sheets, and Lessons Learned. In: Technology Ventures Corporation.

3 Matlock, S. (2011, April 11). Too often common sense is nonsense:  Scientist’s book tells why intuition fails us. Santa Fe New Mexican, pp. A-1, A-6.




(Using Knowledge You Already Have)

    PROFIT: Bank Your Communication™

    PROFIT: Bank Your Business™

    NICHE: Follow Your Fit™