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This post is a part of a series of AMA questions that I receive on my AMA Telegram Channel.

Question: Which methods to use while recruiting? Is GMA the most useful tool? How would you comment on this research-based view on recruitment, especially pages 18-20, also your comments on this report compared to your earlier video Minimum viable advice would be interesting.

In the decades of HR research, perhaps one of the things that changed the least is the correlation between GMA and job performance. Put simply – the smarter people are, the higher the chance that they will do a good job. The difficulty is in finding and administering these tests, convincing candidates to take them, and designing a recruitment process that would work for you, the candidates, and your team.

In my own trials, I have also not found any better tool than GMA, but what I did learn is that although it is still by far the best single predictor – it is still not an accurate enough one. The validity of GMA is only in the 0.6 – 0.7 range, meaning that the chance for an error is still very significant, even if you manage to administer the tests.  What is worse – combining it with other methods, as the study shows – does very little. Even the very expensive and intensive assessment centers that span a number of days, combining everything imaginable – do not fare much better.

So what are we left with? Well, for me – it is GMA + Feelings & Team Dynamics + Actual Performance. To my knowledge, there haven’t been tests on this combination, and I would find it hard to do – as many of the “feelings” would get us into the “bias” territory. This is the hiring process that I am actually currently designing.

First: Feelings & Team Dynamics

To my surprise, in many companies – people who do the hiring, are actually not the ones who will be working with the person hired. That makes zero sense for me, as it is the same as if a secret committee (or say your parents) would be selecting your wife or husband. Thus, what we try to do is to create a step in the hiring process – where the team will have a chance to interview/meet the candidates. This, I find crucial for at least one simple reason: transparency and motivation. This way, everyone feels empowered and responsible. We have tried a few different ones:

– Team Interviews
– Lunch with the team
– Candidates pitching to the team

Personally, I like the last one the most.

Actual Performance

The theory goes that if GMA is the best predictor, but still not an accurate one – then the only thing left is to actually see how good people are at the job. Hence, our hiring process has a test period of either one or two weeks for one or two best candidates. They get on-boarded and are asked to perform the actual job they have applied for, and are informed that this is a short test period to see if we all feel comfortable to continue. Naturally, this is a paid test period.

This part I enjoy because it goes both ways. Both the company and the person who is applying can see if it is a good fit. Moreover, all of the employees have a say in the decision and can estimate the team-dynamics during this trial phase.


In summary, GMA is still the best – but I would still continue to experiment with new methods, as I feel that there is a way to increase the validity, and my gut feeling says that it is within the “team dynamics and culture” world, that the holy grail lies. Hope this helps.