Falcone offers invaluable advice as to how to "identify high performance candidates, probe beyond superficial answers, spot 'red flags' which indicate evasions or untruths, get references which provide reliable information about candidates, and negotiate job offers which attract winners." The value of this book is perhaps best indicated by the results of research conducted by Bradford D. Smart of more than 4,000 executives in 50 of the "Fortune 500" companies, shared in Topgrading which I have reviewed previously. The results confirm Peter Drucker's assertion that "The ability to make good decisions regarding people represents one of the last reliable sources of competitive advantage, since very few organizations are very good at it." For me, the most stunning revelations in Smart's book are found on page 50, in Figure 3.2, "Cost of Mis-Hire Study Results." According to the results of Smart's extensive research study, the sum of total costs of a mis-hire (on average) are as follows:
Base salary Less than $100,000: 14 times salary
Base Salary $100,000-250,000: 28 times salary
All Salaries: 24 times salary
Sobering statistics indeed. In his book, Falcone includes two recurring sections which define the context within which each of the 96 questions is asked: "Why Ask This Question?" and "Analyzing the Response." He also alerts the reader/interviewer to relevant "Red Flags" which might otherwise be invisible. Books such as this (and it's one of the best) can guide and inform a rigorous process by which to identify those candidates which offer the strongest talent, skills, and (yes) character. I strongly recommend this book to any and all decision-makers and decision-influencers who are involved in their organization's hiring process. But please keep in mind that candidates may have also read this book. For interviewers, it is highly desirable to reveal the person "behind the resume." It is also imperative to obtain "real information" from credible reference persons. My own opinion is that they as well as candidates need to be thoroughly checked out.