What We Measure, and Why

The traditional approach to hiring has been around prioritising skills, rather than fit – despite the wealth of research suggesting the reverse provides significant benefits and return on investment over time. (If you’d like to know more about our approach, you can read the article here)

Things are starting to change as the world’s leading companies demonstrate success with a simple formula of hiring good people, and training them on any areas of lacking technical skills.


A study of over 20,000 hires by Leadership IQ found 46% failed within 18 months. 89% of these failures were due to a lack of fit rather than technical skills.

How then do we find and measure ‘good people’ at the start of the hiring process, before we screen them out of the process due to their CV?


Psychometric testing has been around for some time and MBTI, DISC and other profiling is something most teams will have experienced. These are however usually deployed late stage in the process as they are relatively expensive and time consuming.

Additionally, it is difficult to say in advance which collection of ‘personality types’ will work well together. You don’t want a team full of very similar people as this stifles creativity, but neither is it true that ‘one of each’ or similar approaches work either. Instead, the research around company culture driving productivity tends to prove it’s fit with team role, rather than personalities, that drives future engagement, satisfaction and success.


Objective candidate screening is an excellent way to overcome some of the challenges of unconscious bias in the workplace, but only when the models used are fair and equitable across groups. Even the most commonly applied IQ tests for example routinely disadvantage people from lower socio-economic brackets as well as different cultural backgrounds.

Other systems apply a ‘gamification’ approach to screening which, while no doubt fun for some, again puts those familiar with apps and mobile games at a significant advantage to those without. These models favour younger applicants ahead of older candidates, and affluence ahead of applicants from non-traditional backgrounds, both of which are morally suspect and run counter to our ethos of getting the best fit for the role.

If you don’t choose the right people to interview, you can’t make your best hire. We focus therefore on early profiling and alignment between candidates and the specific role on offer.


The Synth algorithm is far from a simple personality test. We measure compatibility with robust mechanisms that make it difficult to ‘cheat the system’, and easy to be honest about the workplace and role that works for you.

Our system is built on situational questions and flexible responses that provide nuanced, human data far beyond the typical multiple choice assessments that characterise other testing mechanisms.

Each question contains an overview of a specific work-related scenario, and candidates are invited to provide flexible nuanced responses to outline their approach.

We measure this across 6 specific areas of measurable, predictable engagement, each of which has been tested at length for robustness and stability across different groups and industries.


Our system factors in consistent response and best practice in assessing significance in line with American Psychological Association guidelines.

Companies provide us with their vision of the ideal candidate across these measures at the start of the process, and candidates are ranked for compatibility overall, and against each measure.

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