A Remedy for the Cursed Position

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We’ve all worked somewhere, at some point in time, and experienced high turnover in a particular role or position. It seems no matter who is hired to fill the role, they never last longer than six months — maybe a year. And, it’s hard to be on the team with these folks. Because you know the position is “cursed” and they probably won’t stay, but you like them. They’re good people. It’s also hard to manage and hire these folks for many of the same reasons. So, how can we prevent the cursed position from taking hold as we look to move forward in 2020?


before you write the job description

Before dusting off that old Word document with the same role description and bullet points of responsibilities and requirements, consider how it might be working against you. If you have a cursed position on your hands, maybe your job description is attracting the wrong candidates. Instead of checking LinkedIn for similar titles and descriptions to make changes, work internally with some of the folks who will be working with the new hire. These key stakeholders will have different opinions on how the role should work within the team, as well as across teams, and their ideas should be thoughtfully reviewed and implemented with consensus.

To survey these stakeholders, ADVISA recommends The Predictive Index Job Assessment™. This tool assists in outlining the frequent and important tasks of the role. Not to mention, it makes surveying members of the team easier! The Predictive Index® software can then take the information collected from the Job Assessment to determine behavioral and cognitive benchmarks for the role. These can be used to create a targeted candidate pool, which also reduces the risk of making “the wrong hire.” 


Cast your net and gather data

Once you have an updated (and accurate) job description, it’s time to share it and spread the word! With applicants in the pipeline, it’s the perfect opportunity to collect data about them to see if their behaviors align with the preferred and required behaviors of the role. Because, while resumes are important in detailing experience, they don’t confirm whether or not someone is a good “fit” for the job. We like to use the model below to assist organizations in rethinking what makes someone the right person for the job. This is especially critical for applicants to the cursed position.

evaluate the whole person

The briefcase is the resume, the portfolio of proof the job candidate has (or doesn’t have) the experience needed for the position. And, while it’s certainly important, it’s not predictive of success when it comes to job fit. Because “fitting in” isn’t just about being able to do the work. It involves engaging with colleagues, becoming passionate about the mission, and finding alignment with the organization’s values. That’s where the head and the heart come in.

Chances are, organizations with a cursed position are hiring people with the right briefcase. But what about the person themselves? Outside of their experience, skills and education, what else could they add to or gain from the organization?


hire the whole person

Hiring the whole person doesn’t refer to their physical presence. Especially in today’s predominately remote workforce! When considering an applicant it’s just as important to learn about their behavioral drives and cognitive ability as it is their passions, values, interests and shared beliefs. Because taking into consideration all of these things along with the briefcase are the best predictors of workplace performance. And, it’s the closest thing to a crystal ball hiring managers can use to determine whether or not someone will work out and break the curse.

How the head, heart and briefcase are weighted depend on the organization. For example, a nonprofit may choose to hire an applicant with less experience in their briefcase but a total alignment of the mission, vision and values of the organization.


Start Hiring smarter now

Investing in making better, intentional hiring decisions now will prevent future losses. With data, organizations of all types and sizes can hire smarter and more efficiently. To learn how ADVISA utilizes The Predictive Index to collect critical people data and provide insights and recommended actions to hiring managers, HR teams and business owners, contact us directly.



If you’re looking to learn more about the head, the heart and the briefcase, read this blog post from Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Millis.

And, don’t forget to take some time to dig into “Why now is an odd – but perfect – time to hire great talent” by Leadership Consultant Mandy Haskett.