Astrologer makes a $35,000 placement...

Or did he...

I'll start by saying that I am not an astrologer nor do I understand the first thing outside of the fact that I am a Virgo and that Virgo begins with a V.

I attended a wedding this past weekend and was introduced to a family members "friend". He was a bit older most likely in his 80's.  To start a conversation he asked what I do for a living. I kept it simple and told him that I am a recruiter.

The rest of the night was history as he proclaimed that Astrology is and should be the backbone of the recruitment industry. That recruiters would be able to measure the value of a candidate much deeper than that of the general employment assessment.

He asked me for a nominal placement fee. I responded $35K.  He asked what the value of an assessment is for a mid size company. I am not sure of that cost but he did dance around the numbers trying to make a point.

He said that an Astrologer would prevent 9 out of 10 hired candidates from quitting their jobs, allowing the recruiter to maintain his/her fee. That is something that an assessment cannot measure.

It was a weird conversation but it got me thinking. How valuable are assessments and does he have a point?

I am very curious to get everyone's story / experience with this?

Views: 1594

Comment by Elise Reynolds on October 1, 2012 at 11:05am

funny!  That is a great story. I don't have a tremendous amount of faith in the assessments that I have seen.  I think what they are good for is to help you understand the candidate a bit better, to have more diologue.  I don't see where an assessment can be conclusive on if this person would be a good or poor fit. 


I would love to hear if anyone has an assessment tool they have been impressed with. 

Comment by Ryan Leary on October 1, 2012 at 12:10pm

I agree with your comments Elise. Assessments can be a great tool but I am not sure that I would ever be completely dependent on them. I've never thought about Astrology but I thought it was an interesting topic for the site to weigh in on.

Comment by Peter Ceccarelli on October 1, 2012 at 2:20pm

Geez........that's always my second or third question in an interview.  What's your astrological sign?  If it's not compatible with my hiring managers sign, end of interview!  Hah! 

Comment by Andrew Hanneman on October 1, 2012 at 2:58pm

Are we seriously contemplating using an astronomer to help you with placements?  Or just talking about assesments?

Comment by Ryan Leary on October 1, 2012 at 3:08pm

Just talking. It was a comment from a guy I met at a wedding this weekend. It's above and beyond my thoughts / interest but I thought it would be a good topic here. 

Comment by Bill Schultz on October 1, 2012 at 4:50pm

I can't get past the haphazard occurrence of birth giving people similar traits.  


Comment by Tiffany Branch on October 2, 2012 at 11:09am

I used two great assessment tools in the past but they are only good IF you and the hiring manager truly know how to use them effectively when building your team and hiring. I was a newbie out of college working as an HR Admin. My assessment said I would not be the best Admin because I was big picture, not detailed oriented, got bored with routine tasks, needed to be challenged, etc. (I hated Admin work, it bored me to death, I had to MAKE myself detail oriented, etc.) My boss used the assessment to figure out HOW to keep me motivated and challenged in the role. It was my stepping stone into an HR career. He had no intentions of hiring a traditional Admin and didn't want one. It was a win/win.


This particular org took the time to have HR trained on how to use the assessment so we could teach and guide managers on how to use it. From an ER standpoint, whenever a manager had an issue with an employee, we would pull out that assessment and more often that not, the issues that arose, were clearly indicated in the assesment. I have no clue if these companies are still around, but one was the Caliper Test by Manatech and the other was Personalsyis (don't remember the company.)


I'm into astrology (not horoscopes) and I can see how it can be used for hiring. Whenever I have water signs working for me, I have to tone down my approach and always compliment before I critique because Air and Water are total opposites. Most water signs would say I was cold, harsh and unfeeling. anytime I had issues with an employee they were "Water." I know it sounds crazy, but I think there really is something to it. I bet some of the people you work best with are in your same sign family or one that comaptible.


Please, I'm not crazy! LOL

Comment by Ryan Leary on October 2, 2012 at 11:18am

Interesting take on this Tiffany. Have you ever made hiring decisions based on this?

Comment by Tiffany Branch on October 2, 2012 at 11:30am

I can't say that it was the "only" factor, but I have my ways of interviewing candidates, based upon what I know about their sign and the hiring managers and can tailor questions to address the strengths and weaknesses under those signs. However, you really have to "understand" astrology for it to work. For example, Fire signs are natural leaders. They love to take charge BUT sometimes they have a hard time admitting they may be wrong. So I will tailor questions to find out how well they work under leadership, or with a manager that is just as strong as they are. Are they able to "share" in a project or do they just "take over and take charge." I will ask questions related to how they manage conflict, differences of ideas with peers and managers. They can sometimes be very black and white, so I ask questions about their ability to think outside the box.


Earth signs are very private, and enjoy their "alone" time. They are great individual contributors and can work well from home without a lot of direction. I would tailor questions focused around working in teams, working with a micro-manager, etc. They can also be stubborn, so again, I'll tailor questions that address flexibility etc.


Many of us know our true weaknesses and we learn how to work through them in the workplace, BUT when under extreme pressure, most of us will resort to our "true" selves and not our learned behavior. These are the things I try to uncover during the behavioral interview process. Ok, now you all really will think I'm a looney tune! LOL

Comment by Suzanne Levison on October 2, 2012 at 5:09pm

Whatever helps determine a successful match works for me


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