Charles Handler How I Hire podcast

Dr. Charles Handler, Talent Assessment Expert and Founder of Rocket-Hire

Dr. Charles Handler is an industrial-organizational psychologist and talent assessment specialist. He’s the President and Founder of Rocket-Hire, a talent consultancy that has partnered with hundreds of leading companies. He also hosts the Science 4-Hire podcast. Charles has extensive expertise in technology-based assessments and selection science. We discuss how today’s tools can help companies hire at the executive level.

Fun fact: Charles also has a love of classic cars and was featured on the History Channel’s Big Easy Motors.

Listen to the podcast

Highlights from our conversation include:

● How organizational psychology can inform every step of the hiring process (5:02)
● Job fit versus organization fit (7:37)
● Why humans are inherently flawed in evaluating candidate capabilities (9:55)
● Why some popular assessments are not appropriate for selection (13:11)
● How much weight we can put in the Hogan Assessment (15:01)
● Models for executive assessment (17:35)
● The importance of human judgment in executive level assessment (20:49)
● How to evaluate leadership (22:50)
● AI’s strengths and weaknesses (25:06)
● How remote work will influence companies’ needs (28:41)

Check out Roy’s upcoming webinar on the future of hiring, part of Big Path Capital’s Impact CEO Series.


Roy Notowitz: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to How I Hire, the podcast that taps directly into the best hiring advice and insights. I’m your host, Roy Notowitz, Founder of an executive recruiting and talent consulting firm called Noto Group. My team and I have spent the last decade helping to build iconic consumer brands, one hire at a time. Visit us at to learn more. 

Dr. Charles Handler joins me on the show today. Charles is the President and Founder of Rocket-Hire, a talent assessment consultancy that has partnered with hundreds of leading companies. He’s also the host of one of my favorite podcasts, Science 4-Hire.

Charles has been a talent assessment specialist for over 20 years. He has a passion for technology and has worked extensively in the field of technology-based assessments, helping clients to develop new models for employee selection. Charles applies a practical philosophy to his work, combining sound science with innovation to create online hiring tools. He holds a master’s degree and a PhD in industrial and organizational psychology.

Charles will share his deep insight into selection science and how today’s tools can help companies hire at the executive level. 

Charles, thanks so much for being here. It’s a great honor to have you on the podcast. 

Charles Handler: [00:01:24] Yeah. Thanks so much, Roy. It’s great to reconnect and looking forward to our conversation today.

Roy Notowitz: [00:01:29] My first question is really around, you know, how’d you get so smart? And how did you discover your passion for psychology and, and talent selection? 

Charles Handler: [00:01:37] Yeah, well, I guess how smart I am is debatable depending on the time of day, who you ask, and you know, what the subject is, but I appreciate that. My dad’s a psychologist, a clinical psychologist, or he was, and he dedicated his career to projective testing and teaching and private practice. And my mom’s a PhD in mathematics. So I’ve kind of got that intersection of science and math. So, so that’s part of it. I always said, I just wanted to go after college to Italy, learn to be a Ferrari mechanic. And I was told I couldn’t do that. And I was still listening to my parents at that age. So I went to grad school for honestly, psychology, you know, it came very naturally to me.

And so that’s kind of how things evolved. The business psychology realm was what interested me the most. So I jumped into that area and I showed up at grad school and I still didn’t really know what I wanted to do. And selection just kind of found me as you know, I continued to work through some of the many pathways that you can have with an I/O psychology degree.

There’s such a wide range of things you can get into, which is something I really liked, but I ended up in hiring and testing. And I’ve been there for… oh gosh, a good 25 years at this point. So yeah, it just makes sense to me, I guess.

Roy Notowitz: [00:03:01] Take a few minutes to tell us a little bit about your business and how your team supports clients.

Charles Handler: [00:03:06] People used to ask me all the time, “Oh, what’s the best assessment? What’s the best test?” And you know, immediately my mind went to, well, what are you trying to accomplish? You know? So the idea for me was, well, I’m not going to just pick up an inventory of tests that some vendor is selling and go out and start knocking on doors and sell that. I’m going to sell neutrality and the idea that, you know, let’s understand what you’re trying to do first and buffer between you and the vendors that are looking to sell you stuff.

We do a lot of keeping the horse in front of the cart, I guess, where you’re essentially not just jumping into the vendor landscape, you’re working to understand what you truly need first, before we jump into trying to put an assessment in place. You know, so that’s one area of our business.

Beyond that, we do a lot of the actual hard ,brass tacks, X’s and O’s of building assessments and doing the statistical work behind those to make sure they’re working and documenting those for our clients. We also work for a lot of startups in the technology space historically, and other technology vendors.

All of that kind of led to us having a specialty in analyzing the market for pre hire assessments. And so over the years consistently, we’ve put out a guide that, you know, kind of looks at the vendors in the space. We’re about to finish our most ambitious one of those, which is about 250 vendors. You know, even in that, half of the market of vendors that sell this stuff, didn’t exist 10 years ago.

Roy Notowitz: [00:04:37] Wow. Your work has real impact and it can be applied in so many different ways to help companies get a better return on investment. 

Charles Handler: [00:04:46] We look very holistically, Roy too. So even though we don’t typically get hired to tell people about their, their hiring process or their talent acquisition, you know, workflow for candidates, we participate in the hiring process in just about every instance.

And so we understand what it looks like from a candidate perspective and we give a lot of feedback on other stuff that we might not have been hired for, whether we get listened to on that stuff as much. I don’t know, but, but it it’s a holistic thing, right? And people, people get very justifiably concerned about, you know, the experience their candidates have, the brand, you know, and then the brand communication that comes with their hiring process, which is increasingly important.

But you know, a lot of times the assessment gets thrown under the bus. And people say, “Oh, you know, it’s gotta be three minutes long or it’s too long and our candidates are bailing.” I mean, I just read an article yesterday and I’ve got a lot of other articles, you know, that basically say, look the length of the assessment, until you get over, you know, 45 minutes or so, it’s really not that significant of a factor in the impression that candidates are getting. And in fact, super short candidate assessments are distrusted by candidates and things that everybody has been kind of faddish like, “Oh, games, you got to make it a game.” Well, those are not really highly valued by applicants either because they don’t look like the job.

Roy Notowitz: [00:06:10] Right. 

Charles Handler: [00:06:10] So, you know, to me, if you’re asking me to play a game in outer space to get a job as a barista, I’m going to question your company and say, “Why are you asking me this? Because this has nothing to do with me being a barista.” So it actually can have a negative impact. But at the end of the day, it’s just all about looking inclusively at the entire process, because hiring is not just the result of one test.

And then we take our expertise in the testing and weave it in there in the best possible place for the best possible results. And that takes a personalized understanding of the business. 

Roy Notowitz: [00:06:47] Yeah. So that leads you into what you’re doing now with the ability for you to create customized testing solutions for, for companies.

Charles Handler: [00:06:56] Yeah. And we do a lot of that and you know, not everybody needs that I’m not going to lie. Where we really shine is we take a highly specialized approach and we find, you know, companies where the brand is kind of the, you know, very well known and they want their employees to live that brand. You know, we like to come in and be able to understand what that really means.

That’s where the psychologist part of what we do comes in. It’s really talking to the people that do the job and really watching the job and saying, these are the human characteristics it takes to do this job well. Now let’s figure out how to tap into those during the hiring dialogue. 

Roy Notowitz: [00:07:31] Does that tap into like values and purpose and mission and things like that?

Charles Handler: [00:07:37] It absolutely can, yeah. And it’s not just performing a job. It’s about fitting into the context, right? So you’ve got this person/job fit, which is, “Oh, you’ve gotta be able to type, you’ve got to be able to be flexible.” And then there’s person/organization fit, which is, you know, “Hey, this is a company that’s fast paced. Are you fast paced?”

At the end of the day, just the technical skills alone are not enough. So you’ve gotta really understand what’s the most important thing for you. Again, that’s where the strategy part comes in because typically you’re not able to measure every single thing about a person in the job. It’s just too much time.

And so it’s hard to squeeze in getting to know everything about someone in a 30 minute assessment, you know, you get interviews and that helps you. And so you can kind of spread out the things you want to measure across the process and I’m sure that you’re familiar and our listeners, if they’re in hiring, are familiar with, for instance, a lot of times you’ll have that initial HR interview, you know, as a high level screener.

And a lot of times that’s where the values come in, right? You’re asking people either remotely or via an interview, you know, about their values and stuff. And, and really, as we’ve moved, this is a big soap box thing for me right now is that human experience, appealing to the deep psychological mechanisms that help people form a psychological contract with their work.

And that’s, you know, support: the wellness aspect of things, knowing that your employer is going to support you and your family. The inclusivity part of it, you know, embracing the fact that people are different and, and helping everyone understand the value of that. And we’ve seen just that corporate social responsibility, the dedication to, you know, employees has grown and grown.

Roy Notowitz: [00:09:26] Speaking of inclusivity and making sure that there’s diverse pools under consideration consistently for key roles, we’re learning a lot about the psychology of bias, right? And how that plays into the process. And there’s so much variability and inconsistency in terms of how we assess people in that standard interview format.

So can you speak to that a little bit? You know, why are humans so inherently mediocre at evaluating candidate capabilities? 

Charles Handler: [00:09:55] Yeah, boy, that’s a great question. It’s probably a whole other series of podcasts, but at the end of the day, you know, human information processing from a cognitive perspective, we’ve got to put things in buckets.

We use prototypes of categories and, you know, stereotypes. They’re a natural way that humans can deal with the overload of information in their environment. You know, the beautiful thing is that as you get a chance to get more up close and personal with something, you can begin to work your way through those biases. In the interviewing paradigm, there’s a whole list of things, and these are pretty well known, but you know, first and foremost is creating an infrastructure for interviewing that helps minimize bias. 

So that would be structured behavioral interviews that, you know, ask people about specific things they’ve done and then a structured rating scale that was created, you know, with input by subject matter experts as to what, you know, responses the company really wants to hear. Because they’re going to lead to the values or the performance, or what have you.

And then it’s training people to be able to actually go through and use that system. But all that still doesn’t necessarily take things away. And then you’ve always got to monitor a balance between a high degree of structure and allowing people to actually use their judgment. It’s really about mindset, training, tools, 

Roy Notowitz: [00:11:21] Right.

Charles Handler: [00:11:22] You know, and in the compliance world, I can tell you that things can very quickly get impractical. So, you know, the level of rigor and structure that you might want to impose to be a hundred percent sure you’re bulletproof, which you can never be, sometimes imposes an impracticality on the whole process that makes people not buy into it. It makes it hard to use. 

And, you know, there’s a reason for those things, sometimes, when companies really need to be forced to do things a certain way, but it’s all risk management balance. And so bias is there, but it’s not a reason not to use these tools. And in fact, cause the pushback of, “Hey, we don’t want to use assessments because we’re worried about the legal liability.” I will say in counter to that, that it’s actually better to use a validated, properly constructed, documented assessment because it removes a degree of bias from the process and actually gives you better legal standing if you do it right.

Roy Notowitz: [00:12:22] Consistently. Yeah. I mean, sometimes we’ve had potential clients come to us and say, you know, “Hey, we want to use this assessment.” And it’s maybe more of a personality test or something that’s not legally compliant or validated for selection purposes. And I think that’s something that is really important to bring home in this podcast is that there are tools that are specifically designed for selection purposes, and there are others that are not appropriate for selection purposes. And so that’s where having an expert like you… I call you on a regular basis to, “Hey, what do you think about this assessment or that assessment, or, you know…” So those are the things that I think people should watch out for and make sure that they’re assessing the right things and that it’s something that’s legally compliant.

Charles Handler: [00:13:11] Yeah. And you know, it’s hard to know as a consumer, you can’t blame people that don’t have a formal background or training in what I do. And that’s really been again, part of our whole ethos from, from square one. I mean, we do work with a lot of companies that have I/O psychologists for sure. And do a lot of projects to support them.

But you know, our typical engagement is, “Hey, we don’t have an internal I/O psychologist, and we know we’ve got to get this right.” So, you know, we’ll, we want to bring you into the equation and we help provide a first line of defense against not only shoddier solutions, but you know, the wrong solutions. 

I’ll give you an example which is kind of the poster child for this is the Myers-Briggs or, or the DISC, you know, those are not tools that are meant for selection, yet they get used that way…

Roy Notowitz: [00:13:59] Thank you for saying that. 

Charles Handler: [00:14:00] Yeah. You know, they have a lot of appeal, they’re naturally intuitive. They’re fun when you do those sessions, but basing employment decisions on those…that’s not what those tests are made for. They’re not competency-based at all. They’re what we call typology tests too. So they put you in a kind of a formula. I always call it alphabet soup with the Myers-Briggs because I can never remember what my letters are and to try and like compare yourself to a bunch of other people or compare a bunch of applicants. It’s unwieldy. You know, you got to keep this stuff practical or people lose interest pretty fast. 

Roy Notowitz: [00:14:34] How much weight should we put into the Hogan? You know, some people have said, “Oh, I think people can sort of game the assessment.” You know, is it accurate or not? Can you speak to that a little bit? Because I feel like it’s highly accurate and useful. Of course it’s not something that I would say you’d base your whole judgment on it’s another data point. Right? So sort of help us understand to what degree, you know, people can trust it and how much they should put into using that. 

Charles Handler: [00:15:01] So the first thing is, when you talk about the Hogan specifically, versus just a personality test, you know, Hogan is a gold standard. Well-researched, it’s a high-end tool that’s got abilities to do quite sophisticated kind of precision diagnostics. So I trust it because of that, but again, a great tool used in the wrong situation has very little value. So the Hogan’s great, but you know, before you even say, “I want to use the Hogan.” You say, “What are the things that are critical to success or failure here? And how do we identify and document what those are?” 

Then we can give people the Hogan and we can look at the results in critical areas. The Hogan is a sophisticated tool, like I said, so you really want to work with someone who’s a licensed, trained person who can interpret it.

Roy Notowitz: [00:15:48] Right.

Charles Handler: [00:15:48] You can interpret it at a high level without a lot of that training, but to really get into digging into it, you need to know the tool and that takes experience. So it’s different than just, Oh, here’s a big five personality tool that gives you five scores and, and all that. It’s, it’s a different ball game.

It’s a great tool. It’s more expensive and time consuming. So right? It’s not typically used for entry-level positions. And the Hogan’s about derailers too, right? It doesn’t just look at the positive side. It looks at the dark side. 

Roy Notowitz: [00:16:17] What are you like on a bad day? 

Charles Handler: [00:16:19] Yeah. And like, what are the things that are going to hold you back professionally that are going to cause problems for you? And that’s such an essential thing, you know, because I think a lot of times it’s… the train wrecks get caused by those factors, not by someone’s inability to do a certain part of the job, which at that, you know, at that more advanced level, you know, when you’re looking at C-suite jobs, there’s a, there’s a table stakes-level of analytical ability and, you know, comprehension and all that, that you’re going to have if you’re able to make it to that. But what about your emotional intelligence? What about your, you know, your Machiavellianism? You know, things that may not be very popular, you know? 

Roy Notowitz: [00:17:03] Yeah. So let’s talk about executive level. There’s obviously a need for what my team does within the process, but we’re always looking for ways to improve upon the accuracy of our selection with candidates and clients.

And we use the Hogan…

Charles Handler: [00:17:21] Good.

Roy Notowitz: [00:17:22] On a regular basis, kind of the gold standard, but you know, what things should people be thinking about as it relates to executive hiring and tools and strategies for improving their success there? 

Charles Handler: [00:17:35] Yeah. I mean, it’s a huge business and there’s a lot of boutique firms that offer executive assessment too. There’s really two main models for it and both of them work well and they both work in the development realm as well, but the main model, I would call the clinical model because you don’t even have to be an I/O psychologist. A lot of times clinical psychologists do this, but that’s a model where you have tests and interviews, you know, typically a cognitive test, some personality tests, some companies that do this work a lot have their own proprietary tools that they’ve invested a lot in creating.

And then there’s, you know, an interview with a psychologist where they’ll ask you a whole bunch of questions. 

Roy Notowitz: [00:18:14] Yeah. We’ve worked with some of those firms in collaboration and they spit out a really long sort of assessment. 

Charles Handler: [00:18:21] Exactly. 

Roy Notowitz: [00:18:22] That’s much deeper than what you usually get. Yeah. 

Charles Handler: [00:18:25] Yeah. And that’s because the value of the position and the complexity of the position is such that giving somebody a simple, you know, personality and math test, isn’t going to get it done.

You’ve got to dig deeply into who these applicants are. And understand how you think they’re going to perform in role. And that’s where the expertise of the psychologist comes in. You know, they’ll typically take all those materials and synthesize them into a report that, you’re right, it’s often, extremely long.

And a lot of times people don’t even really look at that report in a lot of detail. A lot of times what happens is the hiring manager, the committee that’s doing the hiring, they’ll do a very full and thorough debrief with the psychologist. And ultimately some of these tools, it just depends on how the vendor set up and what you want as a client of theirs.

But a lot of times you will get, you know, a recommendation: do not recommend, recommend with reservations. And so that’s, that’s model number one. Model number two is more of the assessment center model, which is where you actually have people do you know, a day in the life on the job. So…

Roy Notowitz: [00:19:29] A simulation. 

Charles Handler: [00:19:30] Yeah, and I love those. Those are great. 

Roy Notowitz: [00:19:32] Yeah. 

Charles Handler: [00:19:32] They don’t do exactly the same thing. They tell you more about, you know, how someone will actually execute the particular parts of the job and some of their awareness. So, you know, I love the business case problems. And I love making these too, where, where you’ll give someone, “Okay you know, here’s a bunch of data about our fictitious company. You’ve got a board meeting in 30 minutes, spend 30 minutes creating a presentation to tell them why they need to close this factory and open a new one somewhere else.”

Roy Notowitz: [00:20:02] Right. We call those realistic job preview projects. And we’d like to make them about something that the person would actually be wrapping their head around…

Charles Handler: [00:20:10] Totally.

Roy Notowitz: [00:20:10] If they were to take that job, right? Giving them some data. You don’t want it to be something really super long. Right? I’ve found that those give clients a really great way to see what it would be like to work with that person and how they communicate and how they think. And it also gives a person a really kind of meaningful experience where they can imagine themselves in the role or not. Right? So we spend a lot of time thinking about those when we’re working with clients and get a lot of value out of that as well. 

Charles Handler: [00:20:40] Yeah. Well, that’s good to hear. So there’s all kinds of ways that you can do this, but at the executive level, it’s all about digging very deeply.

Roy Notowitz: [00:20:48] Yeah.

Charles Handler: [00:20:49] One of the things that I’ve found interesting about that is typically on the lower level jobs, or even up to, you know, managerial jobs, you’ll study the job and build a competency model and then hire against that. But in the executive realm, it’s a lot more just looking broadly across people’s constructs they bring to the table and what’s required for that level of job. I’m not saying competency models aren’t built in, but the assessment tools are not usually changed very much. Or the process isn’t changed very much based on, you know, the particular job as it might be and lower-level jobs. It’s typically… everybody’s going to use a Hogan and a Watson Glaser and an interview, and then they write it up based on, you know, what they hear about the job.

And it costs a heck of a lot more, as you know, and there has not been a lot of movement in the market where, you know, this complex paradigm has been automated or simplified. And I’ll tell you why. I alluded to this earlier. It’s about human judgment. There’s no technology at this point that can synthesize, you know, six different tests and a bunch of interviews versus understanding the job and come back with a very personalized set of recommendations and feedback. It does not exist. We’re not there yet. 

Roy Notowitz: [00:22:07] It’s really interesting. And I guess that gives me comfort knowing that, you know, we’re going to have a job for a while here. 

Charles Handler: [00:22:12] Oh yeah, for sure.

Roy Notowitz: [00:22:14] Yeah. And it’s one of the things I look for in search consultants here is, you know, writing and critical thinking and ability to synthesize a lot of information and apply that to the competency model that we build for each role. Right? That takes a lot of brain power. And it’s probably one of the things that, you know, can be the most taxing on a day-to-day basis for, for my team is like, we spend a lot of time writing up those summaries and thinking about what we heard in interviews and things. And, and then, you know, sometimes clients really read that stuff. And other times, not so much, you know. 

Charles Handler: [00:22:50] Something I didn’t touch on that I think is critical at the executive level two is leadership. Right? You add the dimension of being a good leader. And especially at the C-suite level, you’ve got to be a good leader. And leadership is something that is still a little squishy.

I mean, it’s like, we all know a good leader when we see one. There’s not any one, unified theory of leadership that we’ve found that, you know, explains it all. It’s still got this mythical, mystical quality of, what is it that makes a natural born leader? We don’t have a “natural born leaders scale” as far as I know, but a lot of the bigger firms and some of them are search firms that also do executive assessment, they have a proprietary model of leadership that they’ve developed and they’ve researched. 

And so they calibrate everything they do in the hiring process, leadership-wise, to that particular tool or that particular model. And that’s not a bad thing at all. So you can’t ignore the leadership factor and you know, a lot of times an exercise like those realistic job preview exercises, you talk about, they get at it somewhat, but it is the realm of the specialized, you know, executive assessment to really understand and break leadership down. 

Roy Notowitz: [00:24:04] Yeah. 

Charles Handler: [00:24:05] So it’s about, you know, having a structured competency model that you evaluate against through the entire process. It’s about looking from the very beginning of the dialogue with that candidate and accruing that information so that, you know, their file grows with every touch point.

And then you can sit around and look at all that data and go, you know, “This is what I think about this person. The evidence shows it, we agree on it.” And the higher level jobs, there’s a lot more of that because the value… there’s fewer jobs to fill, fewer candidates typically, and the value of the job and the cost of failure or success is so much greater that people invest the time.

Roy Notowitz: [00:24:45] Right. So let’s talk a little bit about some of the trends that you’re seeing out there specifically, maybe we can talk about AI tools. I’ve listened to some of your podcasts where you’ve had guests talking about some of the benefits and challenges with regard to those tools. Can you speak to that a little bit?

Charles Handler: [00:25:06] Yeah. So the first thing that’s important for people to know, you know, I’m not against AI at all. I mean, it’s, that would be foolish because I think it’s, it’s definitely a huge trend. It’s also… there’s a lot of hype around it, but in our field, you know, where have we seen it entering the most? It’s going to be in what I call recruitment process automation.

So I was just speaking to the difficulties of high volume hiring, you know, there’s a whole administrative part of that too, that, you know, you can automate sourcing you can automate screening. So those kinds of things are becoming more popular. And AI has a lot of value in a lot of ways through those processes.

What it can’t really do yet is have the same psychological measurement qualities, like the same ability to really tap into a construct that we would get from psychometrics. And it’s really the difference between data science and psychological science in that, you know, data science is much more empirically driven.

So you don’t really look at the constructs. You just look at the pattern that the data shows and you don’t, you don’t actually have to explain it as much as just saying, “Oh, people that like curly fries are better at this job.” And so you kind of end up with some head scratchers about why, and that’s one of the reasons why I like to make sure that it’s construct driven. If you can use AI to help you measure that construct or collect evidence around that, great. 

The other thing I alluded to that, you know, we’re just not ready for yet, is that replacement of human judgment and decision-making. Even though humans are biased inherently, you know, we talked about how to help mitigate that, machines can be just as biased and, you know, for different reasons, but a lot of times they reflect the biases of whoever set up the, the training or they reflect the biases that are inherent in the model. And all they’re doing is reporting back on those. So there’s stewardship that has to happen over those tools, just like any other tools, but you know, the coolest advances I’m seeing are, are in automating the human judgment and replacing it. And that’s on the scoring side of the equation more.

There’s only a couple of companies I’ve seen doing this when making good inroads, but you know, they’ll train the evaluation of someone on a more complicated simulation or something like that. They’ll train a model to know the right answers. And there’s usually multiple pathways to those right answers. And once you get that trained, you can actually evaluate the applicant’s responses in a way that is starting to get…

Roy Notowitz: [00:27:43] More sophisticated.

Charles Handler: [00:27:44] A little more sophisticated. Yeah. So where I don’t like it… and you just see so many firms in the recruitment process, automation space, just, you know, they talk about AI and AI based matching and all this. Well, you know, 90% of that is old wine in a new bottle. It’s… we take a resume and we break it down using natural language processing, and then we’ll take a job requirements or what your requirements are and we’ll break that down using natural language processing, and then we’re going to see which one is most predictive of the other, you know, how well this person matches. You’ll build those algorithms and those have flaws inherently. And they also, they’re just… there’s a reason they do it. It’s efficiency. I’m not going to argue with that, you know, 

Roy Notowitz: [00:28:28] Yeah. So in what ways do you think COVID-19 and the evolution of remote working will influence your work and you know, what companies will need to be successful in the future? 

Charles Handler: [00:28:41] Yeah, that’s a great question. Again, that’s another 10 podcasts, but I mean, remote work is something that I’ve done for my whole career, almost. I mean, you know, I don’t work in a corporate campus or anything like that, and it’s the way that things are going to happen now. And I think we’re all getting used to it. I think you can see the fatigue sometimes. I think that people really inherently crave interpersonal interaction in person, and those touch points are very valued by most people. And you lose those in the remote paradigm. And so that makes it hard. Certain jobs can’t be done remotely. We did a COVID benchmarking survey back in, I’d say it was May and June.

So, you know, a couple months in, and, you know, as part of the research for that, people don’t realize, or maybe they do, like, I think only 40% of the jobs, at least in the U.S., are even amenable to remote work. 

Roy Notowitz: [00:29:34] Right. 

Charles Handler: [00:29:35] If you’re a barista, you can’t email people a latte, you know, if we could figure that out, I would be a billionaire. So then there’s the interesting adaptations that people have made in how they hire, virtual career fairs, or… 

One thing I’ve said about assessment though, and this is… I’m deep in the, you know, finishing up this market study and looking at trends. And the one thing I say in there, we deal with COVID a bunch in there is, assessment’s almost always been remote. Back around 2000, when internet testing just started, there was a big, you know, just hullabaloo about, “Should we allow people to take employment tests remotely without a proctor, without coming on site?” And you know, justifiably so, we needed to think about it, but the reality, and I said this back then is it doesn’t matter what all the psychologists in the world think about this.

It’s going to happen because the convenience factor is so huge that there’s just no way it’s not going to happen. And, you know, I feel like I was right. That doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. The AI part of things is… I feel like it’s that same kind of thing, except magnified a million times over because it’s so much more complex. But the reality is that, you know, these type of tools are going to become more and more used and more and more mainstream, whether you like it or not. We just hope that they’re used responsibly and that the technology grows. you know?

Roy Notowitz: [00:31:00] Yeah. Let’s talk about your podcast, Science 4-Hire. I’m a huge fan. It’s an incredible resource for anyone who’s really interested in the more technical side of selection. Tell us about the topics that you’re covering. And I heard one recently it was NFL… pro sports. It was kind of cool. 

Charles Handler: [00:31:18] That was very cool. You know, the interesting part about it, Roy — and this was to me a challenge, but also an opportunity — is we really serve, in my company, two markets. I mean, we serve I/O psychologists who know the domain that we work in with thought leadership and expertise and collaboration. And so they get a lot of the nuts and bolts stuff that we talk about, but we also serve — and the podcast is meant for — talent leaders in organizations.

So I wanted to keep a balance where I don’t get too geeked out with the deep level psychology stuff. Keeping things practical at the same time, really paying deference and really promoting the science side of things. 

Roy Notowitz: [00:31:59] You do a great job bringing in so many interesting guests with a deep focus on science and technology for selection. And I can always count on learning something new from every episode. How, how can people get in touch with you if they want to work with you? 

Charles Handler: [00:32:16] Yeah, thanks. I mean, I’m super easy to find. I think just, Rocket-Hire, my company. You can just Google that. with a hyphen. I’m easy to find. I’m not hiding anywhere.

Roy Notowitz: [00:32:28] Thank you so much for being on the podcast. You know, the information that you shared is super valuable. I feel like we could have three or four more episodes and cover some more topics here too. So I’m sure I’ll be inviting you back and we can talk some more about some of these topics. 

Charles Handler: [00:32:43] Yeah, thanks. And, you know, I have so much respect for people like yourself that build businesses being out there on the front lines, helping people get the right folks in the job.

It’s just such an important part of our industry, you know, having experts that you can hire to go out there and just target and trust to get the right people in place. And I’m glad that you, your paradigm includes, you know, using these tools. I think that’ll help you be more effective. And you’re obviously doing something right.

Roy Notowitz: [00:33:12] Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s never boring. We’re always learning. And that’s what I love about it. 

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