Hiring the Ideal Candidate

A systematic approach to identify candidates, during The Interviewing Process, who will become high-performing employees. 

Enrollment for 2021 is closed. Join the waitlist to be the first to be notified when 2022 enrollment is open. 

“In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy … and if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”

-Warren Buffet

Hiring the Ideal Candidate

The goal of the Hiring the Ideal Candidate program is to encourage you to develop a systematic approach to the Interviewing Process and to help you avoid the estimated 50% failure rate among new hires and overcome the 80% employee turnover rate that results from those failed hires.


By providing a comprehensive interviewing framework, including a series of Candidate Assessment Tools (eCATs) and a Candidate Scoring System that you can implement to identify, assess, and confirm that a job candidate has the proven competencies to excel in that role.

The entire program is provided in an e-Book format so you have it all in one place, with easy access before and during interviewing events.

“Lary is one of  the brightest and most energetic professionals with whom I have ever worked. His skills in dealing with privately held firms and the aggressive and  creative solutions make him a valuable asset to any business.”

~ F. Bart Smith, President (retired)

Overview Video for "Hiring the Ideal Candidate"

It's Easy to Implement

Yes, it will require a more systematic effort than grabbing a resume and deciding during the interview what questions to ask. That’s the old-school way … but one fraught with mishap and failed hires.

Our Hiring the Ideal Candidate is a Done-for-You program that includes only 4 simple steps:

  1. Establish the Performance Expectations for the position at 30–60-90 day intervals … and beyond.
  2. Decide what Competencies are required to meet the Performance Expectations.
  3. Select the questions you want to ask to obtain objective evidence that a Candidate possesses those Competencies.
  4. Compare, contrast and score the Interviewees to identify the Ideal Candidate.

It's More Effective than What You're Doing Now

It will take an adjustment in your current process, but you’re already spending that time in different ways:

  1. You’re preparing the job description and a list of duties – we call this Performance Expectations,
  2. You’re thinking about what kind of Candidate you want – we call this your Required Competencies
  3. You may be thinking about the questions you’re going to ask – we give you Ready-to-ask Questions, and 
  4. You’re sharing personal opinions to pick the Candidate – we take the personal out of it and provide a more reliable, consistent process to Systematically Identify the Ideal Candidate.

The Most Important Decisions of Your Career

These decisions will prove to be some of the most important decisions in your career.

It may not seem like it … and you may always feel rushed with everything else coming at you … but building High-Performing Teams is the only way you have a chance to excel in your role and advance your career and the success of the organization you serve.

If you make every hiring decision a Critical Success Factor in your performance, you’ll have uncovered the golden nugget that will nurture your career and every organization that is lucky enough to have you.

What do the Hiring Statistics Tell us?

The Success Rate for New Hires

Hiring statistics tell a woeful story about the failure of new hires.

This is what you’ll find on the first page when you search Google for hiring statistics:

  • 46 percent of all new hires fail within 18 months [Leadership IQ]

  • 40-60 percent of management new hires fail within 18 months [Harvard Business Review]

  • Nearly 50 percent of executive new hires fail within 18 months [The Corporate Leadership Council].

If you keep looking, you’ll also find that about 80% of employee turnover results from those failed hires.

The good news is that you can improve on those results by objectively assessing the accomplishments and track record of employment candidates.

What about the Extra Costs of Failed Hires?

The Cost of Failed Hires

Just as there is an abundance of information validating the level of hiring mistakes, so are there statistics on the price tag for failed hires.

While the U.S. Department of Labor may not be the ideal source, their survey indicates that the average cost for each failed hire is about 30% of an individual’s annual salary.

The SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) Reports that it could cost as much as $250,000 to find and hire a new employee. This includes a variety of additional, and sometimes intangible, costs that you may not have been considered, like …

  • Training fees and the time it takes for new employees to get up to speed.
  • The negative impact on team performance,
  • The disruption to incomplete projects,
  • Lost customers.
  • Relocation costs in some cases.
  • And more …

What's Required to Identify the Ideal Candidate?

The Hiring Process

In general, there are four (4) principal phases in the hiring process, although your organization may break them into different categories:

  1. Sourcing Qualified Candidates,
  2. The Interviewing Process,
  3. Hiring, and
  4. Onboarding.

Of course, making sure you have a strong pool of qualified candidates is important to getting off on the right foot. If the sourcing process is weak, you won’t have much of a chance of making the right hire because the ideal candidate won’t be on the list … and yes, hiring and onboarding the chosen candidate is also crucial for their success and can’t be overlooked.

This program, and the accompanying materials, however, are focused on the second category … The Interviewing Process … because this is your only opportunity to examine the candidates and discover the Ideal Candidate.

What Have I Learned?

Lary Kirchenbauer, CEO, Founder​
The Exkalibur Organization

Over 40+ years, I have served in many roles … as a CEO, CFO and COO … an Owner, Director, Partner and Advisor … an Investor, Lender, Borrower and Intermediary.
From these various perspectives, I’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates for C-level positions as well as almost every role in an organization.

Were all these hires successful? Nope … so after decades of hiring experience, coaching hundreds of senior executives and watching a flawed interviewing process unfold at dozens of companies, I’ve put together a systematic approach to The Interviewing Process.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to hiring a truly qualified candidate … is that we think we’re uniquely capable of looking a candidate in the eye and understanding through instinct whether they are sincere, authentic and honest. From that first impression alone, we think we can tell if they’re the right candidate.

Our Instincts aren't that good.

There have been a lot of studies that prove, on many levels, that we aren’t very good at making judgments about people simply by looking them in the eye … and yet most executives think they possess such a keen instinct that they can make the right call about a candidate in almost every situation.

I developed the Hiring the Ideal Candidate program to help you overcome the “winging it” approach … to help you minimize the failure rates for new hires and eliminate those wasteful costs. If you haven’t watched the first video on this page, do so and you’ll see that there is abundant evidence about how poorly we judge strangers.

Very few executives have had such a diverse career. In roughly chronological order, I have been …

  • A commercial banker for two major money center banks,
  • Assistant to the President of a NYSE soft goods manufacturer and importer,
  • EVP/CFO, Consumer Products. Growth from $5M – $125M in about 5 years,
  • Founder of a Merchant Bank,
  • Founder & Managing General Partner of a $35MM venture capital fund,
  • CFO & COO of a national change management consulting firm,
  • Consulting Practice Leader for the 12th largest U.S. consulting and accounting firm,

I have been a CEO and a key member of several executive leadership teams.

I have also been a member of 8 different boards of directors/advisors for middle market companies.

I’ve known and worked with Lary for more than 15 years as a business partner, consulting colleague and adviser and have found that Lary’s financial skills and creativity result in high quality results for his clients. I am certain that Lary’s strong work ethic, client focus and successful track record bode well for future clients just as they have formed the foundation of a long-term and highly valued relationship for me.

~ Kevin J. Sharps, Principal, Global Lead for Life and Retirement

Invest in the Hiring the Ideal Candidate program and reserve your seat for my group training that will be held at 10 am PST on December 1, 2021. I will personally teach you how to implement the program, including all of the Candidate Assessment Tools, to avoid the hiring mistakes and wasted costs that plague every organization. I’ll also go in-depth on how to use our exclusive Candidate Scoring System to help you obtain the objective evidence to … you guessed it … Hire the Ideal Candidate. If you prefer to have a one-on-one session with me to train you or your staff on a successful Interview Process, please select the 1:1 Zoom training option above. 

The Interviewing Process

The Interviewing Process

While all four phases are indispensable to achieving the ideal outcome, the Interviewing Process is where you have the greatest opportunity to identify the ideal candidate.

You CAN minimize the failures that plague so many hiring decisions by devoting the same quality time to the interviewing process as you would to other important organizational decisions.

  1. Establish a brief but written checklist of the accomplishments you expect from the Candidate in the first 30-60-90 days of their employment.
  2. Identify the competencies that will give your new hire the best chance for success.
  3. Use these Candidate Assessment Tools, and our comprehensive Candidate Scoring System, to draw out objective evidence that a candidate possesses the competencies required to meet the requirements for that role.

Avoid what the candidate thinks he/she can do or would like to do. Focus on what they HAVE done.

Hiring the Ideal Candidate will dramatically improve your results

A favorite mantra at Exkalibur is, “There Is No Substitute for a Great Leadership Team”.

Most importantly, we apply that expectation to every team in your organization.

That’s why we have collected and organized a series of 28 Candidate Assessment Tools, and a comprehensive Candidate Scoring System, to objectively probe specific competencies for candidates at all levels.

These are valuable, battle-tested tools to help identify and hire the best candidates for any role. The entire program is provided in an easy-to-read eBook so everything is always at your fingertips.

The Candidate Assessment Tools


Each page of the Candidate Assessment Tools is organized into three sections:

Assess Candidate Responses

The first section across the top of each page will help you assess whether the candidate’s responses present strong evidence that they possess that competency.

Assess Candidate Skills

Below the top section on the left-hand side, is a list of “Interview Questions”, with several options you can tailor to the specific position and your individual style.

Assess Candidate Competency

Alongside each Interview Question, you’ll find a Candidate Assessment guide to help you evaluate the candidate’s responses, with clarifying questions where needed.

The Hiring the Ideal Candidate Program

The Candidate Assessment Tools + the Candidate Scoring System

There are 28 Candidate Assessment Tools in Hiring the Ideal Candidate, organized into the four categories you see below. 

Of course, you can mix and match among all four categories to develop a comprehensive approach to help you identify the Ideal Candidate for that specific role. You should also recognize that some competencies will be more important in certain roles than others.

While each page of Candidate Assessment Tools includes desirable qualities you’d love to find in every employee, you may find certain competencies are more important for specific roles.

In some cases, you may want to focus on qualities that were missing in previous employees, or capabilities that are lacking in a particular team. In other cases, you may be hiring someone to lead a team where certain leadership and team-building talents are more important.

In the following video, I’ll walk you through the structure of the Candidate Assessment Tools and explain each component.

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This category focuses on Business Competencies. All of them represent desirable qualities in an employee, but you may find that particular ones are more important in a specific role.

  1. Continuous Learning
  2. Exhibits Self Control
  3. Takes Initiative
  4. Conflict Management
  5. Negotiating
  6. Systematic Problem Solving
  7. Customer Focus

This category focuses on an Enterprises Expectations that apply more broadly to all employees in an organization.

  1. Integrity
  2. Understands the Culture 
  3. Leads the Enterprise
  4. Policies, Process and Procedures
  5. Respecting Diversity
  6. Innovation
  7. Quality

This category focuses on the Leadership qualities that you would seek in a high-performing leader in an organization.

  1. Attention to Detail
  2. Commitment to Task
  3. Communication
  4. Flexibility
  5. Solves Problems 
  6. Decisiveness
  7. Tolerance of Ambiguity

This category focuses on Team-Building Capabilities. All of them represent desirable qualities in an employee, but you may find that particular ones are more important when specifically hiring people who will lead teams in your organization.

  1. Goal Oriented
  2. Leads the Team
  3. Organizes the Team
  4. Works with the Team
  5. Energizes Others
  6. Builds Relationships
  7. Project Management 

The Candidate Scoring System

Asking the Right Questions

Asking the right questions and evaluating the answers is critical in a systemic Interviewing Process. That’s why we’ve created a Candidate Scoring System to rank each of the candidates in a simple but meaningful way.

In the following video, I’ll walk you through how Candidate Scoring System works so you can take full advantage of the Candidate Assessment Tools.

I am consistently impressed by the breadth of Lary’s knowledge. He has a gift for being able to help others understand important business concepts.

~ Liz Bishop, Managing Senior Vice President

Your Investment

Your investment in the Hiring the Ideal Candidate program is a modest commitment to reduce the painful failures and wasted costs of hiring mistakes.

Imagine an entry-level position, let’s say at a $50,000 annual salary. Let’s further assume the lowest estimated level of the cost of a failed hire is 30% of annual salary.

In this example, that would be a wasted cost of $15,000. The full price of the Hiring the Ideal Candidate program, which is $397, would be 37 times LESS than the cost of that failed hire.

For an executive level position, let’s say at $100,000/year, it would be 75 times LESS than the cost of that failed hire.

Invest in the Hiring the Ideal Candidate program and reserve your seat for my group training that will be held at 10 am PST on December 1, 2021. 

I will personally teach you how to implement the program, including all of the Candidate Assessment Tools, to avoid the hiring mistakes and wasted costs that plague every organization. I’ll also go in-depth on how to use our exclusive Candidate Scoring System to help you obtain the objective evidence to … you guessed it … Hire the Ideal Candidate. 

If you prefer to have a one-on-one session with me to train you or your staff on a successful Interview Process, please select the 1:1 Zoom training option above. 

Is There a Catch?

Yup. There is a catch.

For you to get any value from this program, with its framework and accompanying tools, you’ll need to commit to reimagining your Interview Process and taking a more systematic and disciplined approach to interviewing candidates and treating it with the critical importance it deserves.

Remember … this program is designed to get you to focus on the OBJECTIVE EVIDENCE on what the candidate has done … NOT what they want to do or think they can do or aspire to do.

That’s the key.

The purchase of the Hiring the Ideal Candidate program and eBook is non-refundable since all of the assets in the program are immediately available in the eBook and have been fully disclosed prior to any purchase. The eBook has been thoughtfully prepared and thoroughly vetted, but it is only as valuable as your commitment to use it in your recruiting and interviewing processes. If you don’t think you will use it in a systematic interview process, this offer may not be for you.

Lary gives it to you straight. His experience, intuition and compassion will help you to realize your full potential as a leader.

~ Barry Friedman, CEO

Don't fall in love with a candidate.

Ask questions consistently of each candidate and stay focused on the objective evidence.

Don’t fall in love with a candidate.

Think of the example of the conductor I mentioned in the first video on this page and imagine you’re interviewing a candidate who is sitting behind a screen where you can’t see them and can only hear their answers.

If you can achieve that level of objectivity, you will dramatically increase the success of your hiring efforts. If you’re not going to take the steps to put this program into action, it will be one more stale morsel of credenza food and you should move on.

But, if you want to strengthen ALL of your teams and keep building a successful organization that excels in the marketplace and proudly serves its constituents, this program will be worth every moment of your time and investment.

I hope I’ll see you on the other side.

"Hiring the Ideal Candidate Mini Training

The videos below are a 3 Part Mini-Training to walk you through how to easily implement the Hiring the Ideal Candidate program.

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