• Quality: ISO 10667-2

How to ensure quality when hiring

Augusti 30, 2018
By Robin Karlestedt

Having a standard as a benchmark and measurement for a smart and successful long-term recruitment. Mercuri Urval's experience is that using the standard of assessment services for executive recruitment and leadership development benefits everyone - better results for candidates, executives and organisations.

SIS asks Robin Karlestedt from Mercuri Urval 3 questions.

What is trending within executive recruitment and assessment services right now?

A clear global trend is the increased demand for quality. There is a higher focus on using evidence-based and diversity-proof assessment methods. As an actor in this market, it is essential to take responsibility and use proven, serious methods that do not discriminate. It is vital that the methods used accurately predict what they are designed to predict – so that they can create real benefits for the organisation.

What are the difficulties and challenges of using this type of service?

It's always very difficult and complicated to assess an individual's future performance, whether in executive recruitment or development contexts. Recruitment and succession planning are not about filling an empty spot - the person entering the role needs to achieve the expected result and the assessor must be able to predict this result accurately.

An unstructured interview does not provide that insight, and intuition is, as everyone knows, not always right. A personality test in itself has virtually no value - this is accepted scientific fact.

What is often overlooked in leadership assessments is the crucial work that starts with defining what to assess. How do we break down result expectations into something we can actually assess against? And once we have defined that, what available assessment tools and methods should be used?

It may sound easy, but, in my experience, it's the most common reason for misjudgement. Defining the assessment criteria and using proven assessment methods is what evidence-based assessment in a professional context is about.

Simple, but not easy.

How can a standard work as a quality assurance-tool for recruiting?

Mercuri Urval implemented ISO 10667-2 a couple of years ago as an international framework for our existing assessment methods, and as a way of leading our internal testing institute in their work developing and validating assessment methods.

What a standard as this one actually does can be summarised in three points:

  1. It provides our clients with a consistent and evidence-based assessment of their candidates and employees, regardless of the country in which they choose to work with us.
  2. As a company, it gives us another tool for harmonising our delivery processes globally to increase quality and,
  3. it ensures that our candidates and participants are assessed in a fair and professional manner.

I believe that the standard can contribute to better results for our clients and candidates as individuals, managers and organisations. Better assessments lead to better performance in public and private organisations. I see no disadvantages in spreading the standard further, only a big potential for the future.


Mercuri Urval is a leading global Executive Search, Professional Recruitment and Talent Advisory firm with HQ in Sweden. Mercuri Urval conduct their ISO 10667-1 certified assignments in over 50 countries every year.

This is a translated version of the original article "Så kvalitetssäkrar du rekryteringar" published by SIS. You can access the article here.


  • Quality
  • ISO 10667-2