Key Employees’ Suitability Estimator


Know if your first potential recruits are right for you and how to decide between them


I have developed a pedagogical decision-making tool that helps to choose the key employees by validating (or invalidating) their “start-up” ability. This innovative approach combines scoring techniques with those of Behavioral Interviewing to model the analysis of the “start-up” capacity of potential key employees.

The underlying idea of this model is to systematically highlight the interrelational talents of your first recruits and to instantly evaluate, through a pre-formatted behavioral assessment, their entrepreneurial personality.

Since business creators often lack rigor and even method in the choice of their key employees, and this choice is usually made at a rough guess, I conceived an interesting way, because it is both logical and just, to break down the key employee candidates. This model is all the better when you take a lot of factors (skills, abilities, talents) into consideration.

In this model, we first identify the elements that should be taken into account and formalize the decision-making process. The tool uses a calculator, simple enough to be pragmatic, to quantify the key elements involved in the decision-making process of the founder.

The idea behind this calculator is to establish a weighting (on a scale of 0 to 10) for each of the key criteria chosen by the founder in search of key employees, then assign a value to the contribution of each of the possible first recruits (also on a scale of 0 to 10).

Then, we take the weighting and multiply it by the score of the candidate to obtain the weighted score. From there we get the overall score and ranking of each candidate.


  1. Choose the elements of the decision-making process
  2. Define the questions
  3. Evaluate the answers
  4. Relativising the importance of the elements
  5. Identify the personal contributions of the candidates
  6. Rank the candidates


The FOSE method (acronym for the Founders’ Suitability Estimator®, previously presented) used to select co-founders may well be suitable, with a slight adaptation, to select the key employees of the start-up.

With one or two exceptions, the choice of selection criteria (soft skills) is the same as for the co-founders and the principle of the method does not change.

In addition, the same pool of questions (see “Interview Question Pool”) can be used as the one used to populate the FOSE model.

FOSE’s approach to selecting key employees can be labeled as the KESE (acronym of Key Employees’ Suitability Estimator®) method.

The KESE matrix  (available in English or in French version) includes 4 tables of calculation whose parameters are modifiable:

– Detailed table (figured example)
– Summary table (figured example)
– Blank detailed table (set for unlimited training)
– Blank summary table (set for unlimited training)