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History of Candidate Resources, Inc.

The Origins of Employee Assessment Tools

The pre-employment assessments utilized by CRI were developed by a team of psychologists in 1957. Dr. John L. Shirley used the psychological tests of the day to test candidates for potential leadership roles. Early customers included Morris Zale and Ben Lipshy, of the the Zales Corporation; Mary Kay Ash, who originated Mary Kay Cosmetics; Ebby Halliday, who originated Ebby Halliday Real Estate; Mary Crowley, who originated Home Interior Decorating and Gifts; John and Jerry Thompson, who started 7-Eleven, which later became Southland Corporation; and Charles Tandy who acquired Radio Shack when it was in bankruptcy.

Dr. Shirley and other staff psychologists in Dallas tested and interviewed each of individual, their children and other employees to determine if they were suitable additions to these companies. Sixty years ago, the testing fee was $250.00 per person and needed to be conducted in Dallas. which included compilation of the resulting report and its presentation. As the years passed, clients pressed for a more economical way of testing applicants.

A Unique Employee Personality Test

Computing was taking off in the 1960’s

Dr. Shirley contacted Dr. Raymond Cattell, who developed the Sixteen Personality Factor (16PF) assessment, to help develop a simpler test. Dr. Cattell and several other noteworthy psychologists participated and together they built the first test to debut in America measuring mental aptitudes, job-related personality traits, and validity scales all in one instrument.

Prior to the instrument’s creation, there were no purely job-related tests that contained a measurement of aptitudes and behavioral traits in the same tool. Today, the test is known as The Achiever. All similar tests are derivatives of the Achiever and various other organizations today license CRI’s technology.

In the 1970’s, Milt Cotter began the process of transitioning The Achiever into one that could be used by employers across America. Mr. Cotter worked with a team of doctors to train laymen to administer and score the tests, which made them more effectual and economical.

Mr. Cotter also began emphasizing the use of benchmarks in conjunction with The Achiever assessment. Benchmarking uses established data of people who are successful in their jobs by job category to determine goals and performance development plans.  Strong traits of top performers become the benchmarks against which employees and future candidates are compared.

Modern Hiring Assessment

Dallas, Texas in the 1980’s

In the 80’s, Cotter worked with computer programmers to program The Achiever scoring system. This era gave way to creation of MS DOS software to score and deliver test results. This model and client service system was used across America in the late 80’s and the 90’s until the internet became widely available.

Hiring strategy and assessment today

Organizations can’t succeed without strong leaders and teams, and finding the right people for any job has never been easier. Today, CRI assessments are available online and take less than an hour to complete. Prioritize your human capital and magnify your returns with our groundbreaking approach.

It’s free to try, so contact CRI today.


We help companies grow stronger by identifying top talent and optimizing human capital.

Core Values

  • Make growth and learning a priority (for ourselves and others)
  • Maintain a “pioneering” mindset and continuously innovate
  • Deliver with a servant’s heart
  • Always aim to surprise and delight
  • Be accessible and willing to jump in wherever needed
  • Be honest, stay objective and get results!