This happened recently with one of our properties with the Luce Performance Group. Scott appeared to be a great account executive. At first glance he was dynamite! He wouldn’t sit still. He kept talking about all he would do in the new position. Just full of ideas and did I mention head strong? Wow, he even commented on how he is up early every day and has very little time for team meetings. He would rather be out there knocking on doors and cold calling. He said he likes to get 5 or 6 done by 8:30 am. so that he can get in a round of golf with his buddies later on. Goals? Well his were the highest by far. He was going to break all records in the first month. Just wanted a small base and let him run. That was Scott’s motto. So how do you think that turned out? He talked like the perfect candidate to help us really gain market share. Unfortunately we took out our microscope and asked that he take our pre-hire assessments. Uh Oh….. Now we saw someone that could be a little more challenging.
Work ethic and Integrity scores were below 4 on a 1-10 scale. Something started to smell fishy but we went on with the Sales Assessment and found that while his cognitive abilities were in line with what we were looking for (a real quick learner), his behavioral traits in a couple of key areas were beyond our target.
Scott hit a manageability score of 2 out of 10. What does that mean? He is likely to not follow the rules or procedures that we carefully drew up to reflect our corporate culture. Our image is important to the public, but he wouldn’t necessarily care about that. More importantly, our sales process steps are critical to our overall sales goals. We know that if our team member doesn’t stay between the lines they are likely to not meet their income goals. We all lose and who wants that? Bottom line here is that Scott must be heavily coached to fit our success pattern. Next we used specialized interview questions provided by the assessment to see if he was flexible enough to handle it. Whoa, this didn’t look good.
The energy scores were 10 out of 10, and in addition the interview questions told us he couldn’t stick any subject for more than a minute. His super high energy level barely allowed him to sit still. He also showed tendencies to be extremely restless. Have you ever known anyone like this? Wow, it sounds like adult attention deficit disorder. But we’re not shrinks; we were just trying to find a good fit for an Account Exec Position.
So what did we do? What would you do for that matter? The target scores we were looking for were based on dozens of top performing account executives and old Scotty was out in two of 20 areas? We wanted to increase the predictability of success so where would you put your money? Against the data we hired him.
Now fast forward this story 90 days when we then stopped seeing Scott come into the office. He completely stopped turning in reports a month prior and although he had a strong start, his contracts have dried up two weeks ago.
Scott is just one example of how we have finally convinced ourselves that the data doesn’t lie. We have a formula and strong record of success for our properties that depends on our players meeting criteria that has been proven over time. It is so much like a good sports position. In baseball, one has to look at the player’s past behavior. There are all kinds of statistics to review. We can do that now in sales positions, administrative and even program managers.
I’m glad we don’t have to guess anymore. We just have to trust our own process and stay within the ranges we are targeting. It is when we second guess our own system and think we can out-fox the program that we get into trouble. Believe me that mis-hire cost us allot of money in training, mentoring, education and lost customers. We won’t do that again.
Jon Morse is the Recruiting Coordinator for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.luceperformancegroup.com.