From recruiting and developing hundreds of new commercial insurance brokers (producers) since 2000, we’ve learned to find individuals with a strong probability of being a successful in the career, in the particular agency/brokerage firm, and in the industry.
How We Assess Potential Candidates
Solid process leads to solid outcomes. We use the The Adler Group’s Performance-Based Hiring process and leverage structured, evidence-based interviews and two validated assessment profiles (the SPQ*Gold Call Reluctance Profile and the Strong Vocational Interest Inventory).
Knowing if a Candidate isn’t Qualified
The other side of our “answer key” for new producer hiring decisions is this checklist of 10 reasons to NOT hire a new producer candidate:
- Lacks successful, outside Business-to-business (B2B) sales experience. Producers are outside B2B sales people — so hire a successful, outside B2B salesperson!
- Instability in work history, i.e. excessive job jumping. Early career wanderlust is OK. A series of jobs averaging less than 2 years per employer is typically a red flag that shows a lack of perseverance and/or willingness to commit the time required to succeed.
- Under-experienced or over-experienced. Too light or too heavy typically doesn’t work well in the career transition to become a producer.
- The wrong sales experience. Examples: sales experience isn’t current or relevant, inadequate cold-calling or prospecting experience and skills, inside B2B sales (versus outside B2B sales), B2C (versus B2B), mortgage broker or other quick-buck, transaction-driven financial services.
- Lacks a successful track record – in B2B sales, in work history, in education, etc. The best predictor of future achievement is past achievement.
- Low energy, lack of enthusiasm and/or the lack of the “fire in the belly” drive to succeed.
- Poor fit for career desires. A candidate expressing a strong career desire to climb an organizational ladder or get into sales management is typically a misfit for the producer career.
- Poor compensation fit. Tough one because we need to find the right balance of short-term realistic expectations and long-term big-money desire. Disqualify a candidate who is over-focused on the starting base salary and/or has an unrealistic starting salary requirement or first year six-figure income expectation. A history of weak compensation suggests mediocrity. Finally, beware a candidate lacking big-money (high six-figure income) motivation. If they will be satisfied with “comfortable” money or “less than $100K”, disqualify.
- Poor location fit. The client’s location must make sense for the candidate to live and work long-term. Be wary if the candidate lacks deep roots in the client’s location. Long commutes don’t work either.
- Candidate casts “shadows of doubt on the wall” during interviews. Examples: sloppy resume or LinkedIn profile (typos, grammar mistakes, poor resume setup), gives indirect or evasive answers, expresses negativity about current situation or previous employers, omits and/or poorly explains gaps in work history, no LinkedIn profile or any social media presence, incorrect grammar usage, poor conversationalist, doesn’t listen well, uses profanity or other inappropriate language, etc.