Tim Connon is CEO & Founder of ParamountQuote and knows a thing or two about the qualities to look for when hiring anyone. In this interview, they share some insights with The Industry Leaders.
Can you share a little about your background and experience in hiring and building successful teams?
I have been hiring, training and building successful teams of agents for 5 years. I started as an agent manager for a team of 10 insurance agents. One of the first things I taught them as sales people is train their mindset to be focused on statistics. Not every prospect is going to say "yes" and not every prospect is going to say "no". This helped them realize to focus on perfecting their sales script and hitting high contact numbers. This led to my team holding the highest closing average for 4 months in a row. When I started my own agency I immediately looked for coachable mindsets during the hiring process. I would ask the potential hire "how good are you at sales?" if they responded with some overly confident answer like "I am the best" etc. I would test it with a quick role play. This how I separated the un coachable from the coachable. After the role play if they didn't want to hear my advice I would not hire them. I was looking for humble sales people that were ready to learn, not people who think they know it all. If an agent seems unsure of himself but promises he will put forth an effort to learn and work hard this is the kind of agent I wanted.
What are the top 3 qualities you look for when hiring anyone.
What are some examples of questions you might ask during an interview to determine whether a candidate possesses these key qualities?
How good are you at sales? Do you believe in statistics? Are you coachable?
If you had to assign weightings to the above qualities, which would get the highest weighting, and why?
Humbleness would get the highest weighting because a person who is humble listens and wants to learn. They understand that they have room for improvement therefore making them easier to coach and manage.
How do you assess people for qualities like adaptability, resilience, and a growth mindset during the hiring process?
We spend a good portion of the interview doing a sales role play with me being the prospect. We find the growth mindset through our line of questioning.
How do you balance evaluating a someone's technical skills with their soft skills and overall fit for your team and company culture?
In our particular culture what really matters is our agents willing to become better sales people. The technical skills are secondary and will be part of their onboarding training. Our CRM software is extremely easy to use.
Is there one particular source you tend to find the best candidates?
Referrals and Indeed are the 2 best sources for us.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting to build a hiring process?
Create questions that will give you the most insight into the potential hires mindset. It takes a lot of thought but develop your questions in a way that can reveal arrogance or other negative qualities. This can help you identify personality traits that will tell you if the potential hire is a good fit.