?Let?s see, here. Please give me a moment to review this stuff.? Hume tilted his head back until his trifocals brought his computer screen into focus. A report that summarized Sandy?s skills, background success factors, motivations, interests, and attitudes appeared on Hume?s computer. They were all organized into a four-part skill model that included Sandy?s ability to solve problems, plan work, get things done through people, and be motivated by the job. The program suggested that there were some inconsistencies between Sandy?s past jobs and her motivations, interests, and attitudes that should be further explored. ?Hmmm,? thought Hume to himself, ?This sure beats the old way of interviewing. I?d have never been able to gather this much information from an interview. Now all I have to do is get better acquainted and do some follow up investigating.? Hume asked the questions suggested by the computer until he was satisfied that Sandy had all the right stuff for the job. Hume used a ?multiple hurdle? approach. The candidate must pass one ?hurdle? successfully to go to the next. Sandy passed the first three. She could progress to the fourth. ?Sandy, the position you are being considered for is Account Executive, right?? ?Right.? ?Good. The next step is for us to see how you do in a role-play that simulates the kind of situations you will face in the job. It works like this. You?ll take a few minutes to read some materials. When you are done, you will meet with a trained role-player who will play the role of a potential prospect. There are no hidden surprises and everything will be as realistic as we can make it. Are you ready?? ?I?m ready?.Or at least I think I?m ready!? Sandy laughed nervously. ?Don?t worry. Do your best. Now, here?s the material. You can make notes if you like. You have time to study before you meet the prospect. Just take a seat in the lobby and the role-play will begin in ten minutes. We will tape record your conversation because we do not want to miss anything. Do you have a problem with that? No? Any more questions? Good! Let?s get started.? Ten minutes later, a young man, completely in character, walked up to Sandy. ?You must be the new representative. I?m Bill Prospect. Come into my office, I cleared 15 minutes from my schedule just for you.? Sandy and Bill walked into a small office where he started the tape recorder and sat back in his chair waiting for Sandy to start. The next fifteen minutes flew! ???.you have convinced me, Sandy. I?ll take the trial order and we?ll see what happens next?, said Bill as he reached over and turned the recorder off. ?Wow, that was realistic! I completely forgot about the recorder? Bill chuckled, ?Most people do. But, thanks, Sandy, we try to make it as realistic as possible. Just relax while I let Hume know we?re finished. ?Want something to drink?? A few minutes later, Hume appeared at the door with a young woman. ?Well, Sandy, the worst is about over. I?ve asked Janet, one of our newest AE?s, to show you around the office while we process the paperwork. That should give you some time to think of any unanswered questions you might have.? Janet and Sandy left, Hume returned to his office and Bill replayed the tape using a behavioral checklist to enter his scores into Sandy?s computer profile. Fifteen minutes later he was done and the results were logged in Hume?s data-base. Hume pressed another button and the program suggested that Sandy was still a prime candidate. By now, Hume knew he had done all he could to screen for cognitive ability, planning ability, interpersonal skills, and motivation ? now it was time for Sandy to meet her prospective boss for a ?chemistry check.? A quick call was all it took, the boss was ready for an interview, and when Sandy returned from her tour, she was escorted to his office. This interview was slightly less formal, but still followed the professional format Sandy was accustomed to. At the end of the day, Hume told Sandy the final step was the reference check. He would get back to her within the week? The rest was history? ?What a trip?, she thought. ?Hume?s recruiting program sure has a way of finding sales winners for me. Instead of the 50/50 success odds I?m accustomed to, his process has a 90/10 ?hit?rate. My reps learn faster, produce more and are easier to manage. Oh, sure, sometimes I have to wait a while he sifts through applicants, but what a treat it is working with the people who get over the hurdles. Sandy, leaned back in her leather office chair and gazed out the window onto the river below. She thought for a while, picked up her phone and dialed. ?Hume, can you convert your program into French?we need to expand our numbers in Europe?. Note: all the technology outlined in this story is available today. All it takes is a little work, a modest financial investment and a true commitment to hiring excellence.
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