Agency Execs Share Best Practices in Hiring Job Candidates

Oct 9, 2017

The use of personality testing in the hiring process was the biggest point of debate between a trio of panelists on a webinar presented last week with one of the panelists heavily endorsing their use.  The webinar was sponsored by Peak Revenue Learning.

Mike DeCarpio, the director of collections at RevSolve, says his agency uses a number of personality tests during the hiring process to identify and determine whether the candidates have the right skill sets and personality traits to succeed at the company and in the industry.

“We want to make sure they will fit into our culture,” DeCarpio said during the webinar. RevSolve is using a product from People Decisions, Inc. The product assesses a number of personality traits, including assertiveness, social comfort, sales motivation, attention to detail, and energy, among others.

While neither of the other two panelists indicated they used any such testing during their hiring process, they did express some interest in DeCarpio’s description of the product. Personality testing can provide objective data into a situation that is very subjective. DeCarpio said his firm is looking to weed out the individuals who are good ad manipulating themselves during an interview to make themselves look hirable.

One area where all three panelists agreed was on hiring individuals with previous industry experience. Those individuals are a red flag that require additional scrutiny and reference checks prior to hiring, because of the potential to bring bad habits into the job. Instead, the panelists seems to be looking more for individuals with people skills or experience working with individuals who might be unsatisfied and training them to be collectors.

“I’m looking for people who have been around people,” said Gordon Beck, the chief executive of Diversified Consultants, Inc. “People who have worked in hospitality or car sales. We are looking for the human experience.”

In terms of looking for candidates, the panelists had mostly similar strategies, with subtle differences. Beck said his firm has had success advertising on local online job boards, such JaxJobs, which is a job board for Jacksonville, Fla., where DCI is based. DeCarpio said RevSolve has had success using sites like Craigslist and Michael Lages, the president and chief financial officer at Delta Outsource Group, says  his firm has held open houses and used them as opportunities for employees to bring employee referral candidates to the office.

An interesting conversation ensued when the topic of hiring members of the millennial generation was raised. Millennials are looking for more than a job; they want to know that they are part of something bigger, Lages said.

“So we’re getting more involved in our community,” Lages said. “They aren’t just after the almighty dollar.”

DeCarpio said he gave the company’s job ad to a group of millennial employees to re-write for a younger generation.

“When I write it, I’m writing it for me,” he said. “They wrote it for their generation.”

At the end of the day, it is cheaper to keep someone than it is to hire someone, Lages said, and all agencies need to adopt a culture of continuous improvement. The average tenure for a collector at Delta Outsource Group is four and a half years, he said.