Performance Matters. First Impressions Don’t.

July 14th, 2013 / No Comments »

By Lou Adler

The only common trait among the best people is their track record of solid performance, not the quality of their first impression.

I was struggling. It was my first retained search. It was for a National Accounts Manager for a distribution company in Southern California. The location of the client was bad, the compensation was low, and the job was mediocre, but the promise of a guaranteed fee was alluring. I took the assignment without hesitation. But four weeks later, with no viable candidates, pressure was mounting along with some sleepless nights. Finally I struck gold. I found a great person willing to relocate to the lowlands of LA.

I always conduct a 30-45 minute phone screen using the Most Significant Accomplishment (MSA) question before meeting anyone. I would then invite those who passed to a full onsite interview. John aced the phone screen, describing how he landed a major sale with a major retailer. He was exactly the person my client needed to help double their sales within two years…….