Using "Moneyball" hiring in your financial practiceBlog added by Maribeth Kuzmeski on June 6, 2014
Maribeth Kuzmeski

Maribeth Kuzmeski

Grayslake, IL

Joined: September 04, 2002

When hiring people, we often rely on intuition. Frankly, what else are we supposed to go on? Anyone who has hired someone knows that on paper, an individual may look like a home-run candidate. They seem smart, interview well, have a great resume and seem motivated. Then they start the position, and after three months or so you discover that, after all, they may not be the right person for the job.

Perhaps you have heard of the Wonderlic Test given to evaluate NFL players entering the draft. All draft prospects are given the test, which is an IQ-type exam used to measure the players’ aptitude for learning and problem solving. The possible score range is 1 to 50 (with 50 being perfect). But does it really predict whether or not someone will be a great football player? Super Bowl champ Russell Wilson scored a 24. Terry Bradshaw scored a 16 (he’s won four Super Bowls), while Tony Romo scored a 37.

In baseball, if you read or watched "Moneyball," a player's contribution to the team was measured by how he affects runs — plain and simple. It was determined that this is measured best by on-base percentage (the percent of time a player gets on base, either through a hit or a walk). Ultimately, this measures the probability that the player will not make an out. It also goes against traditional statistics like home runs, stolen bases or fielding ability.

So what is your main criteria for evaluating your talent? In the financial services industry, an advisor is ultimately measured by clients served and the coordinating money under management/account size. There are many other things that are important, but all the ranking of top financial advisors, like Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisors, evaluate based on money under management. So, if the goal is to serve clients (with money under management), relationship skills, more than anything else are required.

Yes, drive, persistence, motivation, intelligence and product knowledge are important, too, but without the ability to build relationships, it’s hard to survive in this business. This ability to connect and communicate with others is called social intelligence. It incorporates one’s ability to start and maintain relationships, pay attention to the perspective of other people, and have the self-awareness to see how others are reacting.

Here are two social intelligence assessments that may be helpful in evaluating great potential financial advisors whom you’d like to hire: The goal is to give ourselves and our new hires the best chance for success. Good luck and good “Moneyball" hiring!
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