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Latitude Tales from the Trenches

Presented to
IT Zone
by Latitude Consulting Group
September 26, 2006

Proprietary and Confidential
© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.

 James Hardie –Behavioral interviewing

 Net Zero-Performance Based Interviewing
• Net Zero- Black Hat/DefCon
• Net Zero- National ISP Convention
• Net Zero- Computational Linguist
 Summation-Behavioral and Performance based interviewing You
can use it too.

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• Jason Patino office: (888) 577-2797 x160

Division Head, direct: 734-716-7904
Latitude Technical Resources

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Latitude Consulting Group

A senior technology consulting firm that

helps the extended enterprise optimize
challenging, information-driven partner

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
How can you be sure that you are
hiring the best employees for your

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
How Will Your Organization Achieve Its Goals
Without The Best People?

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How Do You Identify the Best People?

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Will you gamble your companies success on a
“Gut Check” or “Premonition”?

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Performance and Behavioral Interviewing

Using Past Performance and Behavior to

Predict Future Performance and Behavior

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James Hardie Building Product

 James Hardie: World leader in fiber cement siding,

backerboard and pipe
 National Accounts Department: Represent JH products at
Home Depot, Lowes, and 84 Lumber.

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
Situation-No Recruitment Strategy

 JH had a fragmented screening interviewing and hiring process

 New hire training was on the job and informal
 No recruiting ATS system in place
 JH had and undefined candidate profile
 JH Had a turnover of 70%
 Competitors in the space have market share and long term
history with DIY stores

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
Problem- Recruiting Limiting Growth

 National Accounts Department Sales Under 200 Million

 National Distributors responsible for marketing JH- Boise and
Wharehouser and Babcock.
 Total National Account headcount at 18 reps with 5 Regional
 Open Headcount of over 50 positions
 3 hires a month through part time recruiters and agencies.
 Cost of lost business resulting from an empty territory was in the

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
Plan-Develop Recruitment Strategy

1. Define Behavioral Candidate Profile for successful National

Accounts rep
2. Develop prescreening and interviewing process with Defined
3. Develop in person interviewing process
4. Develop hiring process
5. Develop New hire process

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What is Behavioral Interviewing?

 “The premise behind behavioral interviewing is that the most

accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in
similar situations. Behavioral interviewing, in fact, is said to be
55 percent predictive of future on-the-job behavior, while
traditional interviewing is only 10 percent predictive.”
Quintessential Careers

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
1. JH National Accounts Profile

 Examine current behavior traits of successful JH Sales Reps and

management and document parallel behaviors
 Create a list of Identified successful behaviors to be integrated
with the hiring process

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
Key Behaviors for successful JH Rep

 Commitment To Task
 Problem Solving
 Active Learning
 Adaptability
 Selling
 Customer Value
 Achievement Oriented
 Communication
 Strategic thinking
 Marketing
 Teamwork
 Financial Knowledge
 Leadership

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2. Prescreening Process

 Defrag recruiting process

• Cut recruiters tie to all field managers
• Train recruiters on new screening, interviewing process
 Implement Applicant tracking system
• Online Submittal System
• Online Questionnaire
 Build online recruiting strategy
• Job Boards
 Implement College Recruitment Strategy
• Career fairs in profile matching colleges

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Prescreening Process Cont.

 First phone interview go over basics

• Assess individual for position and company
• 4 of 12 behavioral questions asked
• Assign Field Study and follow up interview
 Performance Based Tasks – Field Study
1. Research JH background, financial, and market position
2. Research all JH Products and competitor products in each
DIY store
3. Build and present 3 month territory plan
 Second phone interview
• Behavioral attributes are further identified through the
candidate ability to complete the field study.
 Successful candidates are flown to in person interview

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
3. In Person Interview Process

 2-3 In Person interviews conducted monthly

• 10-30 candidates per interview
• Interview book prepared for managers
• Resumes
• Online Questionnaires
• Feedback from phone interviews and field study
• One of three behavioral interviewing forms

 3 room interview process with holding room

• Two managers per room
• 4 of 12 behavioral questions per room
• Mole planted in holding room

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
Behavioral Interview Example Questions

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4. Hiring Process

 After In person interviews all mangers enter a group session to

discuss candidates and assign territories for new hires
 Candidate are usually required to make an immediate relocation

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
5. New hire Training

 New Hires enter the most extensive new hire training program
in the industry
• One week ride along with Regional Manager
• One week ride along with Senior Rep
• One Week corporate training
• One week manufacturing plant training with hands on
installation exercises
• And off to the field they go!!!!

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Results—Show me the money!

 Turn Over reduced to 00% (Healthy Attrition)

 6-14 hires per month
 Department is currently at 00% revenue growth
 National Accounts is now a 000 million Dollar a year department
 Distributors are now relied on for shipping product and not
marketing product

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
JH Manager Quotes

 “The implementation of behavioral interviewing tactics has given

my management team the ability to compare all candidates
equally” Tim Birckbichler, Director of Sales for National Accounts
 “Behavioral Interviewing can provide you with tangible examples
of how a candidate meets your defined behaviors” Robert
Patrizi, Mid West Regional Manger for National Accounts

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.

 NetZero is a nationwide Internet Service Provider,

available in more than 8,000 cities across North America.
 NetZero offers unlimited paid service and a Free ISP.
 I joined NetZero as employee 44 and was the first full time
recruiter the company brought on.
 NetZero the worlds largest free ISP

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
Differing work Cultures

 NetZero is the worlds largest free ISP

 Due to rapid growth the company was constantly striving to
make development dates
 The company offered
• Meals
• Games
• Gym
• Sleep Room
 A normal developers day was 7 AM (Breakfast) to 7 PM (Dinner)
 Many would work more then 12 hour days and some would work
all night during release dates.

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
Problem - Finding the Right Developers

 Developers Shortcomings
• Not used to rapid release schedules
• Not used to long hours worked
• Not able to code fast enough under pressure
 Recruiting Shortcomings
• Not able to find talented enough individuals
• Not able to find right skills in local talent pool

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.

1. Implement performance based position descriptions and hiring

2. Expand candidate search activities to nontraditional techniques

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1. Performance-Based Descriptions

 Every job has six to eight tasks, projects or milestones that

define superior performance.
 Start at the one year performance review and work backwards.
Hiring managers need to define the work a person in the job must
do to be considered a top performer.
 By putting performance first, you can find candidates who have
achieved similar results using a different mix of skills, behaviors
and competencies.
 By starting off looking for skills, behaviors and competencies, you
minimize your pool of top performers.

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
Assess performance history

 Task: Document code and processes on a daily basis, as appropriate

 Task: Respond to and/or process support requests (SharePoint Issues) within
contract specified terms
 Task: Submit up-to-date accounting of Time and Support Detail to PM on a weekly
basis or as requested
 Task: Deliver on time and on budget according to client/project requirements and
according to the published project timeline.
 Task: Attend scheduled status meetings
 Task: Mentor other developers on projects as agreed to
 Milestones: Within two months must be able to support clients with minimal
assistance from others.
 Milestones: Within six months have the demonstrated ability to serve as “Single
Point of Contact (SPOC) for one client.
 Project: Within 6 months complete Process Documentation for Application Support
 Project: Within one year Complete Professional Development Plan

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Train the Managers

 Gut Check
• Is it worth your companies success?
• Wait 20 minutes.
 Years of experience
• Oracle dev
• Bakersfield ISP
 Follow the process and 1+1 equals 2

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2. Non-traditional recruiting methods

 NetZero-Black Hat/DefCon
• Building security/Anti Hacking department
• Vegas 6 day convention
• Party in a suite, business card entrance fee
• Hire the hackers
• The trick, agents in the field

 NetZero-National ISP Conference

• Find Highly talented ISP talent
• New Orleans 3 day convention
• Throw a dinner in the ball room, business card entrance fee
• Hire the competitors
• The trick, Agents in the field

Proprietary and Confidential 35
© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
Non-Traditional Recruiting Methods

 Net Zero- Computational Linguist

• Traditional Methods of finding a candidate where turning up
unqualified candidates
• Turned to Colleges, alumni Associations and blogging.
• After a 6 month search we found a candidate in Israel who
located me on a blog I posted the position on.
• Position description is still on the web 5 years later.

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
Recruiting Strategy Results

 Screened out candidates that would not be able to keep up with

Net Zero's high stress environment
 Found candidates that are used to long hours
 Found the technically specialized individuals to make the
company grow to the success that it is now.
 Candidates clearly knew what was expected of them before
starting the job.
 Managers became better interviewers
 Was able to expand the recruiting efforts to pull from a niche
talent pool

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.
NetZero Manager Quotes

 “Performance Based recruiting has given the recruiting

department an edge on finding the right candidates the first
time without having to go through painful and costly backfills.”
Rafi Kurkdjian, Recruiting Manager

 “My department attrition is down and my productivity is up, the

process that the recruiting department has put in place has
given us the direction we needed to weed out the good from the
Gordon Clarke, NOC Manager

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STAR Technique

How to answer your performance based or behavioral


Situation – describe the situation that you were in


Task – describe the task that you needed to accomplish

Action – describe the action you took

Results – What did you accomplish or learn?

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.

 Behavioral and performance based interviewing make for great

 Performance based starts with the position description
 Behavioral starts with the proper profile
 Retrain how you and your managers interview
 Just the facts.

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© 2006, Latitude Consulting Group, Inc.

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