What Makes a Good Assessment?

Originator Assessments

Sales Manager Assessments

Operations Assessments

What Makes a Good Assessment?

Finding the right assessment can be difficult because so many firms claim to predict sales success, but few can deliver on this promise. A good assessment has several important characteristics that follow the guidelines established by EEOC’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures and the generally accepted Standards for Educational & Psychological Tests including:

1. Science-based

Make sure that that the assessment profile your company is considering is based on accepted scientific approaches regarding sampling size methodologies and meets EEOC legal requirements.

The composition of the sample size is very important. It should include a mix of top, average and low sales performers. A sample of just top performers is not scientifically sound.

Many assessment firms say they have complied with scientific standards or that they will let a company test 10 of their current sales people. The facts are that an accepted sample size is over 100 cases. Therefore, testing 10 or even 20 people at a company does not tell you anything. Additionally, the assessment company should be willing to give you a copy of their written validation study that shows what scientific approach has been used and what the assessment predicts.

2. Predictive

The value of a good assessment is its ability to predict the sales success of a particular candidate. In order to have a predictive assessment, it is necessary for an assessment company to conduct research that is expensive and time-consuming. As a result, very few of the assessments on the market today are based on this type of research. The research requires performance data, manager reviews and sales people to complete a questionnaire. With a large enough sample size, the assessment using a predictive validation approach should generate a profile that will distinguish between low sales performers and those who are above average.

3. Easy to use, web-based and self-contained

In today’s business environment, assessments need to be easy to use, web-based and instantly score the candidate’s questionnaire. The assessment system should be self-contained and one that managers can use 24/7, 365 days of the year. The testing system should include reports that comply with EEOC requirements.

Additional considerations include when was the research validation study completed and does the assessment provide customized behavioral probes for the interviewer to ask?

Download our What Makes a Good Assessment PDF

For an interesting discussion, read this New York Times article, "Can an Algorithm Hire Better than a Human?"

Originator Assessments

Pre-Hire Assessment

Designed for originators — whether they are in retail, TPO or inside sales — our pre-hire assessment helps managers identify sales candidates who have an above-average probability for success.

Our test benefits companies and hiring managers in a number of ways including:

  • Provides an objective analysis of a candidate’s sales talent, taking the emotional bias out of the interview process.
  • Saves managers time and money. It would take a hiring manager many hours to determine a candidate’s internal personality characteristics. The test provides the analysis in seconds which saves time.
  • Improves sales performance. By eliminating those candidates who do not have the behavioral talent for mortgage origination, sales performance results improve because the below average have been identified in the screening process.
  • Customized for the financial services industry. This is not a generic pre-hire report but a validated assessment for originators. (A validated assessment means that scientific standards have been met. Validation studies are available upon request.)

Watch our pre-hire assessment video

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Development Assessment

Our sales development assessment helps sales professionals and their managers identify and target the behaviors required to improve sales results.

Our assessment benefits companies and managers in a number of ways including:

  • Pinpoints the sales problem and provides managers with information on how to coach the individual to remedy the lack of performance. Takes the quesswork out of what is holding back the originator.
  • Provides comprehensive recommendations for the individual to improve their sales performance. The assessment provides custom online training that targets specific areas for improvement and includes recommended books, seminars and audiotapes.
  • Customized for the financial services industry. This is not a generic development report but a validated assessment for originators. (A validated assessment means that scientific standards have been met. Validation studies are available upon request.)

Download Our Sales Development PDF

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Sales Knowledge Assessment

When sales producers fail to make their goals, many senior managers turn to event training as a solution. They hold sales rallies with motivational speakers or outside trainers and hope that better results will happen, but the improvement never occurs. What a waste of money! Why does this happen?

This approach is flawed because each sales person has different strengths, weaknesses and sales learning issues. In order for sales professionals to improve performance, sales training must be tailored to each individual’s gaps in sales knowledge. Event or mass training doesn’t work because it operates on the premise that everyone has the same knowledge issue which managers know is not true.

Our proprietary sales knowledge assessment helps managers spend their training dollars wisely by determining what the originator needs to learn to be a more effective originator. Our 80-question test measures an originator’s skill levels in six essential consultative selling areas which helps companies provide a more targeted training solution.

The sales topics that we measure are:

  1. Prospecting
  2. First meeting
  3. Probing and presenting
  4. Overcoming objections
  5. Influencing/convincing
  6. Closing

Our sales knowledge assessment takes the guesswork out of the equation. It helps identify specific training the originator needs and provides managers with an objective measurement on where to spend their time and training dollars.

Download Our Sales Knowledge Report PDF

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Integrity Assessment

Integrity matters now more than ever for companies that want to succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace. Customers value integrity in companies and salespeople and it is an important factor when deciding to which firms they will give their business. The bottom-line: Customers want to work with people they trust and believe.

Integrity is essential to moving the customer relationship forward. Hiring sales candidates with integrity is not only the right thing to do — it’s a smart business practice for companies interested in building long-term relationships with their customers.

How can managers ensure that the sales candidates they hire have high integrity? One solution is integrity assessment testing. A pre-hire integrity assessment can identify potential high-risk integrity issues and other counter-productive behaviors in the sales environment.

The integrity assessment should be administered before a company decides evaluates a candidate’s sales talent.

Download Our Integrity Test PDF

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Manager Assessments

Manager Pre-Hire Assessment

Making a poor decision when hiring an originator can be costly, but hiring the wrong manager can be more damaging to a company's bottom line because of the impact that the manager has on the sales team.

Our pre-hire manager assessment identifies candidates who possess the 10 competencies that matter most for sales management success.

Our assessment benefits companies and hiring managers in a number of ways including:

  • Provides an objective analysis of whether a candidate possesses the primary competencies needed to excel at coaching others to reach their fullest potential.
  • Saves hiring manager’s time and money. It would take a hiring manager many hours to determine the managerial competencies of a candidate. The assessment gives the analysis in seconds which saves time and money.
  • Improves sales performance by identifying those candidates who have the competencies to manage well including whether they possess the skills to coach and mentor sales professionals.

Download Our Manager Pre-Hire Assessment PDF

Request a Free Demo

Manager Development Assessment

Our manager development assessment helps the supervisor and the manager have a meaningful discussion on the individual's strengths, weaknesses and subsequent action plan needed to improve their competencies.

Our assessment benefits companies and managers in a number of ways including:

  • Helps senior executives better manage direct reports. The assessment provides individual managers with detailed analysis on how their competencies compare against the top managers in financial services.
  • Provides a framework for success. The assessment includes development suggestions customized for the individual manager that encompass goal-setting and a development action plan.

*Reports are accessed quickly and easily through our online system.

Download Our Manager Development PDF

Request a Free Demo

Operations Assessments

Processor and Underwriter Pre-Hire Assessments

After the direct supervisor, the most important person for an originator is the processor. An effective processor enables loan officers to increase their production significantly.

While this position has become more demanding over the years, many managers don’t set a high enough skill standard when hiring processors.

Mortgage firms that realize the value of this position understand that they need to take a closer look when interviewing for the processor job. Processors are no longer simply file organizers but now have a significant amount of communication with the borrowers and originators.

In our research, we have identified the traits of a good processor. We discovered good processors possess 12 personality traits. Our processor pre-hire assessment helps companies determine whether they have the right candidate in place who can meet the demands of the processor’s critical role in origination.

Similar to processors, the underwriter position has also undergone changes and managers can benefit by using an underwriter pre-hire assessment to raise the hiring standard. When it comes to risk management, the underwriter is a company’s first line of defense. This position is more important than ever with the increase in government regulations and compliance requirements.

Hiring the wrong underwriter can have a lasting negative impact on a company’s performance. We have identified nine competencies that good underwriters possess. For additional details view a sample report here.

Download Our Mortgage Processor Report PDF

Please note: Any of our pre-hire and development assessments can be further customized to meet your company’s specific needs. Contact psherlock@qfsconsulting.com for details.

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