Month: February 2021

February 19, 2021

Hire Smarter Episode 16: Dr. Robert Hogan, Founder of Hogan Assessments

Welcome to our latest episode of Hire Smarter. Our mission is to help building materials industry leaders adopt best practices for hiring talent while helping professionals make better career decisions.

How good are you at predicting who will be a great leader?

The irony of this question is that we can all list the poor leaders we have worked for rather quickly. It was no secret everyone knew who they were. And yet, consistently making great leadership hiring decisions remains a challenge. Our guest today is Dr. Robert Hogan, the founder of Hogan Assessments. Hogan Assessments remains the leading professional assessment tool in the world. Dr. Hogan, Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, Past Professor of Psychology at Johns Hopkins University, Past Psychology Department Chair at the University of Tulsa, and author of several books. Dr. Hogan’s research and years’ experience helping companies make great leadership hiring decisions and backtesting the process along the way has earned Hogan Assessments top honors.

If we know the top 3 traits that predict great leaders, why do companies continue to be so poor at it?

Dr. Hogan states: “I am an absolute maniac on leadership, and this is where everybody gets it wrong. So how do you find good leaders? Well, that’s probably not even a worthwhile question. The question is getting rid of the bad ones. What is the base rate of managerial competence in corporate America? 65-75% of the US workforce would take a pay cut if someone fired their boss. 65-75% of the US workforce say the most stressful, awful part of their life is their immediate boss. 20% of the Baltimore workforce say they fantasize about murdering their boss.”  

What is your best tool for improving the ability to coach and top-grade your leaders?

To provide some foundational information, the following are the 3 legacy Hogan Assessments we cover:

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) describes normal or bright-side personality – qualities that describe how we relate to others when we are at our best. Whether your goal is to find the right hire or develop stronger leaders, assessing normal personality gives you valuable insight into how people work, how they lead, and how successful they will be.

The Hogan Development Survey (HDS) describes the dark side of personality – qualities that emerge in times of increased strain and can disrupt relationships, damage reputations, and derail people’s chances of success. By assessing dark-side personality, you can recognize and mitigate performance risks before they become a problem.

 The Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI) describes personality from the inside – the core goals, values, drivers, and interests that determine what we desire and strive to attain. By assessing values, you can understand what motivates candidates to succeed and what type of position, job, and environment they will be the most productive.


Hire Smarter – Tony


February 8, 2021

Success Story: Millwork

The Challenge

Lack of empowerment, accountability, and performance

Our client is a family-owned and operated millwork dealer selling to single-family home builders and remodelers. The owner spent years operating the company as President, building a state-of-the-art custom millwork manufacturing and distribution facility. They had a long-standing legacy and strong brand recognition in the local market.

What the owner struggled with was creating a culture of accountability and hiring a strong leadership team. This led to lack of empowerment of employees, no metrics to drive high performance, and a break-even 0% profit on a $20m business.

Without a succession plan in place within the family, the owner needed to hire a new leader to take over the day-to-day operations.

Our Solution

Consultative partnership

As a full-service recruiting partner, the first thing we did was consult with the owner to help them understand the importance of self-awareness to their strengths as an owner and limitations as a day-to-day operator.

Based on the challenges the company was facing, we identified the need for a large corporate executive leader who could embrace the family legacy and tradition, while respectfully shifting the business model and raising performance standards.

Critical actions

  • Maintaining a highly confidential search to not alarm the long-standing customer base and employees.
  • Including the owner’s children in the hiring process, they sit on the board and this was a critical action to gain their support of the new leader.
  • Enlightening the owner to understand the value of the position and ROI expected from the role was essential in attracting and retaining the desired top-performing leader.

Identifying top talent

Hiring the first non-family President in the company’s history was a giant step. The new leader needed to gain the trust of the long-tenured team who have been protective of the family culture. While protecting the established brand and reputation in the local market, the President needed to implement a culture of accountability and improve performance to drive company growth.

Access the full case study here to see the full story and results


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