Make Better Hiring Decisions to Grow Your Practice

by Certified Coach Alissa Gauger, MBA

Do you ever feel like the hiring process is one of life’s great mysteries? And, at the same time, hiring happens all the time around you. It is essential for the growth of your practice.

Adding the Kolbe Index A to your recruitment and hiring process may take at least some of the uncertainty out of the equation. The unique test was developed by author and sociologist Kathy Kolbe and has been widely used for decades in the financial services industry. The test measures a person’s instinctual mode of taking action. The part of the brain that the test measures is believed to be hardwired from birth--unlike intelligence and personality. By learning how the job candidate will uniquely strive, you can hire with greater accuracy so that you don’t hire a square peg for a round hole. Kolbe has nothing to do with IQ or intelligence. It is just a strong indicator as to how an individual will use their instinct to act.

There are four action modes that Kolbe identifies:

Fact Finders who are precise and thorough and seek out information and facts to solve problems.

Follow Thrus who are methodical and systematic and have an intense need for organization and order.

Quick Starts who are highly improvisational, urgent and thrive in an atmosphere of change.

Implementors who are hands-on and like to work in the physical realm.

(Source: Conative Connection: Acting on Instincts by Kathy Kolbe)

If you are hiring for an Associate Financial Representative (AFR), a Follow Thru will design and troubleshoot processes and procedures. They will systematize the practice and bring order and organization. Follow Thrus are born planners who enjoy consistency and efficiency. During the hiring process, look for a minimum of a 7 in the Follow Thru mode for the AFR position.

The typical Kolbe score of a successful and happy AFR tends to be 7+ Fact Finder, 7+ Follow Thru, 6 or lower Quick Start and 3 or lower Implementor. If you want this person to maintain the status quo, hire a 3 or lower Quick Start. However, if they will be dialing, a Quick Start score in the 4 to 6 range is helpful so that they are comfortable with uncertainty and risk.

Now try it with your next hire or even to get to know your current staff.

Instructions to Access Kolbe Codes

Contact Communications Coordinator Laura Nighbor at to have a Kolbe Index A code issued for you, your applicants and your current staff. (Please send full name and email address and the recipient will receive the code and instructions. The cost is $49.95 per code.) Alissa Gauger, MBA, is a Certified Kolbe Consultant who can help you take some of the guesswork out of hiring, training and development. You can even help yourself run a more authentic practice by learning your own MO. You might be surprised how simple changes can make running your practice easier and more effective.