CMETRICS are not data points on a chart. I won’t be boring you with big data or complex theories. The CMETRICS I’m talking about are specific things that you should be looking for when attempting to find your next hire. CMETRICS is simply an acronym to help you remember the following things you need to look for in your hire:
These are the individuals you want as managers in your store. Let’s look at these individually, and how to uncover them in the interview process.
Will the candidate be compatible with most of your team members? Bill Hybels, founder and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in IL, describes this in his “Three C’s” as chemistry. Dealers today often use the term “cultural fit” and I sometimes cringe. The reason I cringe is if I ask them to describe their culture and they can’t, then how do I find a fit?
You do need to know how the candidate will fit in your store. Do their ethical boundaries align with yours? Does their work style align with the department they will be managing? If your accounting department is one open area where everyone works together and the candidate is used to working alone in their own office, that might not work well long term.
Compatibility within the dealership:
I had a client who was looking for an office manager. We had agreed to the qualifications of the individual they were looking for and it was a tight, difficult list. We found the person who fits perfectly on paper. The problem was that when the dealer interviewed the candidate in person, they didn’t feel the candidate was a compatible fit with the team. The dealer struggled with it a bit because the individual was exactly what they had requested on paper, and it had been a long search at that point. In the end, the dealer chose not to hire this individual and to wait for the perfect fit. The perfect fit, in the end, was someone with a high level of competence, but not the exact to the qualification checklist, but a much more compatible team member.
WARNING here. Since salesmen like to be sold and most dealers started in sales, it’s easy to get caught up in the candidate’s sales pitch. Clients tell me, I really like this guy, but when I ask them questions, I find that it’s so focused on liking the candidate that the dealer has overlooked some of the other basic CMETRICS. This is why compatible isn’t the first C in CMETRICS, it’s the last.
Compatible also doesn’t mean you are looking for cookie cutter employees. Each employee you hire should bring different strengths to your store, but each one also comes with weaknesses. The trick is to make sure all the weaknesses are compensated by other employee’s strengths. We spend a lot of time at work, so it’s important to find a compatible team that works well together. The strongest teams are also often very diverse.
The second warning is to make sure you really know and can articulate your real culture. Not the culture you want. There is oftentimes a gap between the two. Example, a store that states they pay their people well, our people can make x dollars in commissions. But if I ask how many actually hit that amount in the last 12 months there are none. I guarantee there is a cultural difference between what the dealer believes he has and what he really has in the store. If your culture is not exactly what you envision, then you need to consider adjusting what you hire. You might need to be looking for someone to drive those culture changes to help you get there.
How do you figure out compatible in the interview process?
As you’ve heard me say already, I like situational questions best. “A customer asks you to hold a check for a down payment for 10 days, what do you do?” Was the response appropriate for your store?
“Which previous employer did you enjoy working for the most, and why?” I also like to ask about the least enjoyable? Did they describe anything similar to your store? You should be really honest with yourself here, and looking at what your store is really like.
I’ve had occasions when the least enjoyable employer the candidate describes is the exact setup of my client looking to hire. That makes it easy to eliminate them from consideration long before there is any frustration after a hire.
Next week, I’ll discuss looking for solution driven employees. If you missed last week’s post about inspiration, click here to catch up!