Recruiting only top sales talent at iA

Case study - 2021 | 03 | 02

Industrial Alliance is one of the biggest insurance firm in Canada. They have 52 agency directors dedicated to recruitment. They assess around 10,000 candidates per year, and hire 500.

Most of the Industrial Alliance (iA) Financial Group’s growth comes from the hiring of new sales representatives; therefore, talent recruitment and retention are crucial.

iA had already implemented a well-known hiring test, but the company was unsatisfied with its results.

Representatives must complete three months of training prior to meeting their first clients independently. Bad hires who leave too early or fail to meet expectations have a significant negative impact on the profitability of the business.

A pre-employment test to both decrease turnover and sustain growth

iA contacted SuccessFinder to optimize its hiring. A key objective was finding a tool that could select the best candidates who would stay in their role longer. Given that their business growth model is based on increasing their number of sales representatives, they also needed a tool that would not limit the number of potential candidates.

The main objectives pursued were therefore as follows:

  1. Reduce turnover – iA had ambitious goals for their four-year employee retention rate and needed to proactively know if a candidate had what it took to be fully engaged and stay in their role for a long time.
  2. Sustain strong revenue growth – Since a high-performing employee brings significantly more revenue than an employee meeting only minimum expectations, iA wanted new employees to have a high probability of being high performers. Therefore, the decision of whom to hire is crucial to help sustain strong revenue growth.




Behavior is key to identify top sales talent

SuccessFinder recommended the development of customized profiles for two key roles: Sales Representative and Sales Manager. These profiles were created using iA’s data and key performance indicators (KPIs), which made it possible to identify the behavioral DNA of high performers within their organization and to serve as a reference for recruitment.


" After seeing the level of accuracy and completeness of how SuccessFinder can describe me, I truly believed that we can uncover the recipe for success that characterizes our top performers. And that was the case! "

Johnny Roy

Vice President of Sales - Industrial Alliance

Assessing 2000 candidates in 3 months

After a successful six-week pilot with 10 branch managers, the remaining 42 directors and 250 sales managers were trained on the solution. In the first quarter, more than 1900 tests were completed.

The sales executives and HR team were impressed by:

  1. The reliability of the tool
  2. The relevance of the information on the candidates
  3. How it helped with hiring decisions.

Moreover, as it is impossible to cheat in the SuccessFinder assessment (to get the desired result), they had full confidence in the integrity of the results.

Customized top sales talent profiles anchored in business reality

When  developing the customized top sales talent profiles, the SuccessFinder team identified increased sales in two critical performance indicators:

  1. 84% more life insurance sales
  2. 60% more savings and investments sales


" The profiles that SuccessFinder has developed describe exactly what I’ve been trying to pinpoint for the last 20 years; what kind of sales representatives should we hire? When I look at the profile and traits, it’s complete and relevant… and on top of that, SuccessFinder allows us to compare candidates with the profile we benchmarked. "

Johnny Roy

Vice President of Sales - Industrial Alliance

Convincing top sales talents to join the team just got easier

The test was successful in not restricting the number of candidates who met the necessary threshold of fit and the number of representatives that could potentially be contacted. In addition, managers appreciated that they could use the results as a tool to help convince a high potential candidate to join the organization. The results could be presented to the candidate explaining why they were a high match for the role and why they should join the team.


Upcoming initiatives

The SuccessFinder team has built a partnership and a relationship of trust with iA. Given the company’s enthusiasm for the tool, the personalized approach, and the expertise of the SuccessFinder team, Industrial Alliance has decided to extend the usage of personalized profiles — from recruitment to integration, development, and succession management. The collaboration between SuccessFinder and Industrial Alliance is really just beginning!

Get in touch for a customized solution tour.