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Hiring Guru: Sterling Management on Purpose

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 3/11/2015 David Jensen

Kevin Wilson is the Chairman and CEO of Sterling Management in Glendale, CA whose mission is to provide their clients with proven, lasting management tools and customized, sterling implementation, to build a thriving practice, and truly increase their quality of life. They service dentists, veterinarians, optometrists, physical therapists, chiropractors, podiatrists and CPA firms.
2015-11-03-1446520705-9008135-kevinwilsonsterlingmanagement.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2015-11-03-1446520705-9008135-kevinwilsonsterlingmanagement.jpg
Almost 30 years ago, Kevin bought Sterling from its founder and soon after stepped into the CEO position. In the two years following his acquisition of the company, Kevin tripled its growth, twice landing the company on Inc. Magazine's list of the 500 fastest growing privately held companies in the US.
Kevin also wrote and published Personnel: Your Most Valuable Resource or Greatest Burden, with industry-specific editions for CPAs, dentists, healthcare professionals and small business owners.
This, of course, lead me to interview him on our shared passion regarding hiring.
To what degree do you keep your finger on the pulse of hiring for your ventures?
"I'm 'hands-on' with all hiring. I do not usually do the screening interviews, rarely do them at all but I look over all applications after the screening and testing and give OK or not OK on all hiring. I'll interview for any important sales or delivery positions or executive roles. We also do this for clients and they consider us the firm that handles it best and considers Sterling Management as the go-to place for all of their hiring needs. We help them choose all new employees through our testing and evaluation and consulting. This is done by our consultants. I deliver seminars all over the country on the subject of personnel and hiring/training etc.
How important is it to keep personally connected to the process of adding new talent/personnel to your team?
"Extremely important."
Do you have any hard-fast rules that are followed in your own selection of team members? 
"Just that personal conviction and purpose are senior to money considerations and this has to be present in our team members. If they are only money motivated or only here for personal gain, we do not hire them."
What do you look for in an employee?
I'm always looking for people who have the same philosophy I do about motivation and work and exchange. Purpose is high on my scale and it needs to be on theirs and they must exchange in abundance for their pay and rewards and bonuses but I think this should be rewarded very well when it is in place. My book gives my full philosophy on this.
Best interview question you've used?
"I find the simply best are 'Why do you want to work here?' and 'If you could do anything you wanted for work to make money what would that be?' This last one will tell me if he'd rather be doing something else than the job I'm proposing."
Any interesting interview stories?
"Yes; upon asking the second question above, an applicant told me he really wanted to be a photographer and he was only applying for the job because his wife made him because he had to make money and could not yet with his photography."
"I told him he should go and figure out how he could make money with his photography. He shook my hand profusely, thanking me and told me it was the best job interview he'd ever had!"
Interesting how this so beautifully aligns with Truth 5: Creative Questions Get the Answers You Really Want from my book The Naked Interview: Hiring Without Regret. Kevin is revealing the candidate's purpose above his convenience.

What has driven you in building such success?
"Purpose - I wanted a saner world and we are building one!"

With Kevin at the helm, Sterling Management has garnered over 80 local, national and international awards for production, expansion and goodwill and delivered over $175 million in services. These results show what a strong purpose can do for an organization.
Interview by David Jensen.


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