Real price experts are very hard to find. They are not ten a penny. They’re actually an extremely rare group within the Australian and global talent market. When I say price expert, I mean world-class price experts with over 10+ years’ dedicated pricing experience and individual pricing capability that surpasses 95% of the global pricing community – including top tier 1 consultancy firms.

 

In fact, it takes special methods and domain-specific criteria to find and hire a price expert. Interviews, CVs and poorly written job ads just don’t cut the mustard. Why? When a pricing manager says they are a price expert during an interview, this doesn’t mean that actually is one. You need to have proof to back up their claims. 

 

Pricing managers’ view of their own pricing capability is their subjective opinion. They’ve never really compared themselves objectively against real price experts before so how would they really know how good they are?  

 

So, in this article, we’ll take you through the error of trusting pricing managers who say they are a price expert. Life is filled with important decisions. Often we make those decisions based on our gut instinct. Intuition has been with us since we came out of the caves. So you need to have methods, tools that give you the proof you need. 

 

At Taylor Wells Advisory, we strongly believe that it is really important to protect yourself against managers they say that know everything you need them to know about pricing when they don’t.

 

Trusting what people tell probably works out well most of the time, but sometimes it’s not the best way to make a decision. And it’s definitely not the best time when you are hiring a pricing manager. Here’s why…

 

Don’t trust your gut instinct when you want to hire real price experts 

 

Trusting your gut is a very real thing, but it can often lead you to make bad choices especially when it comes to hiring a real price expert. Hiring is a complicated and time-consuming process. Whoever you choose to hire will be a part of your pricing team for a long time. Firing them can prove to be difficult. It’s best if you can avoid following your instincts when it comes to making a hiring decision. Stick to the facts and figures and trust the hiring process.

 

The most critical consequence of trusting one’s gut is that it can have an enormous effect on diversity and inclusion. Decisions based on a feeling of comfort with a candidate rather than thoughtful analysis or comparison based on quality inherently include a confirmation bias. That is when the interviewer judges the pricing manager based on their first impression. This can be avoided using objective, proven assessment tools designed for pricing managers. 

 

Look for pricing managers who are emotionally intelligent – not just technical price experts

 

Companies want their pricing managers to work well with other stakeholders – not just a number cruncher. They do not want pricing managers that create employee conflicts and disruptions in the workplace. For this reason, hiring a price expert for their emotional intelligence is fast becoming a top priority for Australian businesses.

 

Emotional intelligence is unlike technical pricing skills; they cannot be learned through prior work experience. Emotional intelligence for pricing managers concerns their ability to manage their feelings and reactions during tense price rises; understanding their limitations and strengths as a team lead; bringing people together to achieve more complex pricing outcomes.

 

Emotional intelligence skills (EQ) is very important for price experts who need to manage personal emotions while analysing and understanding the emotions of other people. In other words, it helps a price expert to link up with others in a highly successful manner both professionally as well as personally across a wide range of roles and contexts.

 

 

price experts

Assessing price experts using online testing and assessment platforms

 

Emotional intelligence can be hard to screen for during pricing manager recruitment processes. If you want to learn how to develop emotional intelligence skills you’ll need to find a price expert who is self-aware and not too precious to learn new things or take feedback. 

 

There are plenty of methods and distance-friendly solutions to measure the capability and potential of your pricing manager applicants too. Certain industries, in particular Energy, Fuels, Telcos and Retail, are using online testing and assessments now – they are also proving quite useful during social distancing.

 

Businesses are now using new tests and methods that go way beyond standard SHL testing to understand the impact a pricing manager will have on the business if they were hired and the ROI they will deliver the business when they start work.

 

Understanding someone’s individual price reasoning skills and emotional intelligence skills are the main things computers can’t do very well. These new tests and methods are must-haves for businesses like you in the next 3-5 years. Especially for a business that wants to improve their B2B and/or retail pricing decisions. 

 

When it comes to hiring price experts, don’t always trust your gut. You have to look at things without bias by following the tips below:

 

  • Have several team members involved in the hiring decision

 

  • Make use of available data, facts, figures, and lists to make decisions

 

  • Evaluate the candidate’s capability to do the job

 

  • Check previous work samples

 

  • Believe in the tried and tested hiring process that has worked for many years

 

 

Pricing organisations can transition to a more rigorous hiring process for their pricing team by implementing the following four measures:

 

  • Promote an environment where everyone’s in HR: The human resources department is usually the first place to evaluate a candidate. However, it’s the hiring manager who usually leads the recruitment process by choosing colleagues to do the interviews. Therefore, business leaders should encourage an environment where all shareholders in the company are observing how to better assess pricing talent.

 

  • Train like a star player: Companies need to develop a regimented system by prioritising how to interview and screen pricing professionals using better and more specific guidance and evaluations, highlighting what works and doesn’t work in the entire hiring process.

 

  • Be prepared for the interview process: It’s common for employees to interview a candidate in an unscheduled, impromptu meeting. Without preparation, such a meeting may end up being a waste of time for both parties. For a better outcome, prepare the interview process in advance. To help assess cultural fit, use behavioural interview questions, and evaluate skills through a strategically designed assessment structure.

 

  • Evaluate your success rate: Companies should keep comprehensive data and assess the success rate of HR and hiring manager,  not only over the short term. Who did HR recommend, and what was the success rate of those individuals? Where are they after three years? Interviewers must have a good scorecard. Interviewers without a good scorecard should be thoroughly trained or else taken out of the hiring process.

 

Implications

 

  • Don’t always trust your gut when hiring as it leads to about a 50% hiring failure rate. That only shows that trusting your gut will mean more work for your company in the future. In addition, it will cost your business lots of money. Certainly, nobody wants that.

 

  • Changes in the workplace are inevitable and necessary for growth. But feared by employees for a range of reasons.

 

  • Humans find comfort in the safety and predictability of everyday routine. It’s normal to feel unsettled in the face of such changes, however, resilient people are more likely to adapt, think positively and overcome challenges.

 

Conclusion

 

  • If your gut instinct is dictating you that you felt this is the person for the job, take a big step back and look at the bigger picture. There are a lot of parameters in the hiring process to take into consideration aside from your gut instinct.

 

  • The combination of testing, behavioural interviews and subject matter evaluation provides a strong prediction of candidates’ on-the-job performance, without the risks associated with face-to-face interviews and assessment centres.

 

Click here to download the whitepaper.

 


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