Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation Client Story

We use the assessment as a benchmark for all positions, to ensure that each candidate has the basic cognitive skills required for the position.

Client Spotlight: Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation

Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation has been meeting its customers’ insurance needs from its headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska since 1887. The company, which today employs 1,000 people, offers a diverse range of products including life insurance, annuities, investments, retirement plans, banking, dental and eye plans, and worksite benefits.

Cognitive Test Pinpoints Salespeople to Sell Diverse Product Line

How well a salesperson understands the product they’re selling can make the difference between securing or losing a sale. Hiring the right person is key. The insurance industry is fiercely competitive, so it’s critical to hire salespeople who can learn quickly and hit the ground running.

Barb McIntyre, Human Resources Specialist for Ameritas Life Insurance, explains that there are plans tailored to nearly every industry, option, and eventuality. Outstanding salespeople literally keep the insurance business alive. McIntyre relies on the Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT-R) to know if an applicant is a good fit for a specific position.

“We use the Wonderlic Personnel Test because our product line is so diverse and there is specific learning required to be successful in each position,” says McIntyre. “We use the assessment as a benchmark for all positions, to ensure that each candidate has the basic cognitive skills required for the position.”

McIntyre gives every potential salesperson the assessment and uses an internal baseline of her existing team’s scores to see who measures up. “We started benchmarking our great people internally by having them take the test, and we noticed a trend,” she says.

They saw that the star salespeople in each department were getting test scores in the same general range. That similarity gave McIntyre the formula she needed to assess sales candidates. “Today, we won’t hire anyone who doesn’t score close to our benchmarks,” she says. “It’s a great indicator of whether or not they have the cognitive ability to do this job.”

If an applicant passes the Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT-R) to McIntyre’s satisfaction, she will interview the applicant. Using the scores to weed out unqualified applicants saves her considerable time in the interview process, because she’s interviewing only the people she knows have the ability to perform successfully.