How to recruit future MDRT members

Look for professionals and set high expectations.

How to recruit future MDRT members

Wave Chow is actually grateful when a candidate drops out of his two-month recruitment process. “This is a good thing, because this is proof that they weren’t the right one for our team,” said Chow, a senior district director for AIA in Hong Kong, China.

Chow, who leads a group of approximately 400 advisors, created a detailed recruiting process targeted to specific professions that he credits with increasing retention and bringing an MDRT culture to his team. He expects only the top-level candidates to make it through.

Matching recruits by profession

One of Chow's first priorities is looking for the right candidates — most of his advisors hold a bachelor's degree, and 70% have a postgraduate degree. Team members include former accountants, lawyers, doctors and investment bankers.

Wave’s next step is to set up recruitment sessions based around a specific profession, such as banking, engineering or accounting. The team member who leads these sessions is someone who once worked in a similar field and can connect with the candidates. “Each talk is very clear, and we are able to attract colleagues in the different fields,” Chow said.

When it comes to the actual interview, the team member who interviews the new candidate also has experience in the candidate’s field. “We pick someone with a similar background to establish a rapport with the interviewee,” Chow said. “They can see that someone like them also joined the insurance industry and is successful.”

During the recruiting process, candidates are also interviewed by an experienced manager, as well as Chow, and they go through psychological testing. If candidates have any concern or misunderstanding towards the industry or the team, the interviewers can offer help face-to-face immediately.

In the engagement portion of the recruiting process, the interviewee is invited to sit in on a morning training session with Chow’s team and experience the atmosphere in person. Afterwards, the candidate is invited to meet with a similar team member, who may look ordinary at first glance but has achieved MDRT or above, Chow said.

Setting MDRT standards

By the time the candidates finish the process, they will have gone through the interviewing sessions, preliminary training and licensing. Throughout the process, they are interacting with team members who are MDRT members and are educated on the importance of achieving MDRT.

“The candidates who choose to join our team are not people who want to just go through the motions. They are really serious and want to become MDRT or above,” Chow said. “Because we emphasize quality recruitment, some newcomers achieve MDRT in their first few months.”

Regular activities and training promote the idea of MDRT achievement to the team. New team members watch videos about MDRT and learn about the Whole Person concept of balanced living. Twice a month, team leaders provide an update to each advisor on their progress toward MDRT.

In the past year, about 70% of Chow’s team members have achieved at least MDRT, with many going on to achieve Court of the Table and Top of the Table qualification levels.

Pairing up team members

Chow’s team also has a one-on-one buddy program that pairs up an MDRT mentor guide with a non-MDRT member. They generally meet on a regular basis, Chow said. “This provides support and coaching to the new person. It also allows the MDRT member to be selfless by sharing their knowledge with a person who is not a member yet.”

If the MDRT member retains their qualification and their mentee also qualifies for MDRT or above, they both receive a monetary award, Wave explained.

Why spend so much time and put incentive dollars toward having advisors achieve MDRT? “Every profession needs to have a standard, and to me MDRT is the professional standard,” Chow said.

Contact: Wave Chow