Q&A with Itamar Frankenthal

January 21, 2020 at 8:00 am

Itamar Frankenthal

Itamar Frankenthal is the CEO of Rose Batteries and a Narish International client.

Tell us a little bit about Rose Batteries and what the company does.

We are a battery manufacturer that focuses on developing and manufacturing custom batteries for mission-critical applications where failure is not an option, such as medical, high-end robotics, UPS, and Industrial IoT equipment. Often, lives depend on the reliability of the batteries we sell, so the highest standard of quality and safety are of the utmost importance.

We need to hire team members who have above average attention to detail, care about rules and safety regulations, and know the importance of following proper procedures. We have been in business for 56 years and have many long-term employees, but as retirements happen, we need to fill those positions with quality candidates that have the skills and traits we need.

Why did you decide to hire Narish International to help you with hiring?

The size and scope of our organization are quite large, so we engaged with Narish for three main reasons. First, we wanted to help our people become better managers and gain a better understanding of their team members and what they could do to encourage their team and support their success.

Second, we acquired Energy Sales and we were in the process of merging two companies and two distinct cultures together into one brand. We looked to the Predictive Index assessments to help people from both teams understand each other, build trust, and open channels of communication, so they could come together as a cohesive workforce.

Finally, we needed a way to screen people during the hiring process to make sure that they would have the right values, ones that were in line with what the team and the role would require.

What were your hiring struggles before starting to work with Narish International?

We engaged Narish because we need to know early on in the hiring process whether a candidate is a good match for our needs and can maintain our high standards. Before Narish, our recruiting efforts were more inefficient and, in some cases, resulted in missed opportunities. Our hiring challenges were reflected in a higher turnover rate. New hires were quick to leave once they realized the job was not for them, or we realized they were not a fit for the job and/or Rose. This was not only time-consuming and expensive but also difficult for the team members involved.

We looked to Narish to help us develop the vocabulary to identify the team member profile we needed for a particular role. We had the vocabulary to talk about job skills, but not about the specific character and personality traits to match a given job.

Narish has given us the tools and resources to assess and understand the needs of the team and more specifically the role so that new hires are a better fit from the start.  We have been able to avoid false positives—people who looked on paper like they were a good fit for the role but actually were not the right fit for Rose.

What was your personal experience taking the PI assessment? Was it helpful in defining your role as CEO?

The assessment blew my mind. I was extremely surprised at how something that seemed so simple—a four-minute survey—could reveal so much about me so quickly. It was highly accurate and in-depth.

It very quickly identified things about me that people have often misunderstood and gave me a way to explain them to others so they could better understand how I work, how I process and iterate, and how I make decisions. For instance, I am a very detail-oriented person, particularly when I am learning how to do something new.

People think that I like to be in the driver’s seat and run things rather than delegate them, which can be a weakness for a CEO. The assessment accurately figured out that I learn by doing. For me, being in the driver’s seat during that learning process is important. Once I have learned enough about a particular process or task, I have no problem delegating that to other people who can do it well.

The assessment process helped me articulate to my employees that I’m not a micromanager as they may have thought, but I’m a deep and active learner who happily delegates once that learning has taken place.

Our experience with the assessments has resulted in similar revelations for all our team members, which has benefited our entire company.

What are the benefits of using assessments in the hiring process and with existing employees?

The assessment process increases self-awareness, and the team gains a better understanding of how people differ, their individual challenges and opportunities, and the reason particular character traits are important for different roles.  As a manager, I was able to more clearly understand my team and what makes them tick, which then enabled me to understand the kind of environment I needed to produce for an employee so that they could thrive, based on their character traits.

For example, some employees tend to be risk-averse. In our line of work, this is not generally a bad thing, but it can be a drawback when making decisions. After using the assessments, we were able to put a process in place for those employees so they can run a decision by management to, in a sense, de-risk the decision for them.

For other employees, we created a structure around projects to make them more manageable, increasing their responsiveness and accelerating time to completion. These are just a few of the adjustments we were able to make after going through the assessment process.

What would you say to someone who is considering becoming a Narish client?

I’d say, be ready to transform your business. It’s a whole new way to recruit and manage talent. It’s one of the best decisions I have made for my business and it has been essential to helping us grow. Narish is the right partner for the Predictive Index assessments. They provided us with a tremendous amount of support in getting up and running with PI.

It’s really not just about the tool; it’s about Narish’s assistance in implementing and understanding how to best utilize that tool to meet the growing and changing business needs of Rose. Narish and PI have helped us get the right people on the bus, and put them in the right seats on that bus.

This interview has been edited and condensed. 

Contact Narish International if you are interested in help with building higher-performing teams.