May 31, 2024

‘Taking the Guesswork out of Hiring and Promoting’

In memoriam, Hank Plotkin - November 29, 1935 to May 24, 2024, Founder of Plotkin Group.

In March of 1968, Hank Plotkin left a good job at TRW to start Plotkin Group.  He had 3 kids under 8 years old and a wife to support.  It was a bold and risky move, something I would not have done.  He was in the aerospace industry working on the Minuteman Missile.  For those of you who got to know Hank, you can understand why he left corporate America to be his own boss. 

When he started Plotkin Group, his goal was to help Cities operate more efficiently with strategic planning by applying what he learned in the Aerospace industry.  Four years later in 1972, Hank built The Family Twin Cinema, two theaters with 256 seats in each.  He was operating two businesses simultaneously. 

In the mid-1970s one thing led to another at Plotkin Group, and he started running companies for the courts that were in bankruptcy.  He found that hiring and managing people were his biggest challenges.  During that period, he met the owner of an Employee Assessment Company in an airport.  He started using assessments on these bankruptcy companies, and was selling them to friends that owned or managed businesses. 

One of his friends owned a jewelry store.  They are still a client today and our oldest client.  Of course, he also used the assessments on prospective employees at the theater.  The combination that he used for the theater is still our top combination to use for any business that hires hourly employees and managers in a setting that involves cash, credit cards, inventory, food and merchandise.   This powerful combination is an Integrity Assessment and Aptitude Assessment.  After he found out how useful these assessments were for hiring, he added them to his offerings at Plotkin Group.

During this same period in the 1970’s, Hank started doing a workshop called ‘Taking the Guesswork out of Hiring and Promoting’ as a prospecting tool to get companies to consider implementing employee assessments into their selection process.  He continued offering this workshop until he retired in 2004.  I also conducted this workshop using many of his slides. 

In 1989, Hank and Ruth Plotkin wrote ABOVE and Beyond.  A customer service video-based training program that was produced by the PGA Tours’ TPC Network of Clubs.  ABOVE and Beyond was also sold to Golf Clubs all around the U.S. and globally.  It was a great success.  In 1997 he had a book published called ‘Building A Winning Team’.

In 1991, I joined the Plotkin Group.  Despite our differences in opinions during the first 10 years, Hank and I became a very successful team.  We started placing most of our focus on Prehire Employee Assessments.  We reduced Hank’s time spent on training and other consulting projects.  Plotkin Group did very well during our years together.  Once the dust settled Hank was very happy that Jim joined the company. 

Hank became a very good public speaker over the years.  Once ABOVE and Beyond took off, he expanded his speaking engagements to CMAA and PGA chapters and other industries nationwide.  He ended up giving talks entitled ‘Taking the Guesswork out of Hiring’, ‘Building a Winning Team’ and ‘ABOVE and Beyond’.  In addition, he was a keynote speaker at several conventions.  

We thank Hank for his service and his entrepreneurial ways.  We will miss him.

By Jim Plotkin