CoachingRecruitingSales Leadership

Introduction: Predictability is a key element in achieving success, and nowhere is it more crucial than in hiring an employee for your team. In this article, we’ll cover the common pitfalls that hinder the predictability of hiring great salespeople. Here are ten things to avoid to ensure you’re on the path to building a team of successful, high-performing individuals.

  1. Lack of Clear Job Description: Starting the hiring process without a clear, written job description is a recipe for uncertainty. To increase predictability, define the skills, cognitive strengths, and personality traits crucial for success in your company’s sales process and customer profile. A unified understanding among your recruiting team is essential for effective decision-making.
  2. Absence of a Best Practice System: Recruiting without a systematic approach is like navigating without a map. Implement a best practice system that includes sourcing steps, screening phases, and tools, ensuring consistency and efficiency. Deviating from this structured process diminishes predictability in hiring the best sales talent.
  3. Ignoring Character and Conscientiousness: Recruit for Character first. Prioritize qualities like honesty, a strong work ethic, responsibility, empathy, and a motivation to achieve specific goals. Overlooking character traits in favor of other qualifications can result in hiring individuals who may not align with your team’s values.
  4. Overreliance on Social Media and Job Boards: Sourcing candidates exclusively from social media, job boards, or your website may yield a lower-quality pool. Instead, actively prospect for top-performing salespeople currently employed elsewhere, enhancing the overall caliber of your candidate pool and improving predictability in hiring.
  5. Failure to Screen Early: Before diving into assessments and interviews, screen candidates rigorously based on resume information, job applications, phone calls, and email correspondence. Failing to eliminate candidates who don’t align with your ideal profile can clutter your recruitment funnel and decrease predictability.
  6. Absence of Cognitive and Personality Assessments: Design your recruiting system with validated cognitive tests and personality assessments. Be cautious of assessments lacking validity in predicting success in your specific sales position. Choose tools that provide valuable insights for informed hiring decisions and effective onboarding.
  7. Timing of Cognitive and Personality Assessments: Administer cognitive and personality assessments before in-depth interviews to avoid subjective biases. Conducting assessments post-interview may lead to decisions influenced by the candidate’s impression management, diminishing predictability in making a sound hiring choice.
  8. Unstructured Interview Questions: Steer clear of unstructured interview questions or those lacking specific, measurable answers. Studies suggest a low correlation between unstructured interviews and job success. Adopt a structured approach to ensure your questions align with the traits and skills your best salespeople possess.
  9. Single Final Interviewer: Avoid relying on a single individual for the final interview. Opt for a two-step final interview process involving different interviewers. This approach reduces biases, as either interviewer can halt the candidate’s progression, enhancing predictability in the final hiring decision.
  10. Narrow Focus on One Aspect: When making the final decision, consider the candidate’s entire profile. Don’t fixate on just one aspect, as a well-liked individual may lack the necessary motivation for sales success. A holistic evaluation ensures you hire individuals who align with your company values and possess the skills for success.

Conclusion: When building a team of exceptional sales representatives, avoiding these ten pitfalls will significantly enhance your predictability in hiring. From defining job requirements to implementing a best practice system and prioritizing character traits, each step contributes to creating a team that not only meets but exceeds expectations. Remember, success begins with recruiting the best.


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