Imagine this picture. Turnover occurs – sometimes at an excessive rate. Sales managers work hard and struggle to find quality candidates for open sales positions. They place ads in local newspapers and get many responses. Some use Monster. Some use recruiters. However, many of their candidates come from people who cannot find a job anywhere else. Sales managers then sift through dozens of resumes to find only a few candidates worth an interview.
While they sift through resumes, they find themselves stressed to find someone fast – stressed by their bosses and by a decrease in sales team production.
When the candidates arrive, the resumes look better than they do! Even so, sales managers decide to move ahead with the best candidates. They sell themselves – they make themselves see what isn’t really there. This results in hiring people who do not possess the personality traits of high performers.
Eventually, sales managers begin to lower their standards. They shift the focus and blame a difficult career for the inability to recruit high quality people. For every three to seven people they hire, only one seems to start off well. First year production decreases, turnover increases, and overall team production decreases. A negative sales culture forms.
What do these sales managers do wrong in the recruiting process?
Sales managers make poor hiring decisions when exhibiting the following behaviors.
1. Do not use multiple sources for finding job candidates.
2. Source for candidates just before they need a position filled.
3. Rush through hiring without a multistage process … interview and then hire (a pipe process instead of a funnel).
4. Have not analyzed and do not know the top 6 personality traits necessary in top performers for industry sales competence.
5. Do shoot-from-the-hip non-structured interviews without questions designed to discover competencies, important personality traits, and character attributes.
6. Recruit personality traits and sales skills over character values like honesty, personal responsibility, and hard work ethic.
7. Do not use a validated personality profile. (go here)
8. Sell their company to candidates during MOST of the interview time. They even sell themselves on the candidate.
9. Talk more than the candidate does during an in-depth interview.
10. Do not involve other employees during final interviews.
11. Save candidates when they struggle with a question – sometimes even giving them the answer.
12. Hire candidates when only their instinct says yes.
13. Hire candidates when their instinct says no.
What’s wonderful when you look at these behaviors? Yes. Wonderful?
People can change. That’s right. They can change. Sales managers who want to get better can get better. Better ways do exist.
Multiple sources can be used for candidate leads. A sales manager can always be recruiting in advance of their needs.
Top traits do exist in high performers and sales managers can discover them. Structured interviews can be written to assess the presence of these traits within people. Character traits like honesty can be made nonnegotiable for winning a sales position. Validated personality profiles can be used as objective and predictive recruiting tools.
Sales managers can learn to develop interviewing skills. They can learn not to save people. They can learn to hush and listen. They can to learn to follow a process. And, they can learn to follow their gut when their gut says, “No,” and to keep following the process when their gut says, “Yes.” Sales managers can learn to recruit well. They can. Now, go do it. You can. Lance