A proverb sometimes hits you in the gut. Like this one,
“As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.”
But some people just don’t know what they don’t know and they keep repeating the same mistake over and over. They ask ‘pet’ questions, ones they like, without structuring interviews to look for the character, attitudes, motivation, and the personality and skills to sell at the right levels and in the right way. And over and over they experience new recruits who:
- Lie to customers
- Do not work hard
- Will not take responsibility for their actions
- Live off their base or draw without a motivation to earn additional commissions
- Are not coachable
As we were screening and interviewing candidates for a VP of Sales position, the CEO of an IT staffing firm told me, “I’ve never focused on the character (honesty, hard work ethic, personal responsibility) of a candidate. I’ve never looked at their level of concern for others or if they were responsible and committed toward specific objectives. I’ve only tried to discover whether they could present well and sell, and I’ve been disappointed many times by their on-the-job behaviors and results.
Thousands of years ago, a wise king named Solomon said,
“Like an archer who wounds at random is he who hires a fool or passer-by.”
Yep, this excellent proverb helps us see the hurtful effect or hiring poor character or hiring without structured intentionality.
Solomon tells us to change how we recruit so that we do not hurt the person we hire, the people with whom they work or the customers they serve. Identify what’s important in a candidate’s character to perform well in your culture. Develop questions to test their honesty. Find out if they have a hard work ethic and if it shows up in their past life. Discover if they will accept responsibility for their actions and treat customers and fellow co-workers with respect. Do they like sales? Do they like your products? Do they have a competitive motivation or a reasons to earn an income that’s produced by a sales level above your minimum expectations?
Get scientific. After developing structured screening and interviewing guides for character attitudes and motivation, make sure you give candidates validated personality assessments with a greater than 20% validity coefficient. Then you can determine how closely their personality traits match up with those of high-activity sales professionals. When you do this remember that the power within their character, attitudes and motivational levels will help them access their innate ability to sell. What this means is that highly driven and responsible people will fight to achieve and will perform better than some individuals, who though naturally gifted, are lazy, irresponsible, dishonest and without a intrinsic reason to perform.
You will win when you use a Recruit the Best!™ system designed to help you hire with intention and an arrow rightly drawn at a clear target. You will not hurt customers or other employees and you will go home at night with the confidence necessary to sleep well. Your sales reps will sell what you sell at the levels you need and in a manner that customer love.