Hiring the Right Sales Pro for the Job
by Nancy Martini
Did you know that it costs a company $370,000 to replace one employee with a base salary of $90,000 per year? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this “replacement cost” is even higher for top performers or more senior positions. With these numbers, it’s no wonder why hiring the right person for the right position is more important than ever. Below are three basic recruiting tips to consider when selecting a sales person that can ultimately have an impact on job performance:
- Analyze the Job. Prior to recruiting, take the extra step to sit back and analyze the role thoroughly, and from different perspectives. This step enables you to collect information about the experience, knowledge, duties and behavior of a particular job, which is also fundamental to develop the job description. It’s also important to gain consensus by all vested individuals and peers to determine key accountabilities for the position. To help with the job description and beyond, , a job analysis instrument can also help you look at the behavioral requirements of a specific position. Behavioral assessments can even be incorporated into the application process using applicant tracking systems like Taleo. Armed with the right analysis, you now have a solid “target” to aim at with your recruiting efforts.
- Assess Candidates. Once you have a stream of candidates, screen them with a defined hiring process. Typical processes include: collecting resumes, rank ordering based on interest and conducting a telephone screen. Through this process you will have a good sense of what the person “can do” but to uncover the greatest predictor of performance, administer a behavioral assessment to understand that person’s motivations and drives, in essence, how they “will do” the job. Along with other key criteria such as education, experience and background, behavioral assessment data provides a scientific element to the mix. The complete picture gives you an accurate view to select which candidates you want to interview.
- Determine Job Fit. Once you have your final group identified, conduct a fit/gap analysis between the role and the candidates. A validated and reliable behavioral assessment allows you to leverage the power of data to help predict the success of the sales reps. You are not after a “perfect fit”; that’s similar to finding a needle in a haystack. However, you’re looking to make a fact-based informed decision to find the best sales rep for the role. Conduct interviews that help confirm the “fits” and provide you evidence that the candidate can bridge their “gaps”.
Armed with these three key elements, you’ll increase your hiring accuracy, reduce your turnover, and enjoy the outcome of a producing sales rep!
Nancy Martini is President & CEO of PI Worldwide and author of the book, Scientific Selling: Creating High Performance Sales Teams through Applied Psychology and Testing (Wiley & Sons). To learn more visit www.piworldwide.com.