The Importance of Process in Recruiting

We know sales isn’t for the faint of heart. Finding the right sales talent can make or break a campaign, and as I tell our recruiters all the time, even a mediocre sales person can sell themselves well and easily fool the most experienced interviewer. The one product a salesperson will know best is himself—he’s known the product all his life. So how can you avoid pitfalls in the hiring process and make sure you get the best person? The answer is simple: Process. The same as in sales itself, there is an art and a science to recruiting. How can process make you a better recruiter? Here are a five ways we have leveraged our 22-step process to find the best sales talent in a competitive market.[/fusion_text][/two_third][fusion_text]

  • Hold each candidate to the same set of expectations. With a set process of phone and face-to-face interviews, as well as writing samples and references, you will make sure to evaluate the same skills across all candidates. Focus on the role itself as well. If it’s a phone-based sales environment, make sure to do more phone screens, since that’s how the person will execute their role.
  • Include assessments that are tailored to your business. With our process, we test cognitive skills, motivation and personality types. Assessments are not an end-all, be-all piece of the decision process, but are a great tool to make sure you drill a little deeper on certain topics or areas of concern. Make sure to baseline your top performers beforehand and hire to the profile that works best for you.
  • Ask the same questions and set a scale for responses so you can leverage data in the future. This seems simple, but the build and design of your ATS (as I call it a CRM for recruiters) is critical as well as making sure everyone from the hiring managers and partners that interview a candidate know what you’re looking for. See No. 4 on how to get there.
  • Understand what success looks for the role you’re trying to fill. You should focus more on the competencies and skills that make someone successful and less on the years of experience or other industry-based factors. From our experience, you can teach someone your product, industry and competitive position (as long as they have the cognitive skills needed) and hiring previous industry level experience is not a factor for success. Make sure everyone in the hiring process is also well versed in the profile as well.
  • Don’t take too much of the human interaction out of your process. With all the tools and technology bubbling up in our industry, it can be easy to do your screening through a bunch of tests, video screens and other means. Just as we stress picking up the phone over just emailing someone in our sales practice, the human element of the interview process cannot be lost. In the end, there is still an art to selling, so making sure your next hire has that is key in evaluating talent.

Sales and recruiting functions have a tremendous amount of overlap in both process and skill sets. The same though is true in their pitfalls. If you don’t have enough at-bats in recruiting sales talent, you can often push or settle on a candidate that is not going to be the best long-term play for your company. Similarly, sales people often hold onto opportunities that are not well qualified if their funnel is not stacked. So make sure you follow a set process to assemble the best team and do each part of it each day—just like in sales![/fusion_text][/fullwidth]