Hiring, in this case, encompasses several different steps
involved in the overall hiring process:
what an ideal candidate looks like for your organization.
for the candidate
the candidate for your organization
Let’s discuss each of them and their importance.
the ideal candidate
organizations don’t take the necessary time or energy to do this step well. If
I asked you to travel from Oklahoma City to Tennessee, what is the first thing
that you would do? You would map out a
plan to get there. It is highly unlikely
that you would just jump in the car, take a highway that others mentioned is a
“good highway,” and if it doesn’t work out after a while, switch to a different
one. That sounds crazy, doesn’t
Well that’s what most of us do when
it comes to qualifying a potential candidate.
If someone says that they’re good, or if their resume says that they
have experience…so what! You need to
first identify the qualities that will make this candidate successful for your
company, not just any organization.
Have they sold high-priced products like yours before? What level of
decision maker do they need to be in front of to be successful at your company?
How long is your companies’ selling cycle and have they previously sold in that
format? There are several qualities that
can be mapped out right away to identify a potential candidate or a no-deal.
for the candidate
There are several
different ways to search for the ideal candidate. A good place to start is by asking yourself
this question: “If I found someone better then my best person tomorrow, would I
find a place for them in my organization?”
If the answer is a resounding YES, then why are you only looking when
you need someone? A good salesperson is worth their weight in gold.
They’re an asset, not a liability. They
make you money, not cost you, right?
Then get searching!
Searching for a candidate is
something that should go on for owners and managers every single day. Let me ask you a question. If one of your salespeople mentioned that
they have enough sales right now, but that they’d try to fill an empty spot if
they lost a client, how long would it take you to fire them? One nanosecond? Well that’s what you and your sales managers
are doing when you’re not prospecting for the best candidates out there every
day. When ever you meet with a
colleague, a friend, or a client, you should be asking them, “Who calls on you
that impresses you so much that when they come into your office or call on the
phone, you always make time for them? I want to meet that person.”
This should be done on the phone and should take no more
then 10 minutes. You should have questions ready to ask the candidate (the same
questions you ask for all candidates), and they should be asked quickly and
succinctly as to not allow them too much time to think. Their initial response is the best one
because it comes from the gut. If too
much time is allowed, the candidate will be too concerned to answer “the
correct way.” Once you have completed these few minutes on the phone, you will
have a gut feeling that they either are or they are not “pre-qualified” to go
to the next stage in the hiring process.
At this stage in the
process, the candidate has met your initial criteria and should be asked to
take an assessment. You can use the
assessment of your choice. Obviously, we
have an assessment available to you, which we recommend that you use. Either
way, an assessment should help you with the following factors:
Keep within the EEOC
Guidelines for Hiring,
which give a few pertinent specifications when it
comes to your companies’ hiring process, including:
process should have no adverse impact on any protected minorities (women,
non-Caucasians, people over 40 years of age, handicapped persons).
a pool of candidates to choose from, rather than just one or two people.
more than one interviewer involved to keep the interview process objective.
4. Use a pre-employment “test” to
. The test(s) must be reliable (you can depend upon the
results to be accurate) and consistent in their findings, while showing no
adverse impact on the protected minorities (see above). The guidelines further
suggest that if you use a test, the same test must be administered to all of
the applicants. The test you choose should be both EEOC Compliant and Validated.
Here is the actual text from the EEOC:
Section 703(h) of the Act provides that
"notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, it shall not be
an unlawful practice for an employer . . . to give and to act upon the results
of any professionally developed ability test provided that such test, its
administration or action upon the results is not designed, intended or used to
discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin."
Online tests, including tests of specific or general
skills, are selection procedures rather than recruitment under UGESP because
the test results are used as "a basis for making employment
decisions." \24\ Employers and recruiters who use such tests should
maintain records or other information "which will disclose the impact
which its tests ... have upon employment opportunities of persons by
identifiable race, sex or ethnic group." 42
the candidate using some sort of benchmark
I’m not saying to use your best salesperson as your benchmark! This mistake is very often made in
organizations. Just because someone is
doing well doesn’t mean that all of their characteristics are duplicable, nor
should they be duplicated. You may have a top performer who has the ability to
always hit his numbers, but this may be happening because of strong
relationships built. Though that is important, it isn’t necessarily what you
want or need in a new hire that needs to go out and “hit the pavement.” Whatever assessment or pre-employment test
you use, please be clear about that detail.
- The assessment should be able to uncover
that are hidden and can’t be picked up in the regular interview
process. Some examples of these “hidden
weaknesses” are the ability (or inability) to discuss money, having an
overwhelming need to be liked, and the ability to recover after a feeling of
rejection, just to name a few.
At this point in the hiring process, you should be able to
concentrate on things like eye contact, hand shake, personality, bonding
ability and hopefully the candidates’ ability to ask you questions, not just
letting you do all of the talking. You should also have a battery of questions
that you are going to ask here, dependent upon the outcome of the
It would be helpful if you
had some questions to ask regarding the weaknesses that were exposed in the
assessment to see how you feel about their problems with these issues.
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