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SELLutions

How to Find, Hire and Train the Top 20%

by GSchulz 28. February 2014 17:53
Hiring, in this case, encompasses several different steps involved in the overall hiring process:

1)    Identifying what an ideal candidate looks like for your organization.
2)    Searching for the candidate
3)    Pre-qualifying the candidate
4)    Assessing the candidate for your organization
5)    In-person interviewing  

Let’s discuss each of them and their importance. 

 1)    Identifying the ideal candidate

Most 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 it!?

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.  

2)    Searching 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.”  

3)    Pre-qualifying the candidate
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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.      

4)    Assess the candidate. 

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:
1.     Your process should have no adverse impact on any protected minorities (women, non-Caucasians, people over 40 years of age, handicapped persons).
2.     Compile a pool of candidates to choose from, rather than just one or two people.
3.     Have more than one interviewer involved to keep the interview process objective.
4.     Use a pre-employment “test” to assure objectivity
. 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 U.S.C. 2000e-2(k)(1)(A)(i).                     

  -    Assess 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 weaknesses 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.  

5)    In-Person Interviewing.

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 assessment. 

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. Click here to share this post.

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