How to Fix a Broken Hiring Process


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Two realities set in near the end of the fiscal year.  First, your number will go up. Secondly, you need better talent to hit the number next year.  Which do you control?  Talent.  So what is the problem?  The #1 reason stated by managers was the need to fill the job quickly.  Desperation.  Some productivity is better than having an open territory.  In today’s world of higher standards, your leader expects more. 

SBI’s Annual Research Report explains how to put the right people in the right roles.  You can download the report here.  This post is about the hiring process.  Ensuring it is designed to select only “A” players.  First, we will review the mistakes managers make during the hiring process.  We will then cover the benefits of an effective hiring process. 

The Problem:

Sales Managers play the numbers game.  Treating the candidate pool the way they treat a sales pipeline.  Interviewing twenty to thirty people before finding a match.  Today’s managers do not have time.  Below are other reasons why the hiring process breaks down. 

  • Not measuring the impact– Everyday leaders are making hiring decisions without understanding the impact.  The impact is estimated to be between 5-7X of a sales person’s total package.    
  • Not knowing what to look for– What does good look like?  What distinguishes an “A” player from the rest?  You have to identify the key competencies of your best people.  Do not fall in love with a candidate because you have similarities.  Fall in love with them because your customers will. 
  • Looking in the wrong places– Sales Managers keep using the same sources for recruiting talent and expecting different results. Job boards, colleges, the competition, recruiters who do not understand your roles. 
  • Asking the wrong questions– Questions around job history, prior success, product and industry knowledge fail. You have to balance industry experience with sales acumen. 

The Benefit: 

A-players can have a dramatic effect on the fortunes of your company.  A good hiring process can help cut down interviewing time.  It can streamline the process and make your search for viable candidates efficient.  Below are a few more benefits.

  • Change the Culture– Correctly defining the competencies of your “A” players develops natural selection. This means your “C” players think the quota is too hard or unfair.  They make excuses while your top performers are thriving under the same conditions. 
  • Career Advancement– Develop a team of “A” players and you develop the future of the company. They are ambitious and focused on career growth.  They push an organization to create new roles or replace “C” player leadership. 
  • Prospects want to work with “A” players– Top performers have a knack for delivering insights to their customers. This strengthens the relationship and partnership between company and customer. 
  • “A” Player Demand– Top producers have a knack for finding top organizations. They want to win championships!  This is also true in professional sports.  Free agents focus their efforts on winning organizations.  Top candidates do the same thing.  

A hiring process that brings more “A” players requires answers to the following questions:

  • What are our hiring profiles?
  • How do we assess talent to ensure we have “A” players in each role?
  • How are we going to recruit top talent and reduce the time to fill an open position with an “A” player?
  • What is our candidate selection process to hire top talent?

Download SBI’s Annual Research Report.  Then work with your Sales Leader to identify and address your gaps.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andrew Urteaga
Andrew Urteaga serves as Associate Principal at Sales Benchmark Index (SBI), a sales and marketing consultancy focused exclusively on helping B2B companies make the number.


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