3 years ago
January 7, 2015

How To Fast Track Your Sales Hiring‏

It is notoriously difficult to find quality sales people on short notice, but sales hiring managers are frequently asked to do just that.

Rhys Metler

fast track sales hiringIt is notoriously difficult to find quality sales people on short notice, but sales hiring managers are frequently asked to do just that. The classically high turnover rate in sales positions leads to a need for ongoing recruitment. Being always open to a candidate means that you can say “yes” when the right candidate is referred without going through an entire hiring cycle, but there are also other methods you can combine to fast track your sales hiring.

Target Candidates with the Job Description

You need a great sales person who can plan ahead, qualify prospects, determine client needs, and close a sale smoothly, but based on your industry there are most likely other skills you want to bring in with a new hire. Before launching a job requisition, determine the exact skills you need from a successful candidate. Be proactive and list these skills in the job description. If the skills you want to onboard are less common, you can always list them as attributes that would be preferred rather than required. Examples include: 

  • Launch experience
  • Marketing collateral development
  • Background in territory planning
  • Familiarity with similar product lines

When your sales hiring must be done quickly, ensure that the position description highlights the benefits of the position as well as the skills needed. Too commonly, responsibilities are the sole focus of a job description, which doesn’t excite the sales eagles you’re looking for. Sales recruiters can help you write a targeted job description that fulfills your requirements as well as the requirements that your ideal candidate likely has in mind.

Interview for Attitude

Good sales people are universally described as outgoing, confident, relatable, and driven – the same characteristics that help people succeed in interviews. How do you know if you’re interviewing a good sales person or someone who is just skilled at interviewing? You need to ask questions designed to uncover the person’s day to day personality, and real world hypothetical scenarios are the best place to start when sales hiring. Experienced sales recruiters often use scenarios to test candidate’s instincts, like:

  • If you were in a top level meeting and your phone rang loudly enough to interrupt the meeting even though you had put it on silent, what would you say to the meeting group?
  • How would you drive sales with our company, and what would be your first goals?
  • What new ideas did you present to your last sales department, and what were the results of those ideas?

Put the Right People in Charge

It is becoming standard for HR departments to do initial candidate screening for all departments within a firm, but this is not always the best plan of action. Attracting and hiring qualified sales people requires a specific skill set gained by experience in sales and working with sales people which many HR departments just do not have. 

One way to circumvent this problem is to designate positions specifically accountable for sales hiring. All too often, sales departments are hiring on an as needed basis with multiple people empowered to make a hiring decision. This complicates the hiring picture by adding layers of approval to the hiring process while creating havoc within a sales department when new hires and responsibilities are not clearly communicated.

Designating one or two individuals as final arbiters of sales hiring approval ensures that your firm’s sales hiring process is cohesive and goal focused. These individuals can also team with sales recruiters who can act as strategic partners to help your firm fast track its way to your sales hiring goals.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.