8 years ago
April 13, 2016

5 Steps to Hiring the Wrong Sales Candidate

By looking at what these companies are doing wrong you can avoid hiring the wrong sales candidate.

Rhys Metler


Hiring the wrong sales candidate is easy – thousands of companies are doing it every week, and most of them achieve it without even trying! By rushing the hiring process they are not only getting the wrong sales candidate but they are costing themselves thousands of dollars in the process – that’s the cost of lost sales when the new person doesn’t perform well; the cost of lower productivity in other team members when they become destructive to the working environment; plus the cost of eventually getting rid of them and going through the hiring process all over again.

By looking at what these companies are doing wrong you can not only avoid the same mistakes but by taking the opposite action you might even land yourself a few star sales candidates to choose from during the hiring process.

1. Offer the lowest pay you think you can get away with

Hiring new staff can be expensive so many companies make the mistake of offering the lowest pay possible for the roles they are offering. While this might appear to save money it also means you’re only going to attract people desperate for a job – and in sales if they’re desperate it probably means they’re not very good. Star performers are rarely desperate for a job – they’ve got plenty of options. By offering just 10 or 20% more you can land someone who is far more than 10 or 20% more effective.

2. Do the minimum advertising possible

Advertising is another cost of hiring that many companies seek to keep to the minimum as it can be both a financial and a time cost. But by doing a minimum amount of advertising you’ll be limiting the geographic area from which your potential sales candidate might apply. Instead consider advertising the role in trade magazines or employ the services of a recruitment specialist.

3. Keep the interview short and simple

If you’ve got multiple candidates to interview it’s tempting to keep the interview as short and to the point as possible. Asking questions takes time – both in preparation and in the interview. These companies think that the interview is only a formality – they’re sure there won’t be anything wrong with this candidate! Savvy recruiters of sales people will of course know an extra few hours spent interviewing can save far more in both time and dollars in the long run.

4. Don’t worry about their personality – I’m sure they’ll fit in eventually

They’ve got a good sales record, they’re confident and they want to start immediately – sure their personality and work ethic leaves a lot to be desired but that can be managed in the future – right? Wrong. Disruptive personalities can affect the productivity of every other person in the office around them. Even if their skills are good if they aren’t going to fit in with your company’s philosophy and attitudes they are the wrong sales candidate.

5. Hire the first person you see

Hiring the first person is tempting because it means you have the minimum time possible without that sales role being filled. The quicker you fill the role the quicker that person can get selling – but unfortunately a rush hire often results in the wrong sales candidate being hired. Spend some time on your hiring process if you want to get the right sales candidate.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ 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 daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.