8 years ago
April 18, 2016

6 Sales Recruiting Mistakes You Should Stop Making in 2016

Make 2016 the year you stop making sales recruiting mistakes. In particular, make sure you avoid these six critical errors. Keep reading.

Rhys Metler


Every sales organization wants to recruit and hire the top-performing sales people in their field. Unfortunately, though, your recruitment processes might undermine your ability to attract and hire the strongest candidates. And you might make critical mistakes that lead to bad hires.

While you prepare to hire new sales people in 2016, make it your mission to stop making sales recruiting mistakes, like the ones below. You simply can’t afford to make them.

1. Relying on Job Ads

Job ads are only one of the many sales recruiting routes you can take to find new sales people. And one of the least effective, at that. Many sales managers make the mistake of relying too heavily on these ads, without checking out other avenues. Though you might be able to find some good candidates through job ads, this strategy fails in one major way: it only attracts active candidates.

The best sales people are already gainfully employed, so they’re not looking at job ads. To target these high-quality candidates, you should be networking at industry events, searching for passive candidates on social media sites, and establishing a referral program in house. These avenues are more effective at attracting top candidates.

2. Failing to Highlight Your Employer Brand

You might use inbound marketing to generate leads for your business, but you might not think to use the same strategy to generate candidates for your sales team. Your employer brand is the identity of your company—your values, goals, and workplace environment. You need to promote your corporate culture online and represent your company as an employer of choice in order to make the best sales people want to work for you.

3. Creating a Cumbersome and Time-Consuming Interview Process

Do you really expect rockstar sales people to jump through hoops to get some face-to-face time with you? If your interview process is too cumbersome, with too many time-consuming and complicated steps, great candidates will take themselves out of the running simply to avoid wasting their time.

The best sales professionals have earned the right not to sit through weeks or even months of interviewing. Although you should be committed to an in-depth hiring process, don’t go overboard and waste your candidates’ time. They’ll only tolerate so much.

4. Not Knowing the Type of Sales People You Need

Sales people come in all shapes and forms. They all have different talents, skills, and experience that make them great at specific areas in the industry, whether prospecting, closing, opening new markets, or something else. Part of your sales recruiting process should be to make sure from the very start that you know exactly what sales skills you need for the job and the specific sales environment the new hire will be working in to ensure success.

5. Sales Recruiting at the Last Minute

Sales recruiting to fill a gap is a very common mistake that hiring managers make. They only start recruiting at the last minute when there’s an opening on the team. This can lead to rushed decisions and quick hiring, which can then result in hiring remorse. You’ll make your worst hiring decisions when you’re backed into a corner and desperately need someone to fill a gap.

6. Focusing Too Much on Experience

Sure, experience should be examined, but it shouldn’t be the majority of your focus during sales recruiting. When you do so, you forget to pay attention to passion, flexibility, coachability, assertiveness, intelligence, attitude, and other skills that indicate success in sales. When you focus too much on experience, you might end up hiring a top-performing sales professional that can meet sales targets and get results, but one that isn’t right for your company culture. This will lead to a high turnover rate.


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.