1 year ago
April 13, 2016

Recruiting Sales People

Every industry has its own nuances.  The skills and traits necessary to succeed in that industry are, of course, very important when recruiting sales

Rhys Metler

Recruiting Sales TalentEvery industry has its own nuances.  The skills and traits necessary to succeed in that industry are, of course, very important when recruiting sales people.  But specific industry experience does not equate to instant success.  A potential hire that comes from within the industry can fail just as well as someone from the outside.  In fact, many inner-industry hires fail because of their industry experience.  There are four main reasons for failure when recruiting sales people from the same industry:

  1. Employers hiring from within their industry often fail to train that person properly.  The assumption that a new hire with industry experience has all the necessary knowledge and training to succeed immediately upon hire is a poor one that, in the end, costs many industry hires their jobs.  A key ingredient to success when recruiting sales professionals within the same industry is the make certain sales training protocols are followed. 

  2. Bad habits die hard, especially when they are successful.  Many salespeople changing jobs within an industry find that habits that were successful with one company lead to failure with another.  This is often the result of a difference in business practices and management style/philosophy.  Recruiting sales candidates from other industries involves some additional training and education but they are often more apt to welcome necessary changes to previous habits, not knowing of differences within the industry.

  3. Another assumption hiring managers make about recruiting sales candidates from their industry is that industry lingo and name-dropping make for good hiring criteria.  A candidate with industry knowledge may know how to answer questions to an interviewer’s satisfaction in lieu of real skills due to those affiliations.  Screening and thorough interview practices can reduce the risk of hiring a lemon from one of your competitors.   

  4. Selling styles don’t always mix.  Your competitors or other companies in your industry may have success selling in ways very different from your own.  The talent you hire away from them may not become your next top producer unless those styles and requisite skills are compatible.  

Recruiting sales talent from within your industry may cause as many problems as it solves.  There are numerous potential pitfalls that must be avoided in order to ensure mutual success.  Don’t have your blinders on when interviewing and assessing candidates due to their industry and you’ll be a step ahead.  That, along with proper training and a good meshing of styles will put you in position to take the industry by storm the next time recruiting sales people is necessary.

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.