7 months ago
February 21, 2017

Recruiting Sales People The Right Way‏

To gain an advantage with your sales hiring, take note of these guidelines for recruiting sales people the right way.

Claire McConnachie

recruiting sales people the right waySuccessfully recruiting sales people who will make a positive contribution to your organization requires a different approach to hiring than recruiting for other positions. Sales is a high impact, value-driven area, and the cost of an underperforming hire in sales is commensurately high; conversely, improving your sales recruiting can have a bigger impact on your bottom line than virtually any other business activity. To gain an advantage with your sales hiring, take note of these guidelines for recruiting sales people the right way.

Profile Your Ideal Sales Person

In this job market it is not enough to start recruiting sales people with the simple goal of finding a top sales person. In order to find a true top sales person, your organization needs a profile of the person who would be considered a fit for that role in your working environment. Identify the traits, skills, characteristics, and history that would impress you in a sales person and modify your recruiting process to attract and retain that individual.

Always Be Recruiting

You want to hire the best of the best for your sales team. However, the best of the best might not be looking for a new position when you have an opening available if you are only recruiting sales people once or twice a year. Always accept resumes and inquiries from sales candidates, and leave room in your organization to hire outstanding applicants even when no opening is published.

Interview Twice, Hire Only Once

Sales people tend to interview extremely well, which makes recruiting sales people based on initial interviews difficult. If you do not keep in mind that sales people essentially interview with others for a living when out selling, you might make a hiring mistake. To confirm first impressions always schedule a second in-person interview for candidates who show promise, and include a second manager in interviews whenever possible. It also helps to ensure that interviews include a range of hypothetical situation-based questions and are structured so that hiring decisions are based on direct comparisons between candidates.

Screen Sales Candidates Thoroughly

Many hiring managers rely on past track records and impressions during the interview when recruiting sales people, but a history of performance alone is not a guarantee that a sales person will perform. Differences in product and service offerings, business environments, and sales teams also influence a sales person’s performance. When recruiting sales people, make it a best practice to screen not just for past activities and go deeper: 

  • Speak with at least three references, preferably former sales managers or executives
  • Verify abilities via personality, sales, and hard skills assessments
  • Use extensive screening to verify ability to work, credit standing, education and employment history
  • Be sure that background checks include civil and criminal records to help comply with the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act

Partner with an Experienced Sales Recruiting Firm

Sales recruiting firms work on finding, screening, and recruiting sales people year round, day in and day out, so sales recruiters know this hiring market intimately and are well equipped to recommend only the best qualified sales people for your organization’s open sales positions. In addition, recruiting firms that specialize in sales recruiting can:

  • Provide recommendations to streamline your processes for recruiting sales people to ensure effectiveness
  • Take on recruiting tasks like screening and initial interviews to free more of your time for daily business demands
  • Give your organization access to advanced sales-oriented software that measures your sales recruiting ROI

Through these strengths, sales recruiting firms can give you an enduring advantage in recruiting sales people over your competition. Being able to attract and retain the best sales people in your industry might be the best competitive leverage your organization can gain and as your advisor, a sales recruiting firm can help you get there.

Claire McConnachie

Claire is a Western University graduate with a background in recruiting, sales and customer service. As a Recruitment Consultant, her goals are to place the best people in the right roles resulting in satisfaction for both the candidate and client.