8 years ago
April 13, 2016

Where Does HR Fit In The Sales Hiring Process?

Your HR department may be able to make strong contributions in the following areas of the sales hiring process.

Rhys Metler

The hiring expertise provided by your organization’s HR department is invaluable when it comes to hiring sales people, and irreplaceable when hiring sales managers. Still, some organizations struggle to place where HR should be involved in the sales hiring process. Much of the uncertainty derives from HR’s traditional role in an organization, which is less focused on sales. However, although your HR department may not have specific expertise in sales, it does have specific expertise in the driver behind your sales: Human resources! Your HR department may be able to make strong contributions in the following areas of the sales hiring process.

HR Plays an Important Role in Initial Recruitment, the Beginning of the Sales Hiring Process

Though the sales hiring process differs from hiring processes for other positions in important respects, the initial stages of the sales hiring process are typically quite similar. This allows experienced HR professionals to leverage their expertise in initial candidate selection and recruitment while freeing time for the sales department from basic tasks, including:

  • Writing and distributing sales job descriptions
  • Comparing initial responses to posted opportunities to move the best qualified candidates forward
  • Developing a blueprint for a continuation of the sales hiring process based on candidate responses

HR Can Help Sales Managers Develop and Improve Hiring Techniques

In most organizations HR is directly responsible for hiring in key areas outside of sales. It should also be noted that HR professionals generally have the strongest understanding of the legal niceties that can snare the sales hiring process and potentially cause issues for the hiring organization. By making sales managers and decision makers aware of potential difficulties, HR can contribute to the efficiency of the sales hiring process. Furthermore, sales managers and decision makers can learn from HR’s experience in hiring other professionals to improve sales hiring in a variety of target areas, including:

  • Comparing candidates to established ideal candidate profiles
  • Streamlining the sales hiring process by avoiding unnecessary or redundant tasks
  • Sharing best practices for interviewing and assessing candidates
  • Sharing effective strategies for cultivating excitement in promising candidates

HR Has Specific Competencies in Assessing Fit During the Sales Hiring Process

Fit with the corporate culture is of growing importance to organizations as brand identities and cultural styles increasingly serve to set organizations apart from one another. HR is uniquely positioned to recognize how cultural fit can be as important a predictor of success as skills and qualifications, and can assist your sales decision makers in assessing how candidates are likely to respond to your organization’s culture. For this reason, many organizations have HR conduct or participate in the initial telephone or in-person interview to assess a candidate’s cultural fit.

HR Can Contribute to Talent Retention, Saving Time During the Sales Hiring Process

Loss of talent is a major factor driving the need for organizations to have a continual sales hiring process, as lost talent must be replaced as quickly as possible to keep sales up. Involving HR in talent retention throughout the sales hiring process and beyond can reduce your organization’s turnover, as HR:

  • Assesses candidates for longevity during the initial sales hiring process, reducing the need for replacement hires
  • Evaluates benefits and compensation packages for candidate attraction and retention
  • Stays aware of warning signs that departure may be on the horizon for current sales people

The success of your business is reliant on the quality of your sales hires, from the entry to the management level. With this in mind, your organization should be leveraging all of the expertise at its disposal to make the best possible hires for all sales positions. This takes collaboration between your sales managers and executives, sales recruiters, and HR department. By staying aware of where each area of expertise can be best applied, you can improve your sales hiring process and generate sales results.

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.