7 months ago
February 21, 2017

Sales Hiring Process: Do’s and Don’ts

You need to follow a sales hiring process to make sure you are getting the right person for the job.

Claire McConnachie

Eventually, you will need to make changes in your sales force. This can come from the need to build and hire new employees or it can come from the need to replace employees who have left. You need to follow a sales hiring process to make sure you are getting the right person for the job.

DO know what you need. DON’T take a one-size-fits-all approach.

You need to come up with a good description of the job and have an idea of what skills the individual will need to have to fill the open position. Look at your sales model. An inside sales force will need a different skill set than someone expected to make cold calls. Your job description needs to be clear and focused.

DO make a recruitment plan. DON’T have unrealistic expectations.

Good sales people are out there. They know what they want and they know they can get it. There are a number of ways to reach potential employees. You need to have an idea of who you are looking for and you need to know what you have to offer to your sales person. For example, if you are planning to pay hourly with a bonus, you are not going to be attract sales professionals who want salary plus commission.

You need to know where to find the employees you want. Some typical ways to look for employees:

  • Look inside your own company. You may have people who know your company and your product and who are looking for a change.
  • Newspaper and radio ads.
  • Resume’ posting sites like LinkedIn.
  • Referrals. Ask your current employees and offer them a bonus for any referral that is hired.
  • SalesForce Search

Also, remember that it is easy for job seekers to learn a lot about your company and your brand. Don’t try to present your company as something that it is not. There are dozens of ways that prospective applicants can find out what you do and what your mission is. You want to be upfront and honest and you want someone that has done their homework.

DO hire people with the right skills. DON’T ignore your company culture.

Based on the job description you have prepared, you will need to decide upon a group of applicants that you would like to learn more about. Look for the qualities that you desire during the interview process. Ask open ended questions that will give the applicant the opportunity to show you who they are. It is also very important that you try to determine if this person is right for your company. They may have every skill that you are looking for, but do they fit your company culture? If your culture is laid back and casual, a more formal sales professional might not fit in and will probably not be successful in your company.

DO hire to fill a need. DON’T limit who you consider.

Many times we hear the expression that a company is hiring to fill a gap. You are looking a much more than filling in a hole in your employee base. You are looking to find the right person that will fill a need. Someone who will help your company move forward. It is a mistake to limit yourself by only considering applicants that have experience in your industry. Industry information is easily learned. Skills are developed over time and can usually be applied to any industry.

Although time came be of the utmost importance when you are in the process of sales hiring, you need to take a thoughtful, methodical approach to the process. With rushed decisions or a lack of planning, you could end up with the wrong person in the wrong position.

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.