8 years ago
April 18, 2016

5 Sales Recruiting Mistakes You Do Not Want to Make

In this article, we’ll discuss 5 sales recruiting mistakes you absolutely do not want to make.

Rhys Metler

Picking new sales personnel can be a task rife with pitfalls. Sales recruiting mistakes can have disastrous effects–beyond the damage a single bad employee can inflict on your customer relationships and bottom line, you must consider the damage they might do to team morale and efficiency. Someone who interacts perfectly with prospects may be poisonous to your organization. In this article, we’ll discuss 5 sales recruiting mistakes you absolutely do not want to make–mistakes you may not even recognize as being such until too late. After all, these are sales people you’re hiring; they know how to put on a good show for a short time.

Winging It

This isn’t so much ‘the first of our recruiting mistakes’ as it is ‘the source of a vast majority of ALL recruiting mistakes’. Recruiting the right person for your sales team isn’t something you can hope to chance into; at the very least, you need a thorough understanding of the recruiting process and a plan for getting the candidate you want. 

There’s a reason top companies either maintain full-time in-house recruitment personnel or hire third party recruiters to find their workers–recruiting is hard work and you need to take it seriously to get it right.

Rushing the Process 

Rushing your way through the different stages of the hiring process is another of the recruiting mistakes that leads to more recruiting mistakes. You may instinctively prefer certain parts of the process and rush the rest, but that’s an opening for problems. Maybe you hate the in-person interviews, maybe you hate weeding out potential employees based on their resumes, but you need to take each stage seriously and spend an appropriate amount of time working through applicants. 

Valuing the Wrong Traits

It’s amazing how often this happens, but it’s one of the most common recruiting mistakes. You probably have a general idea of what you need your sales team–you’re not going to hire a cold calling expert when you never cold call, even if you’re bad at recruiting. 

The problems in this arena tend to be more subtle. A fixation on prospects with a certain skill that could actually be trained quickly on the job, or the reverse. A preference for fresh graduates because they’re cheap, or experienced workers because they’re more stable, that overshadows more relevant traits. 

You need to take a good, long, objective look at what you need and figure out the best way to end up with a superior employee possessing those traits.

Not Planning the Interviews

Whether you’re handling interviews alone or with others, you need to plan them in advance and stick with the plan. If you don’t plan out what you’re going to ask, what subjects need to be touched on and what answers you need to hear, you run the risk of being sidetracked or distracted from key points. The risk recruiting mistakes like this actually increases in a group–without clearly defined areas of focus, interviewers can get caught up in liking or disliking a particular candidate and get off task quickly. Simply forgetting to get to a subject because you expect another interviewer to handle it becomes a risk as well. 

Not Trusting Your Instincts

If you’re avoiding the other sales recruiting mistakes listed here, your instincts should be properly kept in check–with enough planning and caution, you’re left with your instincts as an ally. Sales personnel who can sell themselves to a recruiter will probably do well selling products to prospects–those who can’t sell themselves won’t sell products. There are many caveats to this bit of wisdom, but that’s why you plan and implement so many objective checks into the recruiting process. Your instincts are a tool–you just need to set the stage so you can use them properly, as an aide against recruiting mistakes instead of a source of them.

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.