8 years ago
April 18, 2016

Why Your Old Sales Job Description Is Hurting Your Hiring Efforts

If you’re only receiving mediocre sales candidates—or no one is applying at all—then your old sales job description might be the problem. Learn more.

Rhys Metler


When you’ve been assigned to hire new sales people, your focus is probably on sifting through resumes and performing interviews in order to choose the best candidate for the job. You might not give other aspects of the hiring process much thought, like the sales job description.

You might be surprised to hear that the sales job description is actually a critical part of the hiring process—it shouldn’t be an afterthought. You shouldn’t reuse old descriptions. You should put the time and effort required to re-write it in order to make sure that it’s effectively meeting your current needs. If not, it’s going to hurt your hiring efforts. It’ll only attract mediocre or poor candidates, or it won’t attract anyone at all, so you won’t have top sales professionals to choose from.

Here are some of the reasons why your old sales job description is probably hurting your hiring efforts, and why you need to write a new one from scratch.

It Hasn’t Been Updated in Years

If the sales job description for your open sales position hasn’t been updated in years, then it’s probably not even relevant anymore. Your company has grown. Your sales team has grown. Things have changed. Responsibilities have evolved. The position that you’re hiring for might be completely different today than it was just a few years ago. And if you’re basing your selection process off of an old description, you’re not going to hire the right candidate with the experience and skillset required for the responsibilities that the job entails today.

It Isn’t in Sync with the New Sales Process

The new sales process has changed drastically over the years. And the way sales people used to sell doesn’t work anymore. If your sales job description still outlines roles and skills that are no longer useful, then the sales person you hire won’t be up to the challenge of selling to today’s customers. Instead of needing good persuasion and presentation skills, for example, sales people now need other abilities, like social selling skills, thought leadership skills, and listening skills. A sales person who matches your old sales job description will fail in today’s sales environment.

It Still Focuses Solely on Skills and Experience

In the past, hiring managers only looked at their candidates’ skills and experience during the hiring process. They had to have a certain amount of experience and specific skills to be considered for the job. Nothing else really mattered—this is what they believed indicated success.

But today, the best hiring managers understand that skills and experience aren’t everything. Even though they should be considered, personality is now the greater indicator of success. And your old job description probably doesn’t take this into consideration. It might not be concerned with qualities like empathy, coachability, motivation, and drive. So you might end up making a sales hiring mistakes because these concepts aren’t factored in to your hiring process.

It Doesn’t Outline Your Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is a relatively new concept, one that wasn’t around a few years ago. Candidates only cared about salary and financial stability. But job seekers today want to work for a company with a great corporate culture. They want to work for a company that holds the same beliefs and values that they hold dear. They want a job they’ll love.

The company they work for is just as important—if not more important—than the salary or position. So it’s critical to give candidates insights into your corporate culture through the job description so they can figure out if they are a good match for your organization before they apply. Your old sales job description likely doesn’t mention your corporate culture, which means it will hurt your hiring efforts.


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.