The following article is part of my participation in the Recruiting Blogswap:
Written by Jim Durbin of StlRecruiting
For those of you looking for new sales help in the New Year, let me offer you a tune-up for the way you hire salespeople.
Some of you have long, involved processes that include psych tests (better hope they're certified), questions about whether they were involved in sports in high school (yes, this question is still around), and the highly dubious, "Show me your W-2's" method that is supposed to show whether past performance is predictive of future success.
Forget all of that. And forget your "gut instinct," too. Salespeople are good at selling themselves, so anyone who has ever held a sales position and had any success should be able to convince you they know what they're doing. Most account managers can worm their way into a position by repeating this mantra, "I love the phone. All business starts with the phone, and if I just continue to make my calls, I'll be successful."
Of course, once they are hired, there always seems to be something that keeps them off the phone (I'm no exception, and have been guilty of it in the past, but you might consider adding this to your employment process in the hire of your next salesperson.
Ask them to write down a schedule of a normal day, their first week, the first 30 days, and the first 90 days.
Any experienced employee should know how to hit the ground running. A reliable indicator of what the employee has planned, and a good test question to see if they are detail oriented and looking forward to the job, is to ask them what they plan to do in the first 90 days.
This is just the first step. If they do a good job, you have a roadmap they have committed to if you hire them. If they give you incomplete information, you can work with them to create a timetable that looks right, practicing working together prior to actually hiring them.
In their head, you want to create the image of them working alongside you. You want to create the visual image of what it's like to work with you as a manager. If it's a bad fit, the two of you realize it quickly. And most important, it takes the focus off of the hiring process, where everyone wants to be liked, and puts it on the working process, where everybody makes money.
Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry-level jobs and other career opportunities.