How to Hire Inside Sales People – Get the Right and Avoid the Wrong Candidates

So you’re looking for a new sales rep? That’s great! But you better be doing it right or you’ll find yourself with a bad hire. What are some ways to prevent making a bad choice with a new recruit? Easy, if you understand some basic does and don’ts of hiring.   

Don’t do…….

A key “don’t” is stealing employees from your competitors. Snatching up talent from your competition might sound like a good idea, but in reality it is usually a terrible one that could leave you empty handed. Typically, it’s the nonperformers that are looking to move. They might exaggerate their skill sets during their interviews. One way to prevent this is to use references. When you try to steal from a competitor it limits your knowledge of the employee’s current performance. When you interview someone on which you can do better research, your chances of a good hire improve.

Another issue you might come across if you are looking at the competition for your hiring pool is potential legal trouble. As part of their onboarding paper work, many companies require their sales rep to sign a non-solicitation and a non-compete agreement. You don’t want the repercussions if they breech this agreement.

Limited screening can also contribute to a bad hire. Do you ask the right questions? Does more than one person interview the candidate? Potential problems are more likely to be caught during an interview process if a candidate has to meet with multiple employees. If your company is still small, one process to consider is to have a candidate interviewed by an HR person and then by the hiring manager. Depending on the position, you might have the prospective team members interview the candidate, as a group. Finally, the CEO could be brought into the process to verify skill and qualification impressions.

Don’t hire someone because you think you’re doing a friend or neighbor a favor. You might as well randomly pick someone off the street, stick them on the phone and hope for the best. Hiring someone because you’re trying to help a buddy out offers no guarantee whatsoever that they are a good fit for your company.

Should Do……

While the previous points might help you avoid some of the pit falls of a bad hire, employers can increase their chances of hiring rock stars by considering some of the following.  For example, consider implementing an employee referral program, with compensation paid per hire. Different from doing someone a favor, referrals are recommendations that come from employees, who typically understand the culture and know many of the hiring managers.

Other ways to meet new candidates are: Participate in hiring fairs, typically held at local colleges or universities. Hold an open house. An advantage of an open house is that you can tailor your promotion toward a specific demographic or skill set.

Posting jobs in the classified section of newspapers has more recently been displaced by career oriented websites. The advantage of career sites is you can both search through posted resumes as well as post your jobs – it’s both active and passive candidate hunting. Some sites to consider are: Careerbuilder, Monster, Indeed, Simply Hired and Hero2Hired. All good sources for both posting jobs and looking for candidates. Another approach is using a service like Jobvite that will comb the Internet for you, looking for those who meet your requirements.

Social media, especially LinkedIn, are among the other “new” ways to find candidates. Posting job opportunities on LinkedIn Groups is something you should consider. LinkedIn is interesting because it enables you find people who are currently working at companies that might have the skill sets your company needs, the top performers. Use Facebook and Twitter to get the word out that you are looking for stellar individuals to join your company.

With all the unique and creative methods for finding candidates, always be clear about the skill sets you are looking for, beware of red flags and do as much possible to find the right person for the job – though time will only tell if you made the right choice.

What has worked for you? What suggestions do you have when it comes to hiring new employees?

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