My clients had four to five qualified candidates when I started my career as a consultant in sales. Each candidate would be evaluated, and the client would choose the best. The situation is now reversed. I often see one top candidate with five job opportunities. The times have changed. You don’t have to wait for top sales talent to knock on your door looking for work. If you don’t make an impression, many people won’t buy your career. The times have changed.
It is as important as how your salespeople interact with the hiring process that a hiring manager engages in the process.
Below are a few tips to increase your chances of getting top-notch candidates in this new era. This article does not discuss incentives, compensation plans, or company perks. It is about how you compare to other job offers your candidate has made.
Do not hire too quickly – instead, get involved in the hiring process quickly.
Each year, I meet hundreds of candidates. I hear the same thing from top candidates every year. I hear them tell me that they have six job openings, but each one is moving slowly. They say they had to abandon their first choice job because the company they applied to was moving too slowly and that they needed to move. They chose their second choice. Their first choice company called them back, and they were finally ready to offer the job. But it was too late. Their top candidate was lost because they moved too slow.
Respond immediately to a recruiter who has sent you a candidate. You can contact a candidate directly to discuss your plans and make the call to invite them for an interview or to remove them from the hiring process. Clear your desk of candidates quickly. You can either move the best candidates through the following steps or lose them.
You can communicate with candidates via phone or videoconference if you don’t have the time to meet face-to-face. Do not make the candidate wait. You may lose another chance to meet them if they don’t act quickly.
Do not fall in love with their resumes.
Resumes can be misleading. It can make a poor performer appear like a star. A top performer might have a poor resume due to the quality companies they work for. Remember that you are hiring a person, not a piece of paper. You can see the failures of many people with outstanding resumes. Many Sales Champions didn’t have great resumes, either. Talk to them, assess them, and find their talents.
Remember that you are hiring a person and not a piece of paper.
If they have only worked for three years and are 35 years old, don’t be nervous. Many Class A salespeople are hired by small companies. Consider this: Why did your last job leave you? Did you want a better job that paid more and had more responsibility? Bad management decisions could have caused you to leave. We often scrutinize someone’s resume but are tolerant when we talk to them. We learn about the dictatorial boss, the buyout with the new corporate vision everyone hates, or the corporate slashing compensation plans because someone at the top wants more money.
There are many reasons that a resume may look different. Before you throw it away, take a closer look.
Preliminary Telephone Interviews Reduce Time
You don’t have to do lengthy interviews face-to-face if you find it too tedious. Instead, conduct a few preliminary phone interviews. If you ask the right questions, you will find out if they’re “interview-worthy” within three to five minutes.
You don’t have to lose out on a great candidate just because you didn’t respond fast enough during the hiring process. You can’t know when the next top candidate will arrive if you lose a great candidate. You may end up with a poor salesperson. The times have changed.