5 Ways to Avoid a Bad Hire
Unfortunately, it can happen to any company. What should feel like a celebrated accomplishment quickly turns sour.
You hire a much needed salesperson for your team, only to find out that you were “ghouled,” and realize that you have hired the wrong fit for your sales team.
That means as a hiring manager you have to start the entire search all over again, and no one wants that. Hiring is hard enough, why would you want to repeat recruiting for the same role that had less than a stellar outcome?
Yes, bad hires happen sometimes and it’s not to say it is any one person’s fault, but there are ways to prevent it from becoming routine. Most “bad hires” are a result of a poor hiring process, rather than paranormal activities.
Don't let a bad hire haunt you. Here are 5 tips to reduce the risk of making a bad hire.
- Don’t Let Urgency Turn into Desperation
The market is hot and companies are in urgent need of hiring sales talent. Even though it is important to move fast on a candidate, you should not “settle.” Companies that merely count headcount as a successful hire are doomed from the start. If your focus is on getting bodies in seats rather than the right person to fill the role, you will experience high turnover. Have urgency around hiring, but be prepared. You need to have a timeframe in mind of when you need to hire by and a process in place.
- Build a Flexible Candidate Blueprint
*It’s important to note that “perfect” does not mean unrealistic. You need to have visibility into the market. Understand the market such as experience and compensation in your industry. Understand the requirements essential to your job, but remember to be flexible in order to drive traffic to your open sales job. With a larger pipeline, you will become more educated on what the right candidate is for your company. If you already have a sales force in place, focus on the sales characteristics of your top performers in your organization and look for those tangible and intangible skills in the people you interview.
- Know Who is Involved in the Hiring Process
Identify and determine who will be involved in the hiring process and to what extent they are involved. Whether it’s HR, Sales Management, team members, the Owner/CEO, or a combination of all of the above, make sure they are prepared to carve time out of their schedules to be engaged in the interview process. Focus on having the people who will be working with this potential hire involved in the process. Gain agreement on your process and timeframe and have that candidate blueprint ready. Have each person provide prompt feedback on a candidate. This is the only way to determine which candidate will be right for your organization both professionally and as a culture fit.
- Qualify Early And Often
When you are hiring salespeople, it’s important to not only qualify them early in the process on their skills and experience, but on how serious they are about the opportunity throughout the interview. Candidates should be able to articulate their story, offer transparency and overcome any objections you may have. Look for holes in their story and red flags. If something does not make sense or you have a concern, ask them to clarify or provide an example. They should be able to answer your questions, and if not this should provide some insight into the type of person and professional they are.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Trust Your Gut
Hiring can’t rely on emotion alone, but it does play a factor. Remember, people buy from people they like and they also hire people they like. That’s not to say that likeability is the most important indicator but it is worth considering. When you are interviewing someone and qualifying them on their experience and the requirements of the role, you will be deciding not only if the person can do the job, but if they are someone you can work with every day. You will determine if they are someone you can rely on, trust and have a conversation with. If someone is sending bad vibes or has too many red flags in their story, your gut is probably telling you that person is not a great fit. You want to feel excited about a new hire the same way you want them to be excited about the opportunity.
Hiring can feel scary and uncertain, but you can create a process that allows you to identify potential hires with more confidence. Even though there may be a time that a hire may not work out, it’s important to identity what type of sales candidate is important to the company and to the role. The more you go through the hiring process, the more you will learn about what works and doesn’t work for your company. Don’t let the fear of risk outweigh the reward. Be prepared to put the work into hiring. Have a strong sales hiring strategy in place and don’t let bad hires haunt you.