The perfect employee does not exist on a check listHiring is tough and it’s no secret.  It requires time and money, but is a critical piece to grow and sustain a company. Having realistic hiring expectations is half the battle to making the right hire.  Understanding what you are looking for, the candidate pool, and the competition are essential to being able to hire sales representatives effectively. It’s important to not only know who you are looking to hire, but how you’re going to hire. You must have a process in place.

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Everyone wants to hire that all-star sales representative that has a track record of success. Hiring managers look for that A+ candidate that matches all the requirements of the open position hoping the ideal candidate will meet all the points on a checklist of the necessary skills and experience required. The expectation that candidates will check off every box on the list is usually unrealistic.

The best strategy to avoid missing out on top sales talent is to identify the most important criteria that you are looking for. If a candidate meets a few points on your checklist and they look good on paper the best thing to do is give them a call, talk to them for a few minutes or schedule a phone interview.  Often times, great potential candidates are passed up because they are not a direct hit for what a company is looking for.  If you are on the fence with a candidate’s resume, the best way to determine whether they could be a fit is to give them a call.

Intangibles are essential to consider when hiring.  Don’t hire based solely on skill alone, but consider the right culture fit, someone who is talented but also coachable and will work hard to grow the company. Things that cannot be seen on paper such as presentation, attitude, energy level, and culture fit are nearly as, and sometimes, more important than a candidate’s experience and skills.  Being too selective means you may be missing out on some great candidates who may not be good at highlighting their relevant skills on a resume. 

{Related Article: 7 Reasons Why You Lose A Candidate}

Don’t expect that perfect candidate to just apply to your company’s position. Understand that many of these A-players are generally not actively looking, and that there is plenty of competition and other attractive opportunities that they may be considering. With that in mind, be able to answer the question as to why someone should join your company. There is plenty of competition so why should a sales representative join your company over another opportunity?

Even though money isn’t everything, it is something so make sure your compensation plan is real. Do you have a realistic compensation structure in place? What can your reps expect to make in their first year of joining the company? Are your sales reps hitting their quotas every quarter? Is the sales size and process realistic? How long are the sales cycles? Candidates consider these factors when making a career move since they are looking to join a company that offers growth and sustainability.

As far as having a hiring process in place, make that clear at the beginning of the process. When people are looking to make a move in their career, they want to be aware of how soon your company is looking to hire and what the steps are in the process. If you don’t have this in place, this can overwhelm candidates and you could lose out to the competition.

Sales representatives want to join a company that offers growth and sustainability. Make your company stand out as the number one organization that candidates should consider and don’t lose out on hiring top sales talent by having unrealistic hiring expectations. Have a strategy and have flexibility in your hiring spec when considering potential candidates that could in fact be your next all-star to join the company.

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