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8 Practical Ideas to Balance Sales Hiring Speed with Quality

Sales leaders and hiring managers face a dilemma: hire quickly but also hire well. Open positions and accounts bleed quota production. There’s pressure to get them filled. But, bad hires suck the life out of managers, co-workers, and customers. How can you achieve a better balance?

Fortunately, in our State of Sales Hiring Survey, we asked survey participants for suggestions to reduce the time to hire while also improving the quality of hire. Below, we’ve summarized the eight most practical and impactful ideas for you:

1. Always be building your applicant pool. Tap non-traditional sources of candidates and assess as many as possible to determine who has sales aptitude and the effort required to onboard to full production.

2. “Lean-out” your hiring process, removing unnecessary steps and duplicate information entry. When possible, dedicate recruiters to focus only on sales hiring or develop this area as a specialization.

3. Ensure the job posting is not overly restrictive, causing potentially qualified candidates not to apply. If a 4-year degree is not necessary, then do not include it. Be very careful to use inclusive language. Show that you are willing to be flexible and you offer training to encourage non-traditional candidates to apply.

4. Use a valid, EEOC-compliant assessment early in the process to screen-out candidates with the lowest potential for sales success, rank order candidates, and provide insight into candidate strengths and weaknesses for hiring managers.

5. Ensure hiring managers are adequately trained to interview candidates and leverage assessment reports to use interview time effectively.

6. Know in advance who you need in the interview process and be sure they are ready, willing, and able to participate. When possible, consider a panel interview.

7. Don’t delay your offer. A great candidate will probably not wait longer than two weeks before giving up on you.

8. Move quickly on post-offer due diligence such as background checks, drug screens, and other items. Eliminate non-relevant steps when necessary.

Author: Dario Priolo

Dario brings over 20 years of experience in the sales enablement and talent development industry. He has led marketing and strategy as CMO for leading companies like the Hay Group, Miller Heiman and Profiles International and has been part of 4 successful exits, including his own start-up.


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