Selling Power’s Hiring One of the Team focuses on finding superstar salespeople that will fit into your existing team.  Clearly that is the goal for all sales hiring and this article supplies some sound advice.  Other parts of it I will leave to your judgment.

Here is a quote I enjoyed (emphasis mine):

“Hire and promote first on the basis of integrity; second, motivation; third, capacity; fourth, understanding; fifth, knowledge; and last and least, experience. Without integrity, motivation is dangerous; without motivation, capacity is impotent; without capacity, understanding is limited; without understanding, knowledge is meaningless; without knowledge, experience is blind. Experience is easy to provide and quickly put to good use by people with all the other qualities.“– Dee Hock, founder of VISA Credit Card Corporation.

That is spot on, especially the experience piece.  If you have read this blog for any length of time you know that we battle experience-based hiring.  A sales candidate with a well-crafted resume and industry experience often blinds the hiring manager.  The hiring manager becomes enamored with the experience and does not focus on the fit, ability or potential of the candidate.

“A true team player has to be able to set aside his or her ego and be able to do things for the benefit of the team,” says Gregory. “Use behavior profiles to assess this and then during the interview process ask questions such as, ‘Give me an example of when you felt you were not a team player. What did you do once you realized it?’ Look for sincerity in their answers. Did they admit they were wrong? Did they apologize?”

I like the approach and agree with the assessment part (not surprising, is it?), but behavior profiles alone are not as effective as a full assessment.  The behavioral assessment needs to be part of a motivational, aptitudes and skills assessment.  Simply hiring extroverts will not lead to a cohesive team.  A noisy team yes, cohesive, not necessarily.

Lastly, I wouldn’t recommend this:

Other members of the team (it doesn’t have to be everyone) should also interview the candidate. Gregory suggests that each of them ask the candidate the same question to see how the candidate responds. Meet with everyone to see if the person’s answers correlate. Then find out if the candidate was enthusiastic through all of the interviews or did he or she get irritated being asked the exact same question?

I don’t see that serving any purpose.  If you want to see how irritated they become, interrupt them during the interview.  Pressure them, confront them mildly, ask “why” questions – this approach will reveal more to you than a repeated question that will probably generate a canned response.

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