I’ve written about this phenomenon in the past and I continually encounter it in many sales areas – the allure of experience.  In fact, I just talked to a recruiter from a different part of the country who focuses on sales hiring.  We talked a bit of strategy and I was just dumbfounded.

This gentleman focuses solely on finding someone with as much industry experience as possible.  His primary motivation – find candidates who can bring accounts with them.  No discussion about skills, no behavioral-based questions, no attempt at learning their style and motivation…just simple experience.

I am not even sure if he asks if it was successful experience.

My attempt to move the discussion to skills, talent and motivations was summarily dismissed by him and we ended up having a rather short phone conversation.

This conventional wisdom for sales hiring is persistent today.  My thought is this – what happens when the candidate pool decreases dramatically?  Highly-specific industry experience will not be prevalent.  What then?

Perhaps that is the day I am waiting for.

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