Here is a good read from on improving your hiring process.  The pull quote for me:

In my opinion, one of the reasons people do such a poor job in hiring, is that they just want to get it over with,” Matuson says. “Really take your time, do it right, and ask yourself the question, constantly, ‘is this person good enough? Is this really the right person, or am I just trying to end my misery?”

Umm, yes, I have seen that first hand on many occasions…from my customers!  Anyway, there is some good information in the article along with some cliché advice.  Here is some of the good:

So, in addition to a summary of the position, detailed bullet points describing the job’s main tasks and the minimum education and experience requirements, great listings incorporate behavioral characteristics. For instance, instead of a bullet point reading “10+ years experience required,” consider something along the lines of “Team player with strong leadership skills and 10 or more years of demonstrated ability to manage effectively.

I prefer skills and success over tenure and you should too.

In sales hiring, we see hiring managers often focus on hiring salespeople from their industry.  I realize there are some benefits to this approach (know the competition, understand the pace of the sale, etc.), but it is better to hire the right skills and talent no matter what industry background they possess.  One of the allures of industry-based hiring is related to this excerpt from the article:

Especially if your company lacks an HR department or a formal training program, managers should make it a priority to schedule face-time with a new employee within the first day or two. Making it a point to give detailed instructions on tasks at hand, coupled with pointed questions about how the new hire is feeling and what they think would help them out in their job are keys to making them feel comfortable and useful.

I often see managers who want to simply plug in a new salesperson and expect them to ramp up to revenue themselves.  BIG mistake.  Even experienced salespeople need a structured onboarding (we call it onramping for sales) process with face time with their sales manager.  Failing to spend this time with your new hire delays the ramp to revenue and invites unneeded/unintended stress into the new relationship.

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