Finding Sales Talent In Tight Markets

The labor market is tight today as you assuredly know if you have been attempting to fill open sales positions.  The issue in sales runs deeper than that as you are typically attempting to find strong sales candidates.  “Attempting” is the key – many hiring managers are unsure of selecting the strongest salesperson.  How do you know they will be successful?  Are they the right candidate?  Can they sell?  Will they sell? The issue gets compounded by the fact that most sales leaders do not spend their days hiring salespeople.  In fact, most of them complete those activities on an infrequent schedule in the margins of their day as needed… Read More

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Revealing Resumes

We run a systematic hiring process for sales positions.  We have refined the process over the past 14 years and have it optimized (even though when we started we were writing newspaper employment ads!).  As part of any hiring process, you have to receive resumes of respondents to the ad.  This is where things are changing. A new trend I am seeing is resumes with copy and paste information from job descriptions, websites, etc.  What I mean is candidates do not take the time to write about their skills and experience in their current or previous roles.  They simply use web/marketing copy that they paste into their resume.  I have… Read More

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Overused Adjective

I am spending an inordinate amount of time reviewing resumes and one particular word keeps appearing throughout many of the resumes.  The word is… proven Perhaps the most insipid phrase is this – “proven track record.” Every time I see this phrase I immediately want the candidate to prove it.  In most instances, the quoted achievement would be difficult to prove to an outsider.  That fact makes this throw-away phrase easy to included.  My personal take is to have the candidates simply state their record in numbers.

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The Value Of An Updated Resume

I am stuck in an ongoing cycle of sourcing.  Just when I am about to be worn down, I come across a resume that lists the candidate’s technical skills.  The first thing listed: -MS Windows 98 Seriously…Win98?  My guess (hope) is that the candidate simply has overlooked that part of his resume for years.  That is about the only explanation because I certainly hope he isn’t touting his technical proficiency with an operating system from 13-14 years ago.

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Resume Writing

I am filtering through many resumes right now and having a wonderful time examining some of the unique stylings of candidates.  Some flavor: -One candidate listed his core competencies…TWENTY FOUR of them -Another stated this, “Subject Matter Expert in dilemma analysis.” -Another misspelled his name – his name Never ceases to amaze me when sourcing.

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Bad Wording

The opening line of a candidate’s experience as he listed on his resume: Hired by company to penetrate virgin markets… Honestly, this is a candidate for a high-level sales position.  He doesn’t have enough sense to change that sentence?

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Higher Education

Honestly read this under the "Education” section of a resume: Completed Kindergarten on through 12th grade I think that is rather funny.  I guess the old axiom that the longest journey starts with the first step is true.  Education starts with successfully completing kindergarten.

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Sourcing Stories

I have been swamped with sourcing activities over the past couple weeks as we work on multiple projects.  I am definitely seeing an upclick in hiring activities which is normally preceded by increases in our assessment work.  We have seen a tremendous increase in assessments so I take that as a good sign. So a quick sourcing story for you – I’m on the phone with a gentleman and we are deep into the phone interview.  He interrupts me to say he needs to step away as his 5 year-old son has gone to the bathroom and the candidate needs to go “wipe his butt.”  He proceeds to set the… Read More

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