The Lost Art Of Writing

No doubt we live in a technology-based world driven by expedited activities, from instant text messages to YouTube videos on demand.  Communication moves fast. One area I believe it hurts is applying for sales positions.  I realize an ever-increasing amount of opportunities are found, shared and contacted through LinkedIn, but what of finding opportunities for which you do not have a direct connection.  I think this activity is similar to cold calling/contacting. When I am sourcing for sales candidates, I receive many resumes forwarded to me through the job boards and LinkedIn.  Resumes.  It is rare that I receive a cover letter anymore.  For me, receiving a resume is similar… Read More

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How GPA’s Matter In Hiring

They don’t.  That is the conclusion from Google based on their own internal research.  Some info from the New York Times article: “One of the things we’ve seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless — no correlation at all except for brand-new college grads, where there’s a slight correlation,” Bock said. “Google famously used to ask everyone for a transcript and G.P.A.’s and test scores, but we don’t anymore, unless you’re just a few years out of school. We found that they don’t predict anything. Mind you, this is research from inside Google – they know… Read More

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Hiring Better

Well, I am back from an extended summer vacation.  Ok, it wasn’t a vacation, we have been swamped which is a good thing.  Our activities have all been tied around hiring which seems to be bubbling up slightly in highly-selected areas. One thing I have noticed percolating this summer is the use of assessments.  This has been our business since 2004, but it is truly taking off now which seems counterintuitive to me.  However, I heard an interesting Wall Street Journal interview this morning where the reporter stated that companies hiring today have to make the right hire.  Each position is crucial as most companies are running with lower numbers… Read More

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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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A Secondary Effect Of The Recession

Most people agree that there will be a demand for workers as soon as we start the recovery process (no, I do not subscribe to the idea that the recession ended in June of 2009).  Companies are running in a most efficient manner right now due to the fact that they had to cut staff to the bone.  Growth/expansion will require an expansion of most company’s workforces.  The supply of workers will be limited due to the Baby Boomer retirements and the great decrease in workers in Gen X. Along with this shortage comes another important limitation in the workforce.  From the Herman Trend’s weekly email (emphasis mine): “Unfortunately, with… Read More

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Impression Management

I am a psych major.  As my mother likes to say, “I’ve never met a psychologist who didn’t need their own services.”  Although I am not a psychologist, I get the gist of her commentary. In that vein, I was revisiting some of my antiquated text books in search of a professional explanation for why “bad” sales candidates can often smoke good interviewers.  I give you self-presentation or impression management.  The definition from Social Psychology-Understanding Human Interaction by Baron and Byrne: …they flatter others, pretend to agree with them about various issues, or feign great interest in what they are saying – all in an attempt to create a favorable… Read More

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Skills Pay The Bills

I am slowly coming to the realization that many (most?) sales hiring managers are drawn to hiring experience like a moth is drawn to light.  I am seeing it play out again at one of our assessment customers.  The allure is to hire a salesperson with industry experience before properly assessing their sales skills. Here are some of the common statements I hear from these hiring managers: -They will pick up on our sale quickly -They know the competition -They know the nuances of our market -They know the competition -They will step in and start selling All of these beliefs stem from the hope that the hiring manager will… Read More

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Of Objectivity

I preach this point from the mountaintop as often as possible so I’ll continue here – sales is the single most difficult position to hire in any company.  The reason is simple, accurately predicting sales success by discerning candidate capabilities is…well, often a crapshoot.  This fact is why it is imperative to use assessments to gain an understanding of what the candidate has “under their hood.” A prime example is emotional control.  Successful salespeople have this trait.  It is a broad term so let me put a finer point on it: This is the ability of a salesperson to maintain rational and objective actions when experiencing strong internal emotions. This… Read More

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3 Years And A Cloud Of Dust

My apologies for co-opting Woody Hayes’ saying, but I am from Ann Arbor and couldn’t stand the guy anyway.  I’m wondering what the Great Recession is going to do to resumes.  What I mean is this – many people have shortened tenures nowadays (especially Gen Y).  3 years is turning into a fairly good tenure for a worker. This recession has cost millions of people their jobs.  Some will have to start their work career over, essentially taking a “lesser” job and working their way up all over again.  In many instances, they will have to jump from job to job to keep moving up during their now condensed work… Read More

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10 Commandments Of Successful Sales Selection

1. Always select talent and skills over experience. 2. Do not put the entire burden of the company on this hire. 3. Do not clone yourself. 4. Do not expect to hire perfection. 5. Do not start the process unless you can hire the right candidate today. 6. Do not run the process out of sequence. 7. Do not miss opportunities to see the candidate in action. 8. Do not change the compensation plan during the process. 9. Trust the instruments more than your gut. 10. Do not assume you are the candidates’ only option.

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