Objectivity Trumps Bias

We are all biased, it is simply how we are wired no matter what people believe.  Our brains have the innate ability to categorize – a distinct survival mechanism for sure.  This ability becomes problematic in the hiring process as hiring managers can often be influenced by their own biases when making hiring decisions.  To be blunt, hiring managers are prewired to clone themselves in their hires. So what of this?  Does it matter?  If your hiring manager is strong, especially a sales manager, wouldn’t it be best to clone them? No.  End of post…ok, I won’t be so short.  The key to successful hiring, especially as it pertains to… Read More

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Gotcha Questions

Do you know what I mean by “gotcha questions?”  These are the questions designed to trap, trick or zap a candidate.  These types of questions are often used by interviewers who believe they need to “win” the interview.  I know it sounds odd and uncommon (I certainly hope it is), but I have sat through interviews where the gotcha questions have been asked. Interview questions are a tricky sort.  Almost everyone enjoys reading interview questions in hope of discovering an effective one.  However, we incorporate assessments into our process which provides an x-ray of the candidate’s abilities, motivations, aptitudes, style, etc.  The power in this approach is that it identifies… 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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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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End My Hiring Misery

Here is a good read from Inc.com 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:… Read More

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Interview Myths

This article from Yahoo’s Hot Jobs contains 5 hiring myths designed to help candidates perform better in an interview.  Myth #1 is excellent for the hiring manager: Myth #1: Be prepared with a list of questions to ask at the close of the interview. There is some truth in this common piece of advice: You should always be prepared, and that usually includes developing questions related to the job. The myth here is that you must wait until it is “your turn” to speak. By waiting until the interviewer asks you if you have any questions, “it becomes an interrogation instead of a conversation,” says Greene. Greene recommends that you… Read More

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A Real-World Economic Prediction

This story from abcnews.com carries some weight in terms of a real economic forecast.  It isn’t good: More of America’s largest companies will shrink their staffs than will hire in the next six months, according to the latest survey of their CEOs. Nineteen percent of the CEOs expect to expand their work forces, while 31 percent predict a decrease in the next six months, according to a quarterly survey from the Business Roundtable released Tuesday. That’s slightly better than the 13 percent who expected increased hiring three months earlier. At that time, 40 percent forecast cuts. Granted, the trend is good, but the actualities are not.  2010 is shaping up… Read More

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The Little r Relationship

SellingPower.com offers up a spot-on short article about maintaining customer relationships in this economy.  The pressure on salespeople is extremely high right now in two regards – there are limited opportunities to close new business and the business world continues its radical information shift thanks to the Internet. First off, companies have slowed down their purchasing, but they are still purchasing.  I think this fact gets lost in the doom-and-gloom reporting that saturates our senses.  The tactical truth is that salespeople are going to have to unhook business from their competition to increase their sales.  Many order-taking salespeople will fail miserably in this endeavor. Second, prospects are far more informed… Read More

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Observational Management

I kid you not, this approach comes from a manager of a small company that recently hired a new salesperson.  The salesperson traveled to the company for a couple days of training before his official start date.  He did this on his own dime so he could accelerate his ramp-up time. The manager of the company was involved in the training since this salesperson would report directly to him (remember-small company).  During the training days, there was some confusion about when the salesperson should arrive in the morning.  No specific time was set, but a general schedule starting around 9am was the target.  The salesperson arrived around 9:20am. A stack… Read More

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