Bad Hiring Trend-Lack of Decisiveness

This HRE article addresses a worrisome trend in hiring today – slow hiring decisions. Decisiveness is the most important trait of successful hiring managers.  Lacking today because people are unsure of who they are hiring.  Can use assessments to assuage this fear. Gartner found that, in 2018, the average time between the initial job interview and the hiring manager making an offer was 33 days—an 84% increase since 2010. “The longer decision-making stage is causing a 16% reduction in candidates accepting offers,” says Lauren Smith, vice president of Gartner’s HR practice. “Ultimately, hiring managers are losing out on prime candidates because of this lag in decision-making.” In sales hiring, I… Read More

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5 Hiring Hacks For Full Employment

The job creation numbers are slowing down yet I don’t think that is due to a catastrophic economic slowdown.  The most recent jobs report shows that we have 50-year record low unemployment that is holding month-to-month.  The average hourly wage rate is rising at over 3%.  These factors are signs of a still-strong economy settling in to a cruise control speed for the time being. What is an ongoing problem is hiring…a problem due to a nearly full (100%) employment situation.  In fact, the latest jobs report revealed there are 6.7 million job openings and a total of only 6.4 million unemployed people available to fill them.  To say it… Read More

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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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A Mission-Critical Sales Metric

Seems simple, but here it is: Let me offer up some definitions of each box: Connects: Cold contact from a list or similar resource Suspects: Contacted and have general need or use for your product/service Prospects: Qualified for need, budget & buying time Quotes: Formal proposal to do business Close: Completed order in response to quote Again, this is a simple concept, but it is of great consequence when hiring salespeople.  We call it the Connects-to-Close ratio and it defines many of the parameters you need to use in your hiring efforts.  There are many layers to the ratio that impact the sales skills, selling style and aptitudes to measure… Read More

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The Most Dangerous Sales Weakness

Sales is a difficult role, I would argue the most difficult role, in any company.  The skill set and mind set required to be successful is rare in the general population.  Yet, strong salespeople are out there and hopefully on your team. However, most teams that we assess have a salesperson (or more) who is not performing up to expectations.  This salesperson seems to have the tools, but something is holding him or her back.  The concern I always have, in this situation, is that they possess the most dangerous sales weakness. Fear of rejection. For sales, this is the big one.  This weakness can single-handedly neutralize any strengths the… Read More

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3 Tips To Hire Salespeople

From the Harvard Business Review Tip of the Day email: Most companies spend more on hiring in sales than they do in any other part of the organization. With an average annual turnover rate of 25 to 30%, and direct replacement costs ranging from $75,000 to $300,000, there’s a big opportunity for improvement. Here are a few places to start (emphasis mine): Focus on behaviors. A primary cause of turnover is poor job fit. Consider ramping up assessment tools, simulations, and interviewing techniques to help identify the right people. Or, try temporary positions to assess people on the job before offering a full-time position. Be clear about the relevant “experience”… Read More

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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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The Problem With Hunters

They hunt – plain and simple.  You could say it is in their blood.  This becomes an issue when you are attempting to hire a sales hunter as I have witnessed this past week.  One of our customers zeroed in on a particular candidate who is a strong hunter, but my customer took their time in pursuing him.  In that time, he uncovered another opportunity and received an offer.  That offer was later placed on hold so he returned to my customer for an interview.  They thought he would be a great fit, but the first company came back and made him another offer along with my customer.  He went… 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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