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Sales Hiring: How to Hire Top Sales People

03.09.12   |   Sales Recruiting   |   Sean Cashman, Senior Consultant at Treeline Incorporated

Top 5 Ways to Hire Top Talent


Finding top talent and hiring top talent are two different things. There are plenty of companies out there that know how to find talent but not as many know how to effectively hire that talent.

In this market, there are plenty of candidates who are looking for better opportunities and the best of those candidates are being selective with how they chose their next role. I point this out because some of us are letting the media influence us to think that all candidates looking for a new gig, employed or unemployed, are desperate to take an offer...not the case.

The best candidates, the ones that you want to hire, are doing their due diligence on what the market has to offer them. You are not the only company they are talking to and you are probably not the only company that wants to hire him/her. Back to my original statement, 'Finding talent and hiring talent are two different things.'

How do you hire top talent effectively?

There are no magic tricks or sleight of hand to this - it is simple process. Our best clients that hire the best talent have process - organized, thorough and pleasant...that's right, pleasant. Here are some simple guidelines to cross reference when trying to hire top talent:

  1. Know the steps in the process. Your hiring process probably includes; An initial phone call, Face to face meeting, Some sort of role play/demo, Face to face with the team/executives, References, Offer. If you cannot define your process that simply - you should readdress it.
  2. Build a pipeline of qualified candidates. A company that will fail most of the time is the company that only chooses one candidate to bring through the hiring process. There is too much hope in that approach - you want better odds. Have an activity metrics, qualify 5 candidates, bring 3 through the process and hire one of them. If that candidate turns down the offer - you have 2 others that could potentially be a good fit.
  3. Set expectations and have empathy. I tell all my candidates that when interviewing with a company, "you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you." The interview is a tell tale sign of what it is like working for a company -if there is miscommunication or there are questions that go unanswered, that candidate will begin to have concerns, despite how good the opportunity is. I am not saying that mistakes do not happen - this is the working world and you have to be fluid. What I am suggesting is have empathy with the candidate and communicate when some part of the process does not go according to plan.
  4. Qualify and close. I have seen a lot of companies do all the right things and bring a great candidate through their process and then lose that candidate at the 11th hour. As you are approaching final stages of a hiring process, check in with your candidate as you are wrapping up a conversation - ask them where they are with their search, how many other companies they are looking at, how far along in the process they are, and what are the compensation packages with those companies? Also make sure you know their money and what their expectations are for comp.
  5. Offer, Negotiate, Close, Start Date. I'm sure that you are already familiar with how to make an offer with a candidate. They may come back to negotiate and you will see eye to eye and have him/her sign...done...not really. Qualify your new hire on when they are going to resign, what if their company offers them a counter offer, and let's not forget those other companies that they had in their pipeline. These are all the wild cards that we pretend are not there after we hire a new employee. Things you can do to prevent this are to simply talk to your new hire about it - you are going to be working together, hold him/her accountable. Also, try not to push out a start date. Time kills all deals.

 

These are not all fool proof, but these are some pretty simple best practices that I am sure will help you hire more effectively. Now to the other part of my original statement...Finding top talent...go to www.treeline-inc.com and find out more about that.

 

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