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Is your Recruitment Process Costing you Sales Talent?

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Do a Seek.com search for “Entry Level Sales” in Sydney, and you’re hit with 3,683 search results.

That’s right; if you’re an employer on the hunt for sales talent – even in the entry level space –you’re in a fiercely competitive environment.

One way you can increase the chances of you being the “chosen one” as opposed to the “losers” over the road, is by avoiding some of the cardinal sins that turn sales professionals off.

Here are five of those top sins to avoid:

1.    Prolonging the Interview Process

Does the sales gun you’ve interviewed really need to come in and meet the Managing Director in a 4th interview over a coffee to check cultural fit?

While we are a big fan of having multiple points of contact with a candidate to gauge enthusiasm and attitude, unless you have a unique point of difference, a highly competitive salary offering, or a career path they could not get elsewhere, the days of playing hard to woo candidates are over.

If you’re working with a recruiter, by the time a candidate gets to you, chances are they’ve already been through shortlisting, profiling and interviews with the recruiter; that makes their initial chat with you the fourth step in some cases.

Candidates who drop out through the process are not the “wrong fit” because they didn’t wait. Another employer was just faster than you at offering them what they want.

Remember, there are 3,683 more employers looking for the same thing as you. Draw the line at two interviews and watch the success rate rise

2.    Interviewing for Skills Not Required in the Job

We understand that when you’re looking for entry level sales super stars, it can be hard to know what questions will get you the information you need. But why interview for skills that are not required in the job they’ve applied for?

The current trend for a lot of sales interviews is for candidates to create and deliver a presentation on the product they’ll be selling.

Hey, that’s fine for Business Developers and Sales Executives – they’ll be face-to-face doing this every day. But does it tell you if they’re a great cold-caller, or does it just show you that some people are savvier with PowerPoint than others?

We’ve all known people who are able to nail a sales presentation but lack the drive and tenacity to book a meeting. In some cases, like for Internal Sales, role-plays might be a more relevant and appropriate way of assessing talent and potential.

3.    Taking Too Long to Make an Offer

What’s the hold up? Good sales candidates usually have a minimum of 2-3 companies they are interviewing with at the same time. If you are the only one who hasn’t gotten an offer out, be warned that you’re likely to lose the person.

A candidate is not a mind reader. Until they get something on paper, it doesn’t matter what verbal assurances you give them that an offer is coming their way any day now. A bird in the hand is worth… however that saying goes.

Don’t forget candidates are people too! While a week to get an offer out might not seem like a long time to you – you HAVE a job and an income – candidates have their own personal and financial deadlines to meet.

Do we need to bring up the number 3,683 again? It’s very simple – you snooze, you lose.

4.    “What do Wood and Alcohol have in Common?”

Just because all the cool companies are asking trendy questions doesn’t mean you will get the same calibre of people they do by asking the same ones.

Goldman Sachs asks “If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out?”

Google poses “How many basketball[s] can you fit in this room?”

These fun questions make the interview a bit more interesting and, most importantly, we feel smart asking them. But let’s face it, these companies are going to attract the best of the best, no matter what questions they ask – awesome candidates flock to the biggest and the best in the market.

Unless you’re a trained HR Professional or Psychologist, be wary of the inferences you make about intelligence and potential, based on the answers you receive.

5. “I‘d Never Join a Company with a Website Like That!”

In this digital age your website is a huge factor in the Talent War and could be costing you great people. We’ve had candidates actually drop out after seeing a dodgy or lacklustre website, even if the website represents the most established of businesses.

Why? Usually it’s the only information source a candidate has about a business and, if they’re not convinced by the website, it creates doubt about the stability and future of the company. Quite apart from what the candidates are thinking what are your potential customers thinking? Great websites attract great people – do you need to update yours?

If you’re free of these “sinful five” mistakes then you are ahead of the crowd in terms of the other businesses out there trying to get their hands on the sales talent you need! The next sales gun is on his way to you as we speak!

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