I am often asked what is the best way to find great sales people. The answer is surprisingly simple, go out and find them.
This will make sense when we look at how most candidates are found. The business or recruitment firm places a job advert through Seek or LinkedIn and the recruitment firm may look through their database for people they know are looking for roles.
Often you will receive 100’s of applications. From here you or the recruiting company will try to select the best 10 for a phone interview and then take three through to interview.
The question to ask yourself at this point is, are you looking at the three best candidates or the best three from those that applied.
When I ask hiring managers do they feel they get the right candidate often they say to me they get the best from those that apply.
At the end of the day you want the right candidate not just the best of those who were in front of you.
To get the right candidate you need to go out and find them. Here are 3 ways to do this.
Look at your competition
Look at those businesses that are doing well. Ones with a culture you admire and most importantly identify those individuals that are performing well.
Look at like industries
Many industries share similar client bases and even suppliers. You may find the right individual in a different industry doing a similar role to the one you are recruiting for.
Look for ‘rising stars’
Look beyond the role you are recruiting for. Take the time to look at those roles that report into the role you are recruiting for. The ‘rising star’ may be within your own business or outside. The argument against picking a ‘rising star’ is that they often lack the experience. However, if your job brief is clear you will be able to quickly see the behaviours you are looking for in the ‘rising star’.
A final word of warning would be to resist the temptation to do this yourself. If you do the potential candidate will know you are looking to fill a role and will then inflate their ‘price to move’. It can also be internally destabilising if your staff are aware that you are looking to hire externally.
A far more productive approach is to use an external recruiter who can approach the potential candidate without having to disclose who he or she is working for. The recruiter has a better chance of really understanding the potential candidate and what it would take for them to move. Often the most important thing to them isn’t money it is more likely to be responsibility and opportunity.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about where you should look to find the best sales people, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org