Recruiting Sales Staff Best Practices

Recruiting Best PracticesA bad hire is worse than you think.  According to the Harvard Business Review, 80 percent of turnover is caused by bad hiring decisions.  The U.S. Department of Labor calculates that it costs one-third of a new hire’s annual salary to replace him.  These figures include money spent on recruitment, selection and training plus costs due to decreased productivity as other employees fill in to take up the slack.

But these numbers don’t reflect the intangible damages an exiting employee can have, such as lost customers and low employee morale across the rest of the organization.  And, turnover costs climb even higher as you move up the organization: mid- and upper–level managers can cost over twice their annual salary to replace.  So how do you improve your recruiting practices to match the right people to the right job?

Hire for Today’s Need and Tomorrow’s Vision

While a new employee has to make economic sense for today’s tasks, the best hires are people who position you to profit as your business moves into the future.  New people should provide the skills you need in the future, not just match the job demands you see today.  Be clear about your strategic direction for the future, and then hire the talent to help you achieve it.  The right person will make contributions to your company’s productivity and profitability that far exceed salary cost.  But remember, the wrong person can cost you plenty.

Understand the Job

Finding the right people to hire is much easier when you first analyze the job you want to fill.  A job analysis is the most neglected aspect of hiring.  Performed correctly, a job analysis provides a list of the personal attributes required to work effectively in the role.  This list of attributes is identified first by breaking down a person’s job into logical parts (knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes).  Ask yourself what kind of people do the best in this job?  If you’re lucky enough to have a top performer already in the job, learn from them.  Observe behavior, ask questions and peer search to learn what characteristics bring about effectiveness

Once a business knows what the position requires, the hiring process is faster and more effective because job candidates are evaluated on a common set of criteria.  When you know exactly what talents are required—you know what to look for.  Do a good job at this first step and the rest of the hiring process will be faster, easier and yield a better match.

Build a Standardized Hiring Process and Use It

Traditional interviews don’t help you select top talent.  In fact, a large study conducted by the University of Michigan on the predictors of job performance, found that a typical job interview increased the likelihood of choosing the best candidate by less than 2 percent.

Worse, the traditional job interview is a highly subjective process.  Interviewers often have a range of biases that dramatically affect their perceptions of individual job candidates.  Despite the best of intentions, interviewers and supervisors have an unconscious tendency to favor people who are similar to themselves.

Don’t count on feel good conversations when choosing candidates.  At a basic level, your standardized hiring process should include criteria-based screening, a background check, personality and skill assessments, performance and behavioral based interviews to help identify top candidates.  No single technique on its own can predict on-the-job performance so companies need to use a blend of tools that reflect their needs.



The Manus Group Stephanie YoungAbout the Author

Stephanie Young is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Manus Group, where she is an active blogger, social media contributor and spokesperson for one of the nation’s leading automotive recruiting and training firms. Stephanie is a former Forestry Queen and still continues to promote her platform encouraging young woman to pursue their interests in STEM field careers.

If you like this blog, please share with others and connect with Stephanie on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+

Copyright © 2015, Stephanie Young All rights reserved.


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