Ideal blog

AI for Recruiting: News, Tips, and Trends

Ready to Implement People Analytics? Don’t Forget the Most Important Question

Implementing People Analytics

Michael Cavaretta, Lead Data Scientist (before data science was cool) at Ford Motor Co. crafted a striking article on the fundamentals of analytics. With over 15 years experience, Michael points out the most critical question that is too often overlooked, “so what?”

Many analytics presentations crash and burn because no one answered the question, “so what?” 

We often talk about the power of people analytics and the potential it holds for business large and small. Michael even makes note in his piece, “Anytime you look at business metrics there is an opportunity to use analytics. A hot area right now is the application of big data and analytics to HR processes.”

It’s clear that human resources and hiring are itching for a revolution – but without defined strategy, many firms will fail. Continue reading

Recruitment Revolution: The $3B Business Case for People Analytics

The business case for people analytics

Most recruitment processes are simple:

You send in a resume A human reads it and decides they like the words on the page enough to interview you They bring you in for an interview and have a few people that are not well trained in interviewing, ask you questions The firm makes decisions based on the personality of the applicant and interviewer 1 in 3 new hires leave within 12 months

On the flip side, rejected candidates can go on to become extremely successful, leaving firms sorry they missed the chance when they had it. Continue reading

Overwhelmed by People Analytics? 3 Baby Steps you Can Take Today

Just when you thought you were on top of the newest HR trends: video interviews, payroll automation, virtual conference rooms… “People Analytics” crops up. What does it even mean? And where should you start?

The term people analytics refers to any data-backed people management decision. While it seems to be the hottest buzzword in HR circles today, be weary of implementing too quickly. In an expert panel last week David Woodward, Chief Product and Innovation Officer at Ceridian put it well, “HR mustn’t run before it can walk. Getting an accurate headcount is still a challenge for some companies.” 

If this rings a little too true at your firm, don’t panic – small, calculated steps can quickly put you ahead of your competition and there is a lot of new software out there to help you. Continue reading

How To Attract Top Millennials in Sales

This is How To Attract Top Millennials in Sales

You’re looking to add millennials to your sales team because they’re eager and hungry. The majority of them are unmarried and do not have kids, so they can give their job (and your company) 110% of their effort. You’re ready to hire but they’re not biting.

As a young professional, I get some very odd reactions when I tell my friends that I am pursuing a career in sales.

And I get it; the perceptions of salesmen are not great. Young professionals get the impression of an aggressive guy who will do anything to close a sale. Continue reading

3 Mistakes Startups Make When Recruiting Sales Reps [Infographic]

Recruiting sales reps at a startup is so important that, David Skok, entrepreneur turned VC, considers recruitment the third critical startup skill.

I’ve helped hundreds of customers hire sales reps at their own companies, and these are the top 3 mistakes I see startups make when recruiting sales reps summarized in an infographic below.

Mistake #1: Going with your gut when it’s not backed up by data

I hear it all the time – hiring managers say “I just don’t think they are a fit” which is code for “I don’t like them.” This is controversial, but I don’t think you should recruit using gut feel. Continue reading

Reduce Time-To-Hire Sales Reps With ABC: Assessing Before Conducting [Video]

In Episode 4 of Ideal’s video series The Science of Sales Hiring, I explain how following your ABCs

    Assessing Before Conducting

reduces your time-to-hire sales reps by 32% on average.

Reduce time-to-hire sales reps at the top of your sales hiring funnel

What do I mean by Assessing Before Conducting? Specifically, you should be assessing sales reps’ personality and culture fit before conducting the interview. Why?

According to The Harvard Business Review, you should:

Use short, online assessments as a first screening step before the interview to weed out the least-suitable applicants, leaving a smaller, better-qualified pool.

Ideal’s data has found that by reducing the top of your sales hiring funnel by assessing sales reps’ before conducting interviews reduces your time-to-hire sales reps from 41 days to 17 days on average. Continue reading

How To Use A Personality Assessment To Hire Salespeople [Video]

What’s a sales personality assessment? And how does it help you hire better salespeople?

In the third episode of’s video series The Science of Sales Hiring, I explain how a sales personality assessment helps you identify salespeople who are more likely to succeed in your sales role – and produce 20.7% higher sales revenue on average.

The personality traits to look for when hiring salespeople

The most commonly researched personality traits for salespeople are the OCEAN traits (aka The Big Five):

    Openness to Experience (how creative you are) Conscientiousness (how hardworking you are) Extraversion (how social you are) Agreeableness (how nice you are) Neuroticism (how negative you are)

Out of the five OCEAN traits, the ones that have the highest correlations with sales performance are: Conscientiousness and Extraversion. Continue reading

How To Assess A Sales Rep’s Personality In An Interview [Infographic]

The best way to assess a sales rep’s personality is by, well, using an assessment. But if you want to also assess a sales rep’s personality in an interview, our infographic below summarize the research on how to accurately do it.

The sales rep’s personality traits that are best assessed in an interview

Research has found that people are more accurate when judging someone else’s personality on more observable traits such as how extraverted or hardworking that person is.

Research on personality and interviews has found this to be true: Extraversion and Conscientiousness show the highest correlations between self-rated personality and interview ratings. Continue reading

5 Costly Mistakes You’re Making With Your Sales Hiring (And How To Fix Them) [Webinar]

Experts like Jason Lemkin and David Skok agree that the number one priority for a sales team is recruiting the right people.

Source: David Skok

Hiring the right salespeople can lead to a 21% increase in revenue, yet sales hiring is still plagued by bad assumptions and old-fashioned practices.

Not only are you losing potential revenue by not hiring the right salespeople for your open roles, you’re losing money: the average cost to replace a failed sales hire is $114,957. Ouch.

To help you avoid making costly sales hiring mistakes, I hosted a free 30-minute webinar on the 5 Costly Mistakes You’re Making With Your Sales Hiring (And How to Fix Them). Continue reading

How To Write A Sales Job Posting – The Science Of Sales Hiring Ep 2 [Video]

Welcome to the second episode of Ideal Candidate’s video series: The Science of Sales Hiring.

In this episode, I’ll go over 4 science-backed tips on how to write a sales job posting to find, attract, and hire the best salespeople for your team.

Why your sales job posting matters

Don’t make the mistake of neglecting your sales job posting! A recent survey by CareerBuilder found a bad job posting is the third most important factor that causes job seekers to have a negative perception of a company.

So it’s important to keep in mind your sales job posting is part of your talent brand that candidates use to judge the attractiveness and fit of your sales role. Continue reading

5 Minute Intro to HR Technology

An Introduction to HR Technology

You’ve read it in the headlines. You’ve heard it at the watercooler. #HRtech seems to be the next big thing on your twitter feed. But what does it actually mean?

You can find a detailed definition of the emerging term here, along with examples and industry jargon – but if you’ve only got 5 minutes, here’s what you need to know.

15 Second Definition of HR Technology:

Technology used to attract, hire, and retain talent.

Origin of HR Technology:

The term itself has evolved over time, loosely from the days of Paper-based Systems > PC Systems > Electronic Databases > to today’s Web-based Technology

Related Terms:

#HRtech, People Analytics, HR Predictive Analytics, HR Big Data

HR Technology Names to Know: Chris Russell (@Chris Russell), RecTech MediaChris is considered the ‘mad scientist of online recruiting’. Continue reading

6 Controversial Ways To Hire Salespeople – That Get Results

With an average 28% turnover rate for sales, HR and sales leaders are starting to abandon the traditional ways of hiring salespeople and exploring new, innovative methods to find sales talent instead.

Here are 6 controversial, but effective, ways to hire salespeople that are disrupting traditional recruitment methods.

1. Blind sourcing to hire salespeople

Unconscious biases in hiring have gotten a lot of press lately and one way companies are trying to tackle this problem is through blind sourcing.

The most common blind sourcing method being tested is to remove the candidate’s name from their resume. The theory behind removing the candidate’s name from his or her application is that it helps the hiring manager make decisions free from unconscious biases of the candidate’s race and gender. Continue reading

The Science Of Sales Hiring: How Science Increases Quality Of Hire [Video]

Did you know that everything you’re doing when you hire salespeople can be done in a more scientific way?

I’m proud to introduce Ideal Candidate’s new video series: The Science of Sales Hiring.

In this series, I’ll show you how to apply the latest scientific research to help you find, attract, and hire the best salespeople for your team. I’ll also be sharing research-based tips on how to motivate and increase the performance of your sales team.

And why do I want you to use science in your sales hiring so badly? 

Research featured in the Harvard Business Review found that using data and science when hiring led to a 50% increase in quality of hire as measured by outcomes such as:

    performance ratings by supervisors employees’ number of promotions employees’ ability to learn on the job

So remember:

Having an opinion is nice, but then you’re rolling the dice.  Continue reading

3 Risks You Take By Hiring Sales Reps Using Your Gut Feeling

When it comes to hiring a sales rep, it can feel like you talk to an endless pipeline of sales candidates before you find what you’re looking for. And suddenly, one sales rep walks in the door and impresses you right away. Hired. Done.

But there are risks to hiring a sales rep based on your initial gut feeling: like a 50% failure rate in hiring. Suddenly that sales rep who blew you away during the interview doesn’t look so amazing months later when they fail to make quota.

Here are 3 risks you take by hiring sales reps using your gut feeling and what you should be doing instead. Continue reading

5 Reasons Why Job Interviews Are Useless For Hiring Salespeople [Infographic]

The job interview has been the most popular method of hiring for the past 100 years. Clearly, there’s something about talking to someone in person that we find appealing.

Unfortunately, research reveals that we tend to be pretty bad at conducting job interviews. So why are interviews so terrible at predicting job performance?

Let’s look at 5 Reasons Why Job Interviews Are Useless in our infographic below:

Reason #1: You’re easily impressed

A recent study on job interviews found that people higher on narcissism (i.e., manipulative, arrogant, and lacking empathy) are perceived to be more attractive as job candidates. Specifically, the researchers found that “narcissists tended to talk about themselves, make eye contact, joke around and ask the interviewers more questions.”

When these are the same behaviors that job candidates are encouraged to display during an interview, it’s obvious why we’re easily led astray. Continue reading

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Sales Rep? $114,957! [Infographic]

You know your sales hiring is broken but you just don’t have the time or energy to do something about it right now.

Besides, how bad can it really be?

Let’s take a look at the data summarized in our new infographic How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Sales Rep below:

Costs of a bad sales hiring system

Average cost of replacing a sales rep


    Separation costs Replacement costs (e.g., lost time in territory) Training costs Acquisition costs

(source: DePaul University’s Sales Effectiveness Survey)

Average turnover rate for sales


(source: DePaul University’s Sales Effectiveness Survey)

Rewards of using a data-based sales hiring system

Average increase in quality of hire by using an algorithm


(source: The Harvard Business Review)

Average increase in sales revenue by using an assessment to hire sales reps


(source: Farrell & Hakstian, 2001)

Average net gain in sales productivity per sales rep over their tenure


(sources: Farrell & Hakstian, 2001; HBR; U.S. Continue reading

Why Everything You Thought About Hiring Salespeople Is Wrong: 5 Insider Tips For HR [eBook]

At Ideal Candidate, we’re passionate believers of job matching salespeople to your sales role using data. Why?

Job matching salespeople to your sales role using data decreases your cost-to-hire

The typical recruiter fee is 20-25%. Using job matching software to hire salespeople saves you 25-40% in recruitment fees because using software is much more efficient and scalable. This adds up to several thousands of dollars saved per sales rep hired.

Job matching salespeople to your sales role using data decreases your time-to-hire

The average time-to-hire for salespeople is 40 days. Using job matching software to hire salespeople reduces your average time-to-hire to 28 days because again, of how efficient and scalable it is. Continue reading

How An Amazing Talent Brand Helps Attract Top Salespeople [New Research]

According to LinkedIn’s 2015 talent acquisition survey, 56% of talent leaders said in order to attract the best talent, their top priority is focusing on their talent brand. Why is a strong talent brand so important?

The ROI of an amazing talent brand

There are so many benefits of having an amazing talent brand.

Reduced cost per hire. On average, companies with an amazing talent brand spend 43% less on cost per hire. Who wouldn’t want to be viewed as a recruiting superstar and brag about those kind of impressive numbers?

Increased quantity of applicants. Companies with an amazing talent brand have 2.5x more applicants to their open roles. Continue reading

How To Pay Salespeople To Keep Them Happy [Infographic]

According to a LinkedIn survey of 7,000+ salespeople, the most important factor when they consider a new job offer is excellent compensation & benefits.

So if you want to attract, hire, and retain top sales performers, you need to figure out how to pay salespeople to properly incentivize them.

Why you need to show your salespeople the money

Successful selling requires a versatile set of skills and personality traits. And it’s hard work! Salespeople should be among highest paid people in a company. According to The Bridge Group, for a B2B inside sales rep, the average base salary  is $60,000 with an average on-target earnings of $118,000 Continue reading

Hiring For Sales? How To Create A Great Candidate Experience

Attracting great salespeople to your company has always been hard because high performing salespeople have their pick of sales roles.

So what can you do to create a sales hiring competitive advantage? Ensure you have a great candidate experience in your sales hiring process.

Why a great candidate experience in sales hiring matters

A recent CareerBuilder survey of 5,000+ employees found that 77% of job seekers said that they’d be willing to accept a 5% lower salary if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process.

LinkedIn’s data show that companies with positive employer brands have nearly 50% lower costs per hire. Continue reading