How to Cut through the Resume Noise and Find the Right Sales Talent


Source: The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t, Book by Nate Silver

According to recent data from, the position of sales rep has the fourth highest number of job listings. It’s clear that companies need sales people. With the widespread adoption of automated applicant-tracking systems, applying for job listings is easier than ever. This ease and convenience often means a single job posting can attract hundreds, if not thousands, of job applicants.

What can a person who’s hiring do to cut through the resume noise?

A recent survey by CareerBuilder found that 21% of employers claimed that “not knowing enough about the job candidates” was the cause of making a bad hire. One of the fastest, easiest, and most accurate ways to collect information on job candidates is through psychometric assessments. A reliable and valid pre-employment test can be used to measure a job candidate’s personality, cognitive ability, job-related skills, and other characteristics you’re interested in.

Collecting data on job candidates prior to their interviews – or even prior to examining their resumes – can dramatically reduce the number of applications you need to consider, consequently reducing the number of hours you need to invest for interviews. All those hours saved add up to major cost savings.

Although psychometric assessments have a long history in educational and clinical settings (e.g., Binet-Simon IQ test), their use is still fairly uncommon in the workplace.

Their popularity is growing, however, and they are at the forefront of the bigger movement of data-driven HR management called people analytics pioneered by Google’s version of HR called People Operations.

Psychometric testing will probably never entirely replace the resume or interview, but when used in conjunction with these methods, they provide the data-driven intelligence you need to identify the right sales talent for your team.

Agree? Disagree? Anything I didn’t touch on? Let me know in the comments or send me a tweet @ji_amin! I’m always interested in hearing about your hiring and firing stories — good or bad.


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Ji-A Min

Ji-A Min

Head Data Scientist at Ideal
Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal. With a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ji-A promotes best practices in data-based recruitment. She writes about research and trends in talent acquisition, recruitment tech, and people analytics.
Ji-A Min