Leadership: Are you Forgetting the Single Most Important Question in Sales Recruitment?

Earlier this week, Bob Corlett of The Business Journals posited this idea: the reason top candidates are repeatedly overlooked is because hiring managers forget to ask one simple question before they begin recruiting, “Why would a top performer want this job?”

The sales recruitment industry is no stranger to failed hires. With an average turnover rate in excess of 25%, sales leadership know all too well the impact of poor performers on their bottom line. Could a single question change these stats?

In today’s digital age, any given job posting could rake in hundreds of applications (900+ if you’re Google). In an attempt to sift through all this data systematically, sales managers often compare applicants to the predefined job description. In doing so, Corlett explains, the sales manager has already made their first mistake. He elaborates on the flawed system, “You began your search by looking for people who already look like your job description. You only considered your own needs and forgot to think about why someone great would want this job.”

Understanding your offering to a potential top performer is integral to articulating your value proposition. Instead of “What do I have to gain with a top performer?” the question should be, “What does a top performer have to gain by working for me?” By turning the question around early on in the hiring process, a sales manager is able to ensure the position is bringing not just salespeople, but the ideal salespeople to the table.

We think Bob might be on to something here. Do you agree?

Share on LinkedInShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Kayla Kozan

Kayla Kozan

Director of Marketing at Ideal
Kayla spent the last few years studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship on 3 different continents. Now covering the latest in predictive analytics, workplace diversity and big data. She has a keen interest in tech and discovering underrated brunch spots.
Kayla Kozan

Comments

  • Robert Roberge Jr.

    Totally agree- the US Department of Labor’s Occupation Internet (Onet*) Content Model explains how good companies make good hires when they compare applicant skills to requirements in the screening process; but select candidates who fit the culture of the organization. This is a subjective process described as hiring on “character” or “go with your gut”. Where HR Professionals and resume robots are very good at the objective process of screening applicants based on requirements- hiring managers who arrow in on the characteristics of the job, and how a candidate will fit in, get it. The dynamics of size, industry, occupation, geography, compensation, benefits, and advancement opportunity all define the culture. Who, why, and how the organization was founded, how long they’ve been in business, who they compete with, how and why they’re competitive; and what they do, that is unique and important, is what attracts good applicants. Good Hiring Managers are able to spin a unique job opportunity in the interview, similar to the Marketing Manager distilling the “Brand” to attract and reinforce consumer behaviors. Simply put, for the high performing applicant to spend most of their waking hours at your organization, they need to feel they will fit in. This is an important characteristic of effective Hiring Managers because although good companies have a shared sense of culture that motivates performance; every company, every branch, every department, and every manager has different characteristics. This character of the organization that we know as the culture is the most important ingredient in a good hire. Candidates with the cleanest track record and highest credentials (that HR screens into the interview) may not fit in any better than the applicant who is unemployed, with a High School Diploma or GED; but the best hires are ones who see the world the same way as their prospective Boss. The solution to good hires is looking beyond the resume and evaluating the character of the candidate as it relates to the culture and the characteristics of the direct supervisor; and the Hiring Authorities ability to “sell” the opportunity through the benefits of the culture.

  • Ji-A Min

    Hi Robert,

    Thanks very much for your detailed reply. You’re absolutely right that organizations need to authentically brand themselves as attractive workplaces by communicating their company culture and values.

    You’ve also astutely hit upon the importance of going beyond the resume in order to accurately assess job candidates’ skills, motivations, personality traits, and values. Objective measurement of these characteristics can form the basis of an assessment of fit, which improves the selection of the right talent.

    Determining the right fit – for the role, work team, supervisor, and organization – is a crucial requirement for how well you’ll perform, and how happy you are, at the job.

    Thanks for reading and stay tuned for upcoming blogs discussing issues of fit in depth!

  • Robert Roberge Jr

    “Totally agree- the US Department of Labor’s Occupation Internet (Onet*) Content Model explains how good companies make good hires when they compare applicant skills to requirements in the screening process; but select candidates who fit the culture of the organization. This is a subjective process described as hiring on “character” or “go with your gut”. Where HR Professionals and resume robots are very good at the objective process of screening applicants based on requirements- hiring managers who arrow in on the characteristics of the job, and how a candidate will fit in, get it. The dynamics of size, industry, occupation, geography, compensation, benefits, and advancement opportunity all define the culture. Who, why, and how the organization was founded, how long they’ve been in business, who they compete with, how and why they’re competitive; and what they do, that is unique and important, is what attracts good applicants. Good Hiring Managers are able to spin a unique job opportunity in the interview, similar to the Marketing Manager distilling the “Brand” to attract and reinforce consumer behaviors. Simply put, for the high performing applicant to spend most of their waking hours at your organization, they need to feel they will fit in. This is an important characteristic of effective Hiring Managers because although good companies have a shared sense of culture that motivates performance; every company, every branch, every department, and every manager has different characteristics. This character of the organization that we know as the culture is the most important ingredient in a good hire. Candidates with the cleanest track record and highest credentials (that HR screens into the interview) may not fit in any better than the applicant who is unemployed, with a High School Diploma or GED; but the best hires are ones who see the world the same way as their prospective Boss. The solution to good hires is looking beyond the resume and evaluating the character of the candidate as it relates to the culture and the characteristics of the direct supervisor; and the Hiring Authorities ability to “sell” the opportunity through the benefits of the culture.”

    • Ji-A Min

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks very much for your detailed reply. You’re absolutely right that organizations need to authentically brand themselves as attractive workplaces by communicating their company culture and values.

      You’ve also astutely hit upon the importance of going beyond the resume in order to accurately assess job candidates’ skills, motivations, personality traits, and values. Objective measurement of these characteristics can form the basis of an assessment of fit, which improves the selection of the right talent.

      Determining the right fit – for the role, work team, supervisor, and organization – is a crucial requirement for how well you’ll perform, and how happy you are, at the job.

      Thanks for reading and stay tuned for upcoming blogs discussing issues of fit in depth!

    • Ji-A Min

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks very much for your detailed reply.

      You’re absolutely right that organizations need to authentically brand themselves as attractive workplaces by communicating their company culture and values.

      You’ve also astutely hit upon the importance of going beyond the resume in order to accurately assess job candidates’ skills, motivations, personality traits, and values. Objective measurement of these characteristics can form the basis of an assessment of fit, which improves the selection of the right talent.

      Determining the right fit – for the role, work team, supervisor, and organization – is a crucial requirement for how well you’ll perform, and how happy you are, at the job.

      Thanks for reading and stay tuned for upcoming blogs discussing issues of fit in depth!

      Ji-A