How to Hire the Right Sales People

When you’re looking to add more sales staff, you may have a list of qualities you’re looking for in a candidate. But it’s often hard to predict how new employees will perform, even when they meet your hiring criteria.

To better understand whether a potential employee is a good fit for a company, some managers are adopting a new approach to screening candidates. The insights gained from non-traditional employee screening may reveal some personality traits that applicants don’t even know they possess. Here are a couple of ways to find the right sales people for your organization.

IT’S HOW YOU PLAY THE GAME

Knack, an application available for Apple and Android platforms, can allegedly tell you a great deal about a person, based on how she or he plays video games. Users earn “badges” that describe their personality traits, such as diligence, reading emotions, pragmatism and leadership initiative.

A reporter for NPR put Knack to the test. And the results showed that she had the “spatial skills consistent with an engineer,” which seemed wrong to her. But Knack’s CEO explained that its algorithms can help uncover talents people don’t know they have. When you’re trying to decide whom to hire, those hidden qualities could help you choose the candidate most likely to succeed in the job.

TESTING MAY HAVE FLAWS

The beauty of Knack is that users can’t manipulate the results, because they don’t know how its algorithms measure their performance. But with the type of personality test that requires applicants to select qualities or adjectives that describe themselves, the results may be unreliable.

If you plan to use personality assessments as part of your hiring process, you might consider testing for only one trait, instead of using adjective self-selection tests. For example, Wonderlic offers a test designed specifically to measure motivation potential. Regardless of how you measure applicants’ personalities, testing should be just one part of your overall hiring process.

LEARNING ALONG THE WAY

Unfortunately, there is no way to predict with absolute certainty how productive, effective and happy an employee will be. But you can monitor sales performance to see how certain qualities contribute to or detract from your sales team. If you find that workers who are motivated by shared values consistently exceed sales goals, you can use that information in future hiring decisions.

Learn more about effective staff in our white paper, “The 4 C’s of Sales.” Fill out the form below to download the white paper:

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