Evaluating Sales Hires Without Meeting Them

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Let’s be honest: Hiring is difficult. If there was a formula for making sure you hired the right person every time someone would be a billionaire because of it. Sure, technology has helped. From personality assessments to competency analysis to capturing predictive indicators of success there have certainly been some advancements here. But try as we might, I don’t believe anything will ever truly crack the code of the human psyche to understand whether the individual in front of you will truly adapt to the job and show you a return on investment.

This is even more difficult when you’re interviewing junior hires, with little to no professional work experience post education. Now add in Covid-19 and the quarantine, which prevented us from meeting our recent hires in person to assess things like body language and eye contact? The situation was far from ideal, but we had a goal to form a new recruitment team — eight new hires — to start as soon as we were able to post-quarantine

As a first step, we defined what success typically looks like at our company and the profile of the ideal candidate. From there, the talent acquisition team screened just over 30 candidates to put in front of me for a second interview and I narrowed it down to 13 semi-finalists.

In pre-pandemic times, this is where I would have them come to the office for a phone test, where I can assess their ability to pick up the phone and ask someone they don’t know for information they need. It might be old-school, but I’ve found the phone test to be very effective in weeding out that fear of the phone even with experienced hires might have. In the first weeks of having a new hire in, this is the biggest thing I look for to know quickly if I have the right person in the seat or not. So for my test, I give them a list of local companies, leave them in a room with a phone (I do not stay) and some instructions on what to get. I do not give them a time frame. If I go back after 30 minutes and they’ve only called two companies, I know this is not my person…

Source: The Staffing Stream

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