Sales managers who lack the benefit of temperament understanding are inclined to place too much emphasize on their gut-level feeling during the hiring process. Progressive organizations that understand the value of temperament profiling actively seek people with varied behavioral styles and thereby benefit from a richness and diversity of perspective. People with different behavioral patterns are more likely to complement rather than duplicate each other’s strengths and serve in a check and balance capacity.
Managers frequently ask me which traits are the most important to look for in a prospective hire? In my opinion, there are two mandatory qualities any new hire should possess. The first quality I look for is loyalty. If a person is not loyal to their company, research indicates that they are more likely to violate company policies and procedures. Disloyal employees are also the first to leave when the going gets tough. Look for signs of job stability on the resume and check his or her attitude regarding previous employers.
The second quality I look for is dependability. It makes absolutely no sense to invest huge amounts of emotional and financial capital training someone that you can’t depend on.
The most effective people are those who know themselves, know the demands of the situation, and adapt strategies to meet those demands. Research indicates that career incompatibility is the major cause of personnel discontentment and costly turnover. The hidden cost of excessive personnel replacement is often measured through a decrease in customer retention.
Simply put, you want to hire a person that has a temperament profile compatible with the job opportunity. For example, some people are born analytical and have a temperament style that excels in administration and attention to detail. Others are more comfortable in a supportive role and are better suited for a customer service position rather than the uncertainty of commission sales.
The importance of matching the job description to the correct temperament style cannot be overstated. Temperament testing is not only advantageous for hiring and suitability but also as a management aid to assist in training and supervision after the hiring process. I strongly recommend that a temperament evaluation be administered between the first and second interview.
When a temperament evaluation is properly implemented and utilized in conjunction with other standard hiring and interviewing procedures, it ensures that applicants are treated fairly without regard to race, color, age, religion, gender or national origin. If a temperament evaluation is used as part of a hiring process, it shouldn’t constitute the total basis for hiring or placement. I recommend that an organization establish and utilize a consistent standard hiring process. Information gathered in each step of the hiring process should be reviewed in total prior to making a final hiring decision.
You’re Only as Good as Your Pipeline. While some turnover in your sales force such as retirement, promotion, and transfer is understandable and can be anticipated; the quitter is often unpredictable. With this in mind, recruiting must be thought of as a long-term strategy, not a knee-jerk reaction.
Perhaps the greatest mistake a manager can make is underestimating his or her turnover. If your personnel turnover is high, it’s more than likely caused by improper recruiting, rather than inadequate training or a lack of incentives. Even if you’re the world’s best trainer and motivator, if you haven’t recruited correctly you’ll experience high turnover and may find your sales team bogged down with low morale. If your recruiting pipeline has dried up, here are four tips that will assist you in filling it back up with quality salespeople!
To have an effective recruiting program, it’s imperative that your sales team be enthusiastically involved in the recruiting process. Let them know that their ability to recruit is considered a vital skill in leadership development and that their assistance is essential to the health of the organization.
Keep your sales team informed by focusing on recruiting as an agenda item at the weekly meeting. On the agenda show the status of each recruit, highlighting the salesperson that has recruited them.
Design and implement an incentive program for your sales force that places an emphasis on recruiting.