A candidate’s experience, education and references do not guarantee their success in a sales role in your organization. Moreover, accurately evaluating a candidate’s personality, soft skills and work habits is difficult to do during the interview process and you often only get a real sense of these aspects after they’ve joined your team.
The following are some red flags any employer should be aware of when considering a candidate for a sales role.
Lies by Omission
Beware candidates that do not list the dates of their employment on their CV. There is usually a reason that a candidate is doing this and, more often than not, it has to do with a wish to cover up embarrassingly short stints of employment. It is also worth paying close attention to the formatting and readability of the CV, as it can tell you some important things about a candidate’s aptitude for written communication.
The same advice holds true for the interview: if a candidate appears to dance around questions or appears to be trying to avoid certain topics, it is likely because the answer is not what you want to hear. It may be that the facts they’re trying to avoid disclosing are of minor importance, and they may even have legitimate justifications for certain decisions in their work history, which is why it is in the best interest of both the candidate and the hiring manager that a candidate is as forthright and honest as possible.
Lacks Fundamental Soft Skills
A candidate’s personality and work traits should be the essential qualifying factors for a job in sales. Most core competencies (hard skills) can be taught relatively quickly during a new hire’s training period, but essential traits like assertiveness, an ability to sustain focus and a knack for team-work are nearly impossible to instil in salespeople if they’re not already a part of their personality.
It is a good idea to employ sales personality assessment tests during pre-screening to objectively measure the key personality traits and work habits of a candidate. Sales personality tests are cost-effective, highly accurate and easy to administer. Contact a leading test provider to learn about sales personality tests and how you can incorporate them into your candidate screening process.
Good at Talking, but Bad at Listening
Fast-talking salespeople can only be mediocre at performing their roles if they are not also strong listeners.
The ability to properly hear and evaluate feedback from managers and clients is essential to a salesperson’s success. As such, active listening is definitely a skill you should expect from a good candidate for a sales position.
While these recruitment red flags hardly exhaust the possibilities of what can go wrong when hiring a salesperson, they are some of the most consistent warning signs of an inadequate sales candidate. It is vitally important that a sales candidate be forthright, attentive and able to exhibit the key personality traits necessary for a successful career in sales. Taking the time to properly screen, vet and interview candidates is certainly a time investment, but it pales in comparison to the time your company may waste as the result of a rushed hire.