October 16, 2015
[Podcast] Hiring for Sales Positions: How to Find the Right Fit
American business consultant and author, Jim Collins, once said, “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”
As an MSP, you certainly know this to be true, especially for sales positions. Recruiting sales talent, while potentially daunting, is also necessary and beneficial to the company as a whole. Fortunately, the pile of resumes on your desk can be whittled down quickly using a few simple tricks. Once that part of the process is complete, there are methods of staying organized and pre-assessing the candidates that will make your life much easier.
Joining us this week to share her recruiting tips is Stephanie Wheeler, Datto Director of Recruiting. Stephanie’s background is in both technical recruiting and sales recruiting, so hiring sales talent in the IT industry is second nature. Podcast host is Datto VP of Business Development, Rob Rae.
What is your concept around the right way to do recruiting overall?
“Sure,” Stephanie says, “I joined the company about 18 months ago. At that point, we may have been barely a few hundred people big. There was no one in the role of recruiting. We had an HR individual who was trying to do HR and support the hiring. First and foremost, what we did is we really sat back and tried to put some tools and procedures in place because at the rate we needed to hire, we needed that, with the amount of resumes that were coming in and the amount of openings that we had. First and foremost, we needed to find a viable applicant tracking system to support all the candidates coming in and manage the whole process. We needed to set up different processes around resume reviews, requisition processes, interviewing processes, hiring processes, just to streamline it so that we could, at the pace we wanted to hire, do it efficiently and effectively.”
Based on your experience, at what size does a company need something formal like an applicant tracking system?
Stephanie says, “If you’re going to hire more than 40 people a year, I would say you need some kind of a system to keep things organized.”
What are you looking for in the resume stage that helps to vet out who to bring in for an interview and who not to bring in?
“First,” Stephanie says, “you can take a first cut at a resume and see if there are any gaps in history or if there are any just short job changes consecutively. Those are red flags right off the bat. You can screen those resumes out quickly, but a resume for a sales role really doesn’t predict the ability for someone to sell. A resume is just a first pass. You really need to get on the phone with that individual. You can look for some performance-based measures on a resume, if they have some sales targets and goals and how they’ve done. You can look to see if they’ve got the right relationships in their background that could benefit the company that they’re interviewing with. You can look for those things, but really, you need to get quickly go through the resumes and then get on the phone and really dig deeper.”
What are some of the questions or tools that you use to vet whether this person is a good fit for your company or not?
“We actually here at Datto have implemented two sales assessments that we ask a candidate to take,” Stephanie says. “These help us identify or measure the aptitudes that are key for a sales representative to succeed at Datto. We also use those tools as an interview tool for our managers, too, because it gives us different questions to dig deeper with the candidates as to where they might have answered some questions and are a little more weak. We have implemented sales assessments, which has helped us significantly.”
Any other recommendations for a small business that’s maybe in the process of looking at hiring additional salespeople? Or maybe it’s in their first-time salespeople, something that we haven’t talked about. Any recommendations for them?
Stephanie says, “Salespeople are an investment. You want to hire right. They will help, they’re going to drive the growth of a company, really, if they’re a superstar. The last thing to look at, too, beyond just questions around sales, is you’ve got to dig deeper and find out if they’re a culture fit for the company, too. Because they’re all unique and we’ve all got a culture, and you want them to fit in there too.”