He is intelligent…

He is intelligent… 640 427 Bruno Sireyjol

When we work with our customers on improving their hiring process for finding the bast sales reps or we audit every single step, from jobs description to offer extension, to challenge our customers views.

😎Objective: hiring successfully, which start with successfully assessing candidates.

💊💊Some pains are easy to cure: an extensive review of the channels used to source candidates may solve a pipeline issue. Others, such as candidates not progressing into the funnel take more time. This may come from an undifferentiated value proposition that needs a marketing revamp or intimidating interviewers who fail to build trust & relationship

The most difficult one however is when “superstars”🤑 turn into disasters: interviewers’ skills, unconscious bias or an overall lack of structure of the hiring process, the real reasons may be tricky to uncover. One of our customers just hired us following a bad hire for a regional sales VP role in EMEA. The “He has got it all” champion was terminated after six months for low impact and alienating his teams. Double edge sword. Embarrassing, isn’t?😞And costly considering the cost of a bad hire can amount to 1.5 times the monthly package.

We first started to review the company goals and how these goals trickled down to regional, and eventually to individual goals. All good. Then we moved to the process and the assessment tools. Except a recommendation to focus more on accomplishments and soft skills, we could not see anything outstanding that could have helped avoid the mess or hire well…Until we dug deeper. 🤔

The root cause turned out to be the company founder. The first rounds of interviews were structured, debriefed and a consensus was built. Then, the founder randomly jumped into the process to share his view. In a way which both disrupted the structure and the thinking put into it by his teams. The so-called “superstar” was rated “strong hire” based on one single comment: “He is intelligent”. 🤯

The final assessment was tweaked and watered down to take the founder’s comment into account. Valid doubts raised by interviewers including HR were completely ignored. 😡He is intelligent”, plus the personality of the founder, put an end to a fair and documented process. Intelligence matters. We can debate for hours on how to measure it and whether IQ wins against EQ. This is not the point.

Our point is that hiring for critical roles, namely hiring the best sales talents, is serious enough to make it a collective effort and adopt a structured methodology, based on an in-depth assessment of success criteria, which leaves no place for personal bias, personal opinion or gut feeling.😑

Interested to know more about how we implement hiring processes for sales leaders that avoid bad hires? Curious to know the hard truth on direct and indirect costs generated by bad hires? This is on Bold & Sharp|Talents.

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