Would you do it?
Hop into a test flight for an experimental jet?
How about jumping out of a plane with a chute packed by a novice? Eating some dicey sushi from a gas station that may, or may not, be completely safe?
Most of us would answer in the negative for those. Common sense would dictate that certain decisions should be based on objective evidence rather than just “eyeballing” it.
Don’t Guess When You Need to Know
We all understand that something which has passed some sort of test is a lot more reliable than conjecture. Yet when it comes to hiring a salesperson, many companies are completely fine with going with their gut on it.
Judging by the studies though, that may not be the smartest move in the playbook. Research indicates that a full one third of all new hires quit their positions within six months.
When you consider that per the US Department of Labor, replacing a single poor hire costs your company at least 30% of the annual earnings for that position, getting it wrong is not really an option (And that number is conservative).
While the difference between top and average performers is harder to nail down, per a study by the Harvard review, high performers are as much as 400% more productive than average or low performers.
Let Me Tell You a Trade Secret
Now, lean in close and I will tell you a little trade secret. Are you ready?
Sales people sell themselves during interviews.
Even mediocre ones can shine in an interview.
Almost all salespeople are likeable- or they would not be in the industry.
Watch Out for Falling Halos
Interviewers are just people who happen to be in a position to interview other people. While a few may be exceptionally good at it, research has shown almost all are somewhat susceptible to misjudgments based on things like the halo effect.
The halo effect occurs when the interviewer personally likes the candidate, and they let that overshadow everything else in the interview, including things that would normally throw up a red flag.
Others stumble because of the contrast effect. This one occurs when a poor candidate is compared to a stronger (but not necessarily great) candidate in a series of interviews.
Basically, the first candidate was so awful that they literally make the not-so-bad-but-not-great candidate look awesome in comparison.
Other missteps include developing a positive opinion about a candidate because they seem to have a lot in common with the interviewer.
They Root for the Same Team as You. And?
Just because they share your interest in sports or golf does not mean that they are going to be a good fit with your company, or a top performer for that matter.
And that is, after all, is what you really need: top performers that can deliver day in and day out.
The difference between a top salesperson and a moderate one translates directly to how well your sales department performs in the field.
Period. End of story.
That’s why you need to separate out illusion, unconscious biases or other human factors when hiring. Objective tests and measurements of skills can go a long way towards culling out the just so-so’s from the rock stars.
Front End Testing
If you want to hire top talent, you need to test for it. Front end testing should include:
· In-depth skill assessments
· Emotional intelligence testing
· Simulation evaluations
· Mindset interviews
When combined with a careful interview process, and previous sales track record, pre-offer employment testing can help you cull out candidates who are either not going to stay or who are unable to perform at the superior level you need. Don’t’ risk it. Test or regret.
For more information on hiring the best of the best, be sure to follow our blog. If you need superior tested talent, we can help. Call 214-720-9922 today, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We help companies thrive with top-shelf talent you can trust.