Unlocking Success: Strategies to Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes

Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes

Unlocking Success: Strategies to Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes

The Sales Leadership Awakening Podcast
Unlocking Success: Strategies to Avoid Costly Hiring Mistakes
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In this episode of the Sales Leadership Awakening podcast, Steven Rosen and Colleen Stanley discuss the high cost of making a bad hire in sales. They emphasize the importance of creating an ideal hiring profile with hard and soft skills and non-negotiables. They also stress the need for a systematic hiring process, including behavioral interviews and assessments. 

“As you said, be ruthlessly rigorous, but also follow a defined process. For those who are not that skilled, having the questions helps. Listening helps, and making notes is integral to a good process.” – Steven Rosen

Key Takeaways:

  • Making a bad hire can have significant costs, including opportunity costs, training expenses, and lost sales to competitors.
  • Best practices in sales, such as defining an ideal client profile, can also be applied in the hiring process.
  • Non-negotiables should be established to ensure a clear red line when evaluating candidates.
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a crucial skill for salespeople, and specific questions can be asked during interviews to assess EQ.
  • A systematic hiring process, including fit interviews, behavioral event interviews, and psychometric assessments, can help make better hiring decisions.
  • Recruiting should be ongoing to build a pipeline of potential candidates and avoid desperate hiring.

Follow Colleen Stanley on LinkedIn

Follow Steven Rosen on LinkedIn

[Transcript]

Introduction

[00:00:05] Steven Rosen: Welcome to the Sales Leadership Awakening podcast. I’m Steven Rosen with my co-host Colleen Stanley. Colleen, welcome. Nice to see you. Together, we will tackle one of the most important areas in sales leadership and help you bridge the gap between knowing what you want to do and actually doing it.

[00:00:27] Steven Rosen: Colleen, what do you have to say about the topic? 

[00:00:30] Colleen Stanley: Well, this topic transcends any industry you’re in, and it’s the cost of making a bad hire. I don’t know about you, Steven. I have made some very good hires in my life and some bad hires and one of the reasons you and I are both excited about this topic is that this is one of these areas that sometimes doesn’t hit the P and L statement. You know, we know the cost of goods and sales, and I know you sent over some stats. I’m going to look into that. One of the statistics you found was that a bad hire costs a million dollars. I found another staff member who can make up 33% of the base salary.

[00:01:08] Colleen Stanley: I’ve discussed why this number is so high is, first of all, opportunity cost, right? Ramp-up time. We’ve got to spend time recruiting versus sometimes developing our existing team and the cost of training and retraining ramps up time. A workload on other people with the turnover, perhaps a competitor sees an open territory.

[00:01:28] Colleen Stanley: We need to pay attention to this, even if it doesn’t appear on your P and L statement. 

[00:01:34] Steven Rosen: That’s so insightful that it’s not landing. Where does that cost get recorded? So, you still need to catch up on your sales. There’s a big cost of opportunity, the cost of losing competitors’ sales, and getting your sales.

[00:01:46] Steven Rosen: Those folks who concentrate solely on recruiting and helping managers recruit the right talent, your jobs are just so critical to ensure we get the right people that they can immediately impact performance and long term and retain them. Colleen, in your experience, what are the biggest mistakes or hiring issues customers or sales leaders face, and how can they avoid them? 

Ideal Hiring Profiles: Beyond Hard Skills

[00:02:08] Colleen Stanley: There are several areas, but one that comes to mind is we don’t apply what they call that best practice in sales to our hiring process, right? So, in sales, we are very focused on the ideal client profile because you can only sell to someone willing and able to buy, but we don’t take that same thought or methodology into our hiring profile. So, how many companies have built that avatar? Like, who is your ideal client? Who is your ideal profile? But with that, Steven, and I bet you’ve seen this, there are times when they’re building out that ideal client hire. Okay, we’ll call it that. 

They focus only on hard skills, past job experience, maybe industry experience, and time in the business. Those are important, but they often miss some soft skills. That could be how well they play with other departments—some of those emotional intelligence skills. Second, people are not getting very clear about their non-negotiables. This is where you draw that red line, saying, ‘You know what? To be on our team, this is a non-negotiable.’ I think all of us, when you’re hiring, it can be tiring and tedious. Hence, you want to overlook some of those little red flags, and when you’ve got your non-negotiables, you can easily say, ‘No, this candidate is not fit and does not go any further in our interview process.’

[00:03:37] Steven Rosen: I think those are some really great insights, and they should in no way be downplayed. I’ve worked with a company that actually spent a session on defining the key characteristics we’re looking for. What makes a successful rep at your company? What’s the right education?

[00:03:52] Steven Rosen: Sometimes in pharmaceutical, we’d waver between a business background and a science background, knowing which one’s better helps. Do they need a degree or not? How many years experience? When you come down to key characteristics, like being a driver, we go around the room and ask managers, what is the number one thing you’re looking for?

[00:04:10] Steven Rosen: To me, that’s critical, and having that on paper, having clarity across your organization on that, is key. You talked about playing as a team and being a team member. What other key emotional areas do you look at in terms of skills that you have found make phenomenal salespeople?

[00:04:26] Colleen Stanley: I’m going back to the non-negotiable here because I do think people miss this one. For example, I wonder how many people have coachability as one of their non-negotiables. We all know you can hire a really talented person whose resume looks great, but often, if you’ve got a non-coachable salesperson, especially with the way the world’s evolving, that’s going to be problematic. 

Non-Negotiables: Setting Red Lines

[00:04:47] Colleen Stanley: I know that for me, a non-negotiable is victim mentality, so I’m not bringing on somebody who has a victim mentality because they’re usually not very coachable. They’re also blame-excuse people, and that’s just a non-negotiable there. But going to your question about EQ, interesting research exists.

[00:05:05] Colleen Stanley: One of the data points on the research is hiring assertive salespeople. But let me do the same here: assertiveness is stating what you need nicely. We need that to meet with decision-makers, uncover the budget, and get clear next steps. However, you don’t have emotional self-awareness and other awareness. In that case, I’ve seen very assertive reps assert themselves right out of a meeting because they’re not aware of how they’re landing on other people, which would also require empathy, which means empathy is a paying attention skill.

[00:05:36] Colleen Stanley: These are salespeople who developed the habit of being present, which is getting harder with all the technology today. They can hear both conversations, Steven. They hear the verbal, which is easy, but they can hear the nonverbal. They can hear what a person thinks or feels without the person saying it.

[00:05:56] Colleen Stanley: They can emotionally connect with people. Those are a few of them, but behind victim mentality or lack of it is someone that has pretty good self-awareness and self-regard, another EQ skill, because they are people that have the confidence to admit, ‘Okay, here’s the strength and here’s a weakness, and I’m going to own both of them.’ You get these ownership-thinking salespeople instead of blame-justify-defend salespeople. 

[00:06:22] Steven Rosen: Those are great insights. When I look at someone who’s coachable, I see that they actually see their strengths and understand their weaknesses.

[00:06:29] Steven Rosen: Yeah, that’s the easiest person to coach. Of course, the challenge then becomes knowing your ideal profile. What are you looking for? What works? What do your best reps have? What else did we look at? 

[00:06:41] Steven Rosen: One thing I have found is having a systematic hiring process. The great starting point is knowing what the ideal looks like, almost like selling. Let’s see your ideal client profile, the same as hiring. I’ve learned that if we follow a process, we tend to do better at anything we do. 

[00:06:59] Colleen Stanley: Well, think about it, Steven. In our world, we always ask sales organizations to have a sales playbook.

[00:07:04] Colleen Stanley: If you don’t have a playbook, you can’t follow the play. You can’t call the play. I bet you’ve seen it in your experience when you asked the question. Can I see your hiring playbook? You get this blank stare. You’re like, ‘What are you talking about?’ So everybody’s showing up for the interview and asking whatever question they want. 

The Systematic Hiring Process: A Playbook for Success

[00:07:20] Colleen Stanley: You need a hiring playbook based on the ideal hiring profile. 

[00:07:25] Steven Rosen: These are some of the steps I don’t think have to be complicated. What I’ve learned is breaking it down into several components and several iterations with the individuals.

[00:07:36] Steven Rosen: You’re looking for a couple things. One is, do they have the right fit? Two, do they have the right skills? Three, do they have the potential to be a strong performer? One way to break it down is to do fit interviews, which could be a 20-minute session or even on Zoom, even though Zoom isn’t always the best place to do things. It could be a phone interview, like in the old days, or meeting someone for coffee.

[00:08:01] Steven Rosen: Do they have the right background? You want to look through their resumes. Do they have the right background skills and education? How do they fit your customer in terms of having the right approach? Then, we get into a very challenging skill: behavioral event interviewing. This involves understanding very specifically what they’ve done to be successful and demonstrating a skill with an example.

[00:08:24] Steven Rosen: That’s a challenging skill that takes a lot of training, and given that managers don’t hire that often, not all of them become great at it. I did learn from one of my sales managers, whom I sat in on when I was VP of sales. He did an interview and asked for specificity because sometimes people would say, especially in the pharma industry, we did this because they had a number of sales reps, the same customers. We did that, or I would do this, which are tip-offs you still need to do.

[00:08:51] Colleen Stanley: Yeah. Would is not did. Would is not did. You have to have excellent listening skills in an interview because I don’t even think the candidate is trying to mislead you, but in their head, they’re like, ‘Yeah, I would do that,’ and we miss that little word. 

[00:09:07] Steven Rosen: Well, part of great interviewing skills, and we’re giving some gems away today, is stopping that person from saying that what I’m looking for is being very specific.

[00:09:17] Steven Rosen: Give me an example—not what you could do but what you did. At the end of the day, I’m hiring you not based on what you think you should do but on things that you’ve done. What you’re looking for is past behavior being an indicator of future behavior. And the last area is that even with great interviewing skills, some people are really good at interviewing.

[00:09:35] Steven Rosen: Some people, if you do it infrequently, it’s hard to get good at using some type of assessment, psychometric assessment, to get a sense and to get a more objective view of somebody because sometimes we like people in interviews. They’re personable. In one company I work with, one of the managers loves personable people, and that’s an excellent trait, but it doesn’t necessarily make you successful. Introverts can be very successful, but they always went for people, and we pulled it out of assessments that said, ‘Hey, this person is very likable.’ But then they miss some other things like, are they a driver? Can they self-manage? So, add a more objective and science-based component, but use that as an addition to your process instead of your process.

[00:10:17] Steven Rosen: It’s not the decision-maker, but it certainly provides you with another set of inputs on a critical decision that will cost you a lot of money if you make the wrong one. 

[00:10:27] Colleen Stanley:  Exactly. This is interesting. We all go into the interview and think we will be objective. But the fact is, I know I had happened. This was years ago, and this was back in the day. We’d fly into a town. We’d interview all day in a hotel room and had this very enthusiastic young lady show up. I was not trained in behavior-based interviewing then, so I’m sitting there going, ‘This is me. This was me when I was her age.”

[00:10:51] Colleen Stanley: I will tell you, she was enthusiastic but still needs to get something done. Another time I remember interviewing, I had permission to go to this rep’s office and was organized. Again, I’m organized. I like this. Well, she was organized, but she never left the office.

[00:11:09] Colleen Stanley: So, if I had some objective data on self-starting, self-management, even accountability, and taking responsibility, I call it the paper. You’ve got to take the paper, and if there’s a red flag on that paper, what I’d encourage everyone to do is don’t ignore it. The paper is generally accurate.

[00:11:27] Colleen Stanley: I’ve had companies ignore the assessment, and I wonder if you have. What’s been the end of that story, Steven? 

[00:11:34] Steven Rosen: Well, it’s fascinating. I have many stories of that, but we implemented one organization using assessments and had a relatively new manager, not new to the organization but from a different country. They hired somebody, and usually, I’d spend a few minutes just debriefing them on what the profile or the assessment says because the best profile is one that you understand what you’re reading, right?

[00:11:56] Steven Rosen: If you need help understanding it, it’s not worth the paper it’s on, but if you understand and dig deeper, sometimes you validate or invalidate what it says. That’s what you’re trying to do. They went ahead and made a really bad hire. 

[00:12:09] Steven Rosen: I had a strong relationship with the head of that organization, the head of the business unit, and I pulled out the profile. ‘Oh, my God. I’m sure I told you not to hire this person because you can see from the assessment.’ I don’t want to judge. I don’t want to say you judge based on assessments, but I can see the problems.

[00:12:25] Steven Rosen: They decided that wasn’t part of their hiring process. So again, their inputs, but it’s a real shame when you have flags, cause that’s what you’re looking for.

[00:12:32] Steven Rosen: Is there anything that I missed? Assuming great interviewing skills and the same questions for each person, which I didn’t mention, it’s important to follow that sort of systematic approach. But sometimes, it’s like an insurance policy. Have I missed anything?

[00:12:45] Colleen Stanley: Exactly. Well, when you say anything is missing, it takes me back to something you said before. So, when you vet a candidate, you’re looking at the hard skills and the soft skills, but here’s what’s interesting about the hard skills. I have seen where somebody’s resume is not fudged.

[00:13:02] Colleen Stanley: This is 100% accurate. The person made president’s club. They’ve been in the industry for 5 to 7 years. Now, let’s use this as an example. Past experience is a good indicator of future results unless the past experience is going right into the same environment. So, I have had seasoned reps who had lots of experience.

[00:13:20] Colleen Stanley: They took a job with a startup. Now, Steve and I have started a business. Fast, furious, no systems or processes. So here you have a very good rep who did well, but they were in an environment where there were established processes and systems. Then they get put into the startup world, and they are floundering.

[00:13:42] Colleen Stanley: I would also encourage people to test to see if their past experience will succeed in the current experience or environment they are interviewing. Sometimes, it does not. 

[00:13:56] Steven Rosen: That’s a great example because I see that in people’s assessments where we look for structure, how much structure someone needs. 

[00:14:03] Colleen Stanley: If somebody needs a lot of structure, where should they not end up? 

[00:14:06] Steven Rosen: Not in the startup environment. 

[00:14:08] Colleen Stanley: Exactly. It is the thing with startups, and it’s bad against startups because you get lots of opportunities, but it’s fast and furious. 

[00:14:15] Steven Rosen: One hundred percent, and knowing that, because to me, that’s a fit issue, right? Do they fit the organization?

[00:14:22] Steven Rosen: When I was running a sales organization, we competed with a large company like Pfizer, which was highly structured. We were kind of in startup mode, but we had some structure. I used to say not to pick on Pfizer people, but as an example of a big company, I don’t hire from Pfizer because they won’t fit.

[00:14:40] Steven Rosen: They would die in my organization because it was entrepreneurial. Your territory was your territory. There are no other salespeople who sold in that territory. So I never equated it, but I liked how you put it, that past experience, even if they’re leaders club or whatever the case may be, the environment does matter.

[00:14:57] Steven Rosen: I touch on the fit component and how much structure and organizational fit because you have to be conscientious of that.

[00:15:05] Colleen Stanley: Yeah, and you mentioned something else with your example. Again, this does not take anything away from somebody who works for a logo company.

[00:15:13] Colleen Stanley: But if you’ve worked for a logo company and you’re going to a brand that’s not that well recognized, what you have to bet for really seriously is whether the brand name opened up the door or whether the salesperson’s individual efforts opened up the door. I’m not taking away anyone who’s had lots of success with the local, but these are the things that I’ve seen people get tripped up on.

[00:15:36] Colleen Stanley: Another area where I’ve gotten tripped up is prospecting. As we know, prospecting is generally the most difficult part of the sales process. I’ve seen it clobber sales leaders, CEOs, and small business owners. So, you have to really bet if you are indeed in a situation where the rep has to source their own leads.

[00:15:56] Colleen Stanley: We all know it’s great if marketing provides inside sales, but let’s say that’s where you’re at as a company. You better dig deep. Has this person ever sourced their leads? Where did the lead come from? Was it handed to them? Because I’ve seen people who, when they’re interviewed, actually thought they sourced the lead, but actually, they didn’t.

[00:16:14] Colleen Stanley: It came from marketing. It came from inside sales. So, unless you’ve got that same structure, you’re hiring somebody and setting them up to fail because they will be charged with generating their leads—and they have never done it. You must dig deep into that part of the sales, hiring, and sales process.

[00:16:32] Steven Rosen: Again, that’s another great nugget. I just saw that with the client I spoke to today. He hired his second rep, and the guy had industry experience, but the challenge was prospecting. There were some learnings from that, and you really have to understand exactly what you said to prevent that.

[00:16:48] Steven Rosen: Now, that probably wasn’t a million-dollar mistake because it’s a much smaller company, but having to start over and find someone—yes, there were some learnings—just hurts the business. Managers are always under pressure, and if they have a vacancy, it’s a hole in their team.

[00:17:02] The easiest thing to do is hire the person who I call the plug-and-play. You described them well, but I’ll just give my take on it. They have industry experience. They may even know the customers. You know, they may even have won awards.

[00:17:16] Steven Rosen: So you figure, great, I can hire this person, and my life is easy. There’s not much training. There’s not much coaching. I just let them go, plug-and-play. But if they’re missing those key elements of playing as a team in terms of EQ, if they’re not a driver or a self-manager, hire someone with those attributes. They won’t be better than the plug-and-play for the first three months.

[00:17:39] Steven Rosen: But within six months, they’re going to surpass the plug-and-play. We’re not hiring for six-month junctures. We’re hiring someone who we assume will be three or five years and can move up within the organization. If you plug-and-play somebody and they don’t have the right ingredients, they don’t have that right sales DNA, the experience itself will not carry them. 

[00:17:59] Colleen Stanley: Here’s what we’ve got to examine. What’s the root cause of pressure, plug-and-play?

[00:18:05] Colleen Stanley: It’s because sales leaders sometimes need to apply a different methodology than they teach their sales team. Every good sales leader will have a sales activity plan for their salesperson. They’ve got leading indicators, all the activities that lead to a first appointment, first conversation. We’ll take the same principles and apply them to sales management. What is your activity plan? It could be coaching, ride-along, group sales meetings, and every week, are you recruiting? That should be a part of your activity plan because that keeps you from desperation hiring, which we’ve all done.

[00:18:42] Colleen Stanley: You get exhausted. You start rationalizing. The root cause is that you don’t have a KPI for recruiting top talent. I remember—I think it was real estate—where you were trying to recruit some of the top brokers, and the managing partner owner said to me that it could take a year to get a top producer to move.

[00:19:03] Colleen Stanley: There might be part of the activity plan that is nurturing, right? Nurturing that leads candidates to come over to your companies. So again, always look at the root cause. Why am I defaulting to plug-and-play? You need to practice what you’re telling your sales team to do. You don’t have an activity plan for recruiting.

[00:19:19] Steven Rosen: There have been companies that sometimes work a deal where they sign, and then they got to ramp up their sales force, and one particular customer, one of their KPIs was proactive recruiting that you have at least one person to fill each position in case somebody leaves. That’s great. In reality, as much as we know that, other pressures come into play, like making numbers, coaching, and answering reports. One of the gems is to do that and to do it religiously, and only when it becomes a habit do people do it, and that’s a hard one.

[00:19:48] Steven Rosen: I know I’ve worked with organizations to help them do that because I never heard the term desperation hiring, but I like it. 

[00:19:56] Colleen Stanley: Steven, if you can take this back to the EQ world, this is a classic example of impulse control or delayed gratification versus instant gratification.

[00:20:07] Colleen Stanley: When you look at delayed gratification activities, they’re often what Stephen Covey called important but not urgent. They’re essential, but you know what instant gratification is; it’s what Covey calls important and urgent. So, firefighting is always what takes up our day.

[00:20:24] Colleen Stanley: You have to ask yourself, why am I giving in instant gratification? You have to be aware that you’re reacting rather than developing and that you’re falling into that bucket. So, self-awareness on why I don’t believe that if I invest time and delay gratification in building a bench, as you called it, I might not do it.

[00:20:44] Colleen Stanley: That’s a belief system because when you believe something, you’ll figure out the time to do it. 

[00:20:49] Steven Rosen: Great point. So, here’s one thing: You’re the expert in emotional intelligence and EQ, and I’m learning more the more time we spend together. 

[00:20:57] Steven Rosen: We know what we’re looking for. How do we elicit during the interview process? If someone demonstrates the right EQ, the skills we’re looking for, is it the same as other skills, or do we take a different approach to understand whether someone is a team player?

[00:21:12] Colleen Stanley: So, what you do is you start. You have to take more time to develop specific questions.

[00:21:18] Colleen Stanley: As a team player, for example, I’ve taught some of my clients this question: Tell me about a time you helped another person on your team achieve a goal or accomplish a milestone without recognition, payment or credit. 

[00:21:34] Steven Rosen: That’s a good question. 

[00:21:35] Colleen Stanley: What you’re doing is you’re doing what you said. Past experiences are the best indicator. Are they going to do it in the future? But what I’m also looking for in the last part of that–without recognition, payment, etc.– is generally a selfless person. I’m not looking for somebody who takes on the world’s problems but is a true team player, and I will help you out. I’m going to take the time.

[00:21:56] Colleen Stanley: Lone rangers can be excellent salespeople, but lone rangers only play alone. Today, what I think is the popular term, we’ve got these matrix organizations. You’ve got to have collaborative people. You could also ask them to tell me when you had to get a deal across the line by working with other internal departments.

[00:22:16] Colleen Stanley: What specifically did you do to build relationship trust engagement? Then, that’s a team player who will work with other departments there. On adversity, I’ve taught people that because of resiliency, when you unpack that, that’s a lot about optimism ownership. Tell me about a time when you were charged with hitting a goal or solving a problem, and you got no resources, training or support. So, you’re looking for a self-starter there. You’re looking for somebody that will get after it. When you listen to the answer, you want to listen to that. It’s not a resentful answer. I don’t want to be hiring angry, resentful people.

[00:22:54] Colleen Stanley: Tell me about a time you had to accomplish a goal without any support. They just think, ‘Okay, I can do it,’ which is optimism. I’ll own it. It’s up to me. That’s a lot of resiliency. Sometimes, it’s the questions; you would follow up with more questions afterward. 

[00:23:12] Steven Rosen: Summarizing that behavioral interview where we know what we’re looking for, which again, is critical and building the right questions to elicit that. It takes a lot of work to do them on the spot.

[00:23:23] Colleen Stanley: That’s why you have to have an interview guide. You have to have a playbook.

[00:23:28] Steven Rosen:  One hundred percent. Also, the belief is that you ask each person the same questions because you’re evaluating them, and you had talked about it earlier that you go to the hotel room and see people on the hour or more frequently. I remember I used to come away with that with a headache.

[00:23:42] Steven Rosen: I was trying to remember who was who right after I interviewed eight people in a day. You’re leaving with subjective impressions if you don’t make great notes. Oh, I like that one. 

[00:23:51] Colleen Stanley: So, it must be the same questions. When I was working with clients on it, we would take a competency and then develop three different questions around that competency. So, interviewer one would ask this question, interviewer two would ask this question, and interviewer three would ask this question. There were three different questions, but they all tested the same competency because sometimes good interviewers, as you said, are skilled at answering one question.

[00:24:18] Colleen Stanley: But if you got to around the competency, you’re testing. Do they have the depth of experience we seek in that competency? 

[00:24:25] Steven Rosen: Then it forces you also to be a little more rigorous in what you’re looking for. 

[00:24:30] Colleen Stanley: Rigorous would be the key. Yes, ruthlessly rigorous would be the key.

[00:24:35] Steven Rosen: Triple R: rigorously, ruthlessly recruiting. 

[00:24:38] Colleen Stanley: You know what? Three Rs will pay off because if you want your life to become easier, get brilliant at hiring, and then you’re truly leading. You’re not micromanaging. So Steven, what takeaways do you want to leave with our guests today?

Conclusion

[00:24:52] Steven Rosen: Great question. You know, I work with many new managers, and part of what they’ll say during one-on-one coaching is, ‘Steven, I have to hire. Can you help me?’ The first thing I’ll do is run them through the process of what they are looking for. This is what a fit interview looks like.

[00:25:07] Steven Rosen: This is what you’re looking for in behavioral. They may use an assessment. Maybe they won’t—that depends on the organization. But really, what I found is that when you follow a consistent approach, even when you’re new, you make better decisions because this is making decisions. It’s choosing between maybe nine candidates you’ve interviewed. Perhaps you’ve interviewed three. 

[00:25:33] Steven Rosen: How do you elicit the best one? Having an objective measurement to add to the process helps new managers and tenured managers have an additional objective view of the candidate. My message is to be systematic, like any process preparation and planning, having a playbook or the same questions written down and making notes, which you forget at the end of the day.

[00:25:50] Steven Rosen: Other people are interviewing them. You need to make good notes on each question you ask in the interview to remember. I don’t care how good a memory you have. So, part of what I find is to reduce hiring mistakes, be rigorous, as you said, ruthlessly rigorous, but also follow a defined process. 

[00:26:12] Steven Rosen: For those who may not be skilled, having the questions helps, listening helps, and making notes is almost integral to a good process. How about you, Colleen? What would you like our listeners to walk away with to prevent them from making critical hiring mistakes? 

[00:26:29] Colleen Stanley: So number one, practice ABR: Always Be Recruiting. This is like sales. You’re not desperate when you consistently prospect and have a full sales pipeline. You don’t think you have to discount. You don’t write practice proposals. A. B. R. Always be recruiting. You have a full people pipeline, so you get to choose who is on your team versus, well, I can settle for who’s on the team, which takes delayed gratification.

[00:26:50] Colleen Stanley: Examine your belief system. Quit making excuses that you don’t have time because you do have time. After all, if you don’t take the time to build a people pipeline, you will be spending all your time firing people or working with poor performers. So that’s ABR.

[00:27:11] Colleen Stanley: The second thing is to clarify your core values. That’s where your non-negotiables come from. Generally, we work well with people who have similar values. In fact, research shows that if a person works for a company that aligns with their values, they’re happier and stay longer. 

[00:27:28] Colleen Stanley: As leaders, we must clarify our values and interview for those values. These are the non-negotiables because everybody gets set up for success. 

[00:27:42] Steven Rosen: Sharing great insights always brings back neuron fires. I’ll share one story before we wrap up.

[00:27:49] Steven Rosen: Coaching is an important part of being a great sales manager, and we had very high KPIs of days in the field. One of my managers told me, ‘Steven, I don’t have time to hire. I don’t have time to replace this rep because I’m busy coaching.’ I think that’s great, but you do need to hire.

[00:28:06] Steven Rosen: So I said, ‘Here’s what I will do. I will add interview days into your coaching days for your KPIs.; Let’s ensure we do the right things for the right reasons. Not having time to recruit is like when you’re looking for a spouse and say, ‘Okay, I’m looking for a spouse. This person will do.’ You have to spend time on it. 

[00:28:25] Colleen Stanley: Or else you must start accepting the excuse from your sales team. I don’t have time to prospect. I don’t have time to do this. Leadership is modeling the behavior you expect. If you say you don’t have time for this, get ready to accept the same excuse from your sales team.

[00:28:39] Steven Rosen: There you go. Love it. Thank you once again, Colleen. It’s been fun. 

[00:28:40] Colleen Stanley: Yes, and thanks to everyone for joining us on the sales leadership awakening podcast. Steve and I always do our best to help you bridge the knowing and doing gap. 

[00:28:49] Steven Rosen: Thank you!

 

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Steven Rosen 2022

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Steven A. Rosen

Steven helps companies transform sales managers into great sales leaders. His focused coaching helps clients achieve greater personal and professional success. Steven is the author of 52 Sales Management Tips - The Sales Manager’s Success Guide.

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