Are you looking to fill a sales position before the end of the year? Join the club. Many sales forces treat the fourth quarter as a prime time to both clean house and fill any gaps with new hires. While we would agree that this is a logical practice, it does arbitrarily position January 1 as a would-be deadline and therefore creates a false sense of urgency.
And that, is a phenomenon that can be counterproductive.
Rushing to fill a position is like jumping into a relationship…zipping through the formalities, feigning intimacy, and then, a few months in, realizing “Hmmm…why didn’t I notice that before?”
While you’re not likely entering into a lifelong commitment with your new sales rep, you are making a vow of sorts – a vow to support one another in pursuit of overall company objectives. And…stop right there.
Do you know what your overall company objectives are? To that end, do you know the exact role this new hire will play in helping your company meet goals or reach those objectives?
If you don’t, you could be rushing to hire the wrong person to do the wrong thing. Double whammy.
Take the time…while you have it
Instead, why not take a step back and really define what it is you want your new sales rep to accomplish. What did his predecessor do right? And what did they do wrong? Take a look at the job description you just posted – how many times has the same old tired job description been used? Regurgitating the same spiel without taking the time to update or improve it will result in – you guessed it – the same old tired employee with the same old tired attitude.
While you’re at it, assess your other sales team members. In the time the position has been vacant, has a team member stepped up to fulfill some of the responsibilities? If so, how are they doing? Is their skillset better suited for the new position than the one they currently occupy? Before you hire new, take an honest look at your team and figure out where you current needs lie – a lot can shift in the span of a couple months.
Another thing to consider
Do you have a good understanding of the cultural values within your organization? Do you know what it takes to be successful within that environment? This is a big consideration when bringing on a new team member. And it goes a lot deeper than whether or not a person seems “likeable.” Consider the team members with whom this rep will have the most interaction – is it a good fit? Will it enhance or detract from the cultural dynamic already in place?
If you don’t have a strong sense of company culture, maybe it’s time to better define the values and guiding principles because only then will you attract the kind of people you need to achieve success.
All of a sudden it seems like rushing may be the least of your hiring worries, right? Attempting to address some of these things may seem like a lot of effort, but just think – you get out what you put in.