Is Hiring Great Talent a Top Priority for Your Organization?

BY Kathy Crosett
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Is it time to hire another sales rep for your department? We hope you’ve made hiring great talent a top priority. The Future of Talent Acquisition 2020 survey indicates that only 17% of companies have done so. Here are the details on how to clear the roadblocks on the path to your next great hire.

Why Are Organizations Hiring?

For the most part, businesses hire to replace employees who have left (38%). But during the pandemic, 58% of businesses note they are looking for new employees because of changing business circumstances. They also report that new employees will help them upgrade organizational skills (26%) and be better leaders (26%). Part of the need for upgraded skills is linked to technology-​driven changes. For example, if an organization doesn’t have an employee who wants to work in data analytics or a sales engineer position, they will have to hire someone.

When Talent Acquisition Fails

Too often, organizations settle for a less than optimal hire because they rush to get the position filled. In some cases, 25%, leaders don’t always support the need to bring in the best and brightest employees. A lack of funds, 28%, contributes to this issue. Some employers believe poor branding hampers their ability to attract good candidates (24%). At 20% of organizations, leaders fear that their recruiting staff isn’t savvy enough.

When organizations measure their success in hiring talent, they use time to hire and quality of hire as key details. What is the hiring time frame for the typical sales department? Our research shows that sales managers need three months to fill a position. They need another six months to train their new rep.

The quality of a new hire can also impact the sales department. When a sales manager is looking to replace a bad hire, they have likely already been through a rough six-​month period. Because during that time, they had to separate the poorly performing individual from the organization.

How often do these experiences play into the calculations on talent acquisition success? About 18% of organizations consider the rate of ‘regrettable’ hires when they make strategic changes to the TA process. A bigger question centers on the steps they take to avoid making bad hires in the future.

The Value of Assessments

About 41% of organizations use some form of assessments in their hiring process. While these screening tools are helpful, employers see the need to improve their assessments. In the next three years, 29% of organizations intend to modify assessments to better match job requirements. In addition, 38% say assessments will be critical in terms of hiring top talent in the future.

Sales managers already use a variety of assessments in their hiring process. Our research shows the following usage levels:

  • Sales skills assessment 59%
  • Personality assessment 49%
  • Behavioral assessment 42%
  • Communication skills assessment 40%
  • Critical thinking/​empathy assessment 28%
  • Motivation assessment 22%

Hiring Great Talent

Tapping a sales competency assessment as a screening tool will give managers a comprehensive profile on their potential new hires. Managers need this unbiased information. Because over 90% of employers believe that using an employee referral system to source candidates will either stay the same or increase in the next three years. Up to 52% of sales managers currently rely on existing employees to refer previous co-​workers into the organization. Many of the referred candidates may eventually become high quality employees. Others won’t. The best way to know who is going to fit into your department and with your management style is to use a top-​notch sales skills assessment as a key part of your talent acquisition process.