Talent Shortage Drives Managers to Seek Trainable New Hires


The turmoil in the job market started last spring. While unemployment numbers continue to vacillate, managers may need to seek trainable new hires to fill some of their open positions. To find the best people, managers should screen applicants about their learning and training attitudes.

Industries That Are Hiring

To manage the demand generated by online shopping, businesses in the transportation and warehousing sectors took on employees, especially for the holiday season. And immediately after the holidays, the government reported a huge uptick in unemployment claims as some of those new hires were laid off.

In 2021, Monster is predicted strong job growth in the light manufacturing, health care and tech industries. Unemployment remains high, but analysts reveal that “87% of employers say they are struggling to fill positions.” Where’s the disconnect?

It all comes down to skills. The truth is that new college graduates coming into the marketplace don’t have the skills or training that employers need. And workers who have a few years or decades of experience have failed to keep their skills fresh. As technology continues to transform how and where people work, employers will need to commit to training their new hires. So far, only about 19% of employers believe they should bear this responsibility. However, nearly 1/​3 of employees expect their companies to provide this benefit.

Growth in the Sales Profession

Monster also reported seeing “month-​over month growth in new job postings for sales and related occupations.” For some sales positions, especially those focusing on sales technology, you may be faced with candidates who fit well into your organization and department but who may also have a skill deficit. If you’re committed to the idea of upskilling and coaching some of your new hires, you can easily determine which candidates will have more interest in learning. Of course, in an interview, most candidates will assure you that they can apply themselves and learn quickly. The results of a sales skills assessment will reveal the truth.

The Value of Sales Skills Assessments

An assessment that measures behavioral tendencies such as curiosity will give you a glimpse into a candidate’s interest in learning. On the motivational continuum between being intuitive and investigative, you should seek candidates who lean toward wanting to look into a matter. These people are naturally motivated to learn more.

The assessment you use may also measure work tendencies. One work tendency, coachability, will play a role in whether the individual is open to learning something new and changing their behavior. Candidates with low coachability may not be interested in improving their skills.

A candidate’s "hustle" score can also reveal interesting aspects of their work tendencies. If you know you’ll need to train your new hire extensively, you’ll want to select an individual who brings plenty of natural energy to the tasks they take on. Candidates with lower levels of hustle may take too long to ramp up to the kind of productivity you expect.

Seek Trainable New Hires

Your success as a sales manager strongly correlates to your ability to bring the right individuals into your department. You may not be able to find a candidate with exactly the right skill level. But, using a sales skills assessment will allow you to seek trainable new hires. Our research shows that nearly 60% of sales managers now use this kind of assessment. Shouldn't you equip yourself with the hiring tools that will help identify the kind of sales professional you need?

Photo by heylagostechie on Unsplash

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Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.