There is a proven and tested process you can follow when making a critical sales hire, that goes beyond writing a “job spec” and that will produce much better hiring outcomes.

1 Top 3 Candidate Criteria: Start with the 3 critical selection criteria for the role. You can add more, but get a high-level agreement on what competencies and experiences the ideal candidate needs to display. The most enduring and useful criteria tend to be: Audiences sold to; Proven Accomplishments and Sales capability (e.g. new business development skills).

2 Salary Plus OTE is What Matters: You need to think about salary and OTE (On Target Earnings). Your first challenge is to maximise your ability to attract the right level of person and if that’s a Tier 1 sales professional they will put as much emphasis on commissions and bonuses as base salary.

3 Keep the Responsibilities List Lean: Outline a small number of commercial responsibilities and duties. Ironically, the longer the list, the easier the role looks, because there is usually something everyone can do!

4 How Many Interviews & Interviewers?: Decide on how many screening interviews / meetings to use and who will attend each. If you introduce new interviewers at each new meeting, you will need at least 2x more candidates, because the rejection rate will soar, no matter how “good” the candidates.

5 What is Your Culture-Fit?: Unless you have a written statement of the company’s culture, you should decide as a group what is the culture you are trying to find a fit for. “Culture fit” can vary per interviewer – and employee – and is often a way of allowing highly subjective selection (and rejection) criteria to apply. Very capable, competent candidates can get unfairly and inexplicably dismissed on an undefined, casual “wrong culture-fit” observation.

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