Recruiting is a time consuming process which, if not done correctly, can be a waste of everyone’s time, energy and money so….get it right!

Ok, so you need to hire a new sales recruit (or more)….good for you!

Do you have a job specification for the role? If not, how are you going to know what you’re looking for?! If you do have one, is it something that the general public could easily understand? Can you find common traits amongst your previous best recruits, high performing colleagues (past and present) or others who you hold in high regard that you can use as criteria for your search? Are you clear on what your budget is for remuneration and whether that budget allows you to find the right person? What timeframe do you have to fill the role and does this give you enough time to recruit a candidate who may have a lengthy notice period with their current employer?

Yes, a LOAD of questions for you dear reader – all intended to get the creative juices flowing!

Once you’ve got your job spec, the next decision to make is how you’re going to recruit; the choices usually being to do the whole process in-house or to outsource and use a recruitment consultant. Pros and cons for both. If you choose to do the whole thing in-house, you may save on costs but at the expense of your time and energy. If you have the budget to outsource it, how can you be certain that the recruitment consultant will find the right person for YOU and not just for them? If you have an open role and your current efforts to fill it aren’t getting you anywhere then what are you going to do about it? Keep with it and hope for a different outcome….good luck with that!

Once you have suitable CVs, are you clear on what your process will be i.e. how many interview stages are you planning, how will they be conducted, who by and what do you want to achieve from each one? Using your job spec, what specific questions can you ask during the interview process to help you identify the right fit? If you want to set tasks or do some psychometric profiling, again, how do they fit with finding what you’re looking for? If, during an interview, it becomes clear to you that the applicant is not the right fit for you, will you continue with the rest of the interview or terminate it asap?

Let’s jump ahead and, thinking positively, focus on what needs doing once you’ve found the right person. Notify them with your offer asap and make a BIG song and dance about it because you want them to start feeling really excited about joining and carving out their future with you! If they negotiate, how will you react? Does negotiating make you believe they’ll be mercenary or might you see the other side and recognise a savvy operator who could be of great benefit to you? If their remuneration includes commission/incentive bonus, is this linked to achieving and/or exceeding the expectations of them? If so, is it a clear and unambiguous plan? Once both parties are agreed, what happens between then and their start date? How can you keep them excited for the role? What can be done for or given to them to help their understanding and preparation for the role? Do they know categorically where they need to be, at what time, wearing what and what will happen on their 1st day?

And now the BIG day comes when they walk through the door! What’s the plan for today, the week and the coming months? Who’s involved, why and at what stages? Is this all documented so that you, they and anyone else who needs to know can refer to it at any time? Again, how do you plan to keep the new recruit absolutely thrilled about their new opportunity? What’s going to be your style of leadership? If you’re a shouty type of leader, have you considered whether your staff will be able to distinguish from your normal style and when they really have fallen short of the mark? Will you celebrate all wins and achievement of milestones until the day comes that they can fly for themselves?

As mentioned earlier, I have purposefully written lots of questions as the intent is to get you, dear reader, to think for yourself.

Regardless of whether you own the business or are in charge of recruiting, you’re in that position because you have something about you so the answers to these questions are most likely in your head already….it’s just a case of extracting, documenting and then refining them which is where you might be currently getting stuck. Some of you will have already considered some/most of what’s been written and some not….either way if you’re not getting the results you need, you should stop wasting your time, energy and money trying to achieve a different outcome by applying the same methods and ask for help. Since 2007, I have recruited numerous staff applying a variety of methods to varying degrees of success….whilst I don’t have the perfect recipe, I am certain I can help you make sure you are properly recruiting, on-boarding and retaining your new staff for the long term and not wasting your precious time, energy and finances!

All you need to do is ask.