Since sales is a file filled with professionals who are adept at “selling” their own worth, how can a company be sure it is hiring the best talent to lead a sales team?
That’s the problem a U.S. based branch of an international organization that specializes in development of specific healthcare products and devices asked EASI•Consult® to solve.
Knowing that sales leaders can be some of the toughest to hire effectively, the organization recognized that EASI•Consult could provide invaluable expertise. That is, they felt confident in our ability to leverage a scientific approach to determine who ultimately could be the most influential and successful in the highly visible and high stakes role.
The Problem: How to hire high quality regional sales managers
The Solution: I met with key leaders within the organization to discuss their current hiring strategies, as well as needs and goals for the future. I also met with the external search firm/recruiter providing candidates to the organization so we could work as partners rather than duplicate or undermine one another’s efforts. The organization determined that a first step toward more robust hiring strategies would be to introduce structured behavioral interviewing techniques, with the future goal of adding individual assessments as needed.
- Step 1: I conducted job analysis interviews with several individuals to discuss key challenges, hallmarks of successful employees in this role, environmental constraints, reporting relationships, etc. As part of this, I had conversations with not only the hiring manager and recruiter, but also successful managers from other regions to gain insight into best practices – developing behavioral indicators for the interview, for example (i.e., “what good looks like.”).
- Step 2: Following the initial interviews, I identified several key competencies critical for success within the regional sales manager role, then vetted and weighted those competencies with the client organization.
- Step 3: EASI•Consult’s online EASI Interviews® tool was used to generate a Structured Behavioral Interview Guide at the senior manager level utilizing the competencies identified in Step 2. I absolutely love this tool. A validated point-and-click interview guide generator saves me hours of time creating solid questions from scratch. Upon customizing the question to better align with the key challenges identified in Step 1, I validated the revised interview guide with the client project team, revising as needed.
- Step 4: I interviewed several leaders over several months, as requested by the client organization, providing a detailed follow-up report with key findings and hiring recommendations based on the candidate’s responses within the interview.
The Outcome: The client organization indicates that the reports have provided incremental value in four key ways:
- It offers additional insight into the candidate’s fit for the job
- It provides a job-relevant validated, consistent, and legally sound way to examine candidates
- It holds recruiters accountable, in that a neutral third party, with nothing at stake in the outcome, provides an unbiased and professional evaluation of the candidate’s behavioral (not technical) likelihood of success
- It provides excellent insight into the leaders’ approach, which can be leveraged among those hired from the first day on the job.
Identifying successful performers is our niche. When we do the proper work up front to truly listen to the client’s need and invest appropriate energy into creating a scientifically sound solution, then the outcome speaks for itself.
Rebekah Cardenas, Ph.D., is vice president of business development and assessment solutions at EASI•Consult®. EASI•Consult works with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and mid-sized corporations to provide customized Talent Management solutions. EASI•Consult’s specialties include leadership assessment, online pre-employment testing, survey research, competency modeling, leadership development, executive coaching, 360-degree feedback, online structured interviews, and EEO hiring compliance. The company is a leader in the field of providing accurate information about people through professional assessment. To learn more about EASI•Consult, visit www.easiconsult.com, email ContactUs@easiconsult.com or call (800) 922-EASI.