Best Practices for Recruiting/Hiring Sales Reps

The tech industry’s unemployment rate hit 1.9% in April 2018, down from 3% a year ago. That’s great news for tech professionals, but it’s a challenge for growing ISVs who now have to step up their recruiting efforts to find qualified candidates.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the tech industry’s unemployment rate hit 1.9% in April 2018, down from 3% a year ago. That’s great news for tech professionals, but it’s a challenge for growing ISVs who now have to step up their recruiting efforts to find qualified candidates.

At the 2018 RSPA RetailNOW event, Chelsey Paulson, director, human resources, North Country Business Products led a breakout session on the topic of recruiting. Here’s a highlight of the information she shared:

Top Recruiting Sites and Strategies
  • LinkedIn — Prospects look for your company on this site (and Glassdoor), so it’s imperative to make sure your company profile is updated. LinkedIn also has great search and filters, which is helpful for ISVs looking for sales candidates.
  • Indeed – A worldwide employment-related search engine that allows job posters to set the amount they’re willing to pay for each listing. Recruiters are charged per click, and you’ll need to invest about $2 per click to show up on the first page of a candidate’s search result.
  • Glassdoor – This is a website where employees and former employees anonymously review companies and their management, and it’s becoming the #1 place to recruit from. It’s also a good idea for recruiters to pay attention to any negative feedback about their company on this site. You can’t erase negative comments but addressing them can go a long way in protecting your company’s reputation.
  • Craigslist – Not as big as it used to be.
  • Internal – Promoting from within is another way ISVs can fill sales position, but it often requires significant training, notes Paulson.
  • Referrals — Good employees typically know one or more other people who could become good employees for your company. ISVs should expect to pay $200 to $2,000 per position per referral. Plus, you can’t just mention a referral program once to get it to work. People need to hear the message seven times and in seven different ways, such as via email newsletters, verbal reminders during meetings, posters displayed throughout the office, etc.
  • Pipeline – Past candidates who may have interviewed with your company could become viable candidates for your current openings.
Interviewing Tips from an HR Professional

You must have a consistent hiring process for each position

  • Begin the interview process with a short phone call to confirm a candidate’s communication skills and experience (find out why they left their last job)
  • For legal reasons, don’t every employee in your company to assist in the interview process.
  • A manager should be involved in an early interview to determine a candidate’s potential fit with your company
  • A follow-up interview with the manager and one other employee is vital to get a second opinion and affirm the candidate’s cultural fit
  • Background checks are essential, especially driving checks (e.g., DUIs), drug and reference checks.
  • Use assessments with caution. Consistency is critical; and assessments should only account for 1/3 of your hiring process; 1/3 should come from resume and references, and 1/3 from your interview process

Interview tips from Hire Like You Just Beat Cancer by Jim Roddy:

Don’t be too friendly…

  • Example: “You said earlier in our interview that you’re okay with criticism. Can I give you some?”
    • Give a concern about their personality. Or, I asked for a 30-second response and you went on and on. Why?
  • A softer approach: “I want to share a criticism with you. I hope I don’t come off as harsh…”
Personality traits of top salespeople (contrary to popular belief)
  1. Modesty (ego-driven people alienate others)
  2. Conscientiousness
  3. Achievement orientation
  4. Curiosity
  5. Lack of gregariousness (30% less “chatty” than average performers. If they’re overly friendly, they may want to chat and not close deals. Good reps know where the line is)
  6. Lack of discouragement. Can move on after a rejection
  7. Lack of self-consciousness (not afraid to speak up)
Aversions interview
  • One last meeting to detail and finalize your agreement with the candidate
  • Clearly state you think the candidate is a great match
  • Wrap up by asking the candidate if you are right for them
  • Tell candidate you will get back to them by the end of the day tomorrow – and DON’T (if a sales rep isn’t knocking down your door and following up, they’re probably not a great fit for the job.)
Assessment Tools
  • Wonderlic — a popular group intelligence test used to assess the aptitude of prospective employees for learning and problem-solving in a range of occupations.
  • Kolbe — An assessment that identifies the natural way that people act.
  • DISC — A personality test that places candidates into four categories: Dominant, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance to help determine their fit for a specific job role.
  • Profiles Sales Assessments — Draws upon data based on the top-performing salespeople in specific sales jobs in an organization, and is used primarily for selecting, onboarding, and managing salespeople and account managers. (Cost is $175 per assessment for RSPA members).
Onboarding New Candidates

“It’s not the will to win that makes you a winner. It’s the will to prepare.”

-Novak Djokovic 2011 Australian Open Champion

  • 1st 60 days is the most crucial. If the new hire feels like they’re adding value to the company and being productive and you’ve thought out the onboarding process, there’s a much higher probability they’ll stay with your company.

Jay McCall

Jay McCall is an editor and journalist with 20 years of writing experience for B2B IT solution providers. Jay is a cofounder of Managed Services Journal and DevPro Journal.


Zebra MC9400
Jay McCall

Jay McCall is an editor and journalist with 20 years of writing experience for B2B IT solution providers. Jay is a cofounder of Managed Services Journal and DevPro Journal.