SalesSpire Blog

Are You Really Hiring Who You Think You're Hiring?

Apr 26, 2018 9:00:00 AM / by Bill Waham

shutterstock_373700113So, you had a great interview with a candidate whose resume hit all the right notes. They seemed enthusiastic and motivated about working for your organization, but they suddenly appear to lack passion, can’t handle the work, and are anything but a team player. What went wrong? It might be your hiring process.

Who Are You?

While you’re not responsible for the personality traits or work ethic of a potential hire, you are responsibility for conducting interviews in a way that reveals a candidate's communication and social skills. Since the success of your business relies on the quality of your employees, it’s important to learn how to recognize those people who genuinely believe in your mission and are passionate about the products and services you offer.

To increase the likelihood of hiring the right person for the right job, look at your current hiring practices and see if any changes are in order.

Do you still use a standard job interview? Interviews that feature a list of previous jobs and cliched questions like “Where do you want to be in five years?” or “What are your greatest strengths?” don’t get to the heart of who a person truly is.

Get creative with interviews. Instead of conducting them across a desk or conference table, take the candidate on a tour of the office. You’ll get a much better sense of how they interact with other people. As you show them around and introduce them to people, do they seem genuinely curious and interested in what the team’s goals are? When they interact with other team members, do you sense they’ll be a good fit?

Do you prioritize skills or attitude? Who would you rather have on your team? A skilled person with low motivation, or an enthusiastic team player who’s flexible and can be trained in the necessary skills? Of course, there are plenty of skilled candidates with great attitudes, but pay attention to whether you’re consistently hiring a resume, not a multi-dimensional person. Studies show that a positive attitude is more predictive of a successful employee.

Do you know what makes for a great team member? Look to your current team for the answer to this one. Are you happy with the team’s performance? What makes it the well-oiled machine it is? Now take another look at the potential hire. Will they be a good fit? Based on your conversations, do you sense they’re the “roll up their sleeves” type of a person or someone who thinks they’re there to save the day?

Choosing the right hire is an art that takes its cues from science. If your approach has focused on a candidate’s IQ, make it a point to pay more attention to EQ, that natural curiosity and instinct for understanding other people’s perspectives. Remember, most anyone can learn sales tactics, coding languages, or other industry-related skills. You’ll know you’re making the right hire when you base your decision on who a person is, not what they can do.


Bill Waham

Written by Bill Waham

Bill founded SalesSpire after a successful career in sales spanning more than 35 years. During this time he never missed a sales target and ran a $2.5 billion sales organization with incredible results. His teams saw a rate of voluntary turnover of less than 1% and the highest customer satisfaction scores in their class. His expertise is not theoretical—it is a lived experience. Before his career in sales, Bill served in the Marine Corps and earned a BS in computer science via the GI Bill.