How to give talent a chance in 2014

When hiring a new sales person into your team – what’s the easiest option: recruit someone in another Field Sales role from a competitor or similar FMCG business? It might be the easiest way but is it the best? One of the top performing Sales Execs working for an FMCG client of ours is an ex-Bar Manager; another is an ex-Diamond Ring Repair Specialist. Our client has also recently hired an ex-Grocery Manager, a fitness trainer, a policewoman, a Royal Marine Officer and a recruitment consultant.

So how did people with such diverse backgrounds get into a global FMCG player, when so many others want industry experience or a minimum 2 years Field Sales experience?

The primary reason is the business wanted to encourage talent into their field sales team and after a lot of work alongside their recruitment partner analysing the key competencies required for success within the role they chose to take a completely new view on how they went about hiring. Out went the old de-centralised method of individual RSMs interviewing and in came an HR-driven – but highly sales management team inclusive – assessment day process based around the identified competencies and the individual candidate. By choosing to assess individuals against the key competencies of the role and NOT their specific experience meant that they were able to open up their recruitment to a much broader pool of candidates than they traditionally engaged with.

By assessing, and employing, people on attitude, ability and drive rather than just experience they have succeeded in employing enthusiastic and hungry individuals new to their business, bringing with them fresh new thoughts and approaches and a renewed drive for success. In today’s challenging recruitment market this example of unorthodox thinking has resulted in a hugely successful shift in one company’s traditional view on sales recruitment methodology and opened a new, sustainable and previously untapped candidate stream of talent.

For further information on sales recruitment, sales training and sales consultancy for your organisation please contact Matt on 0118 940 5100.

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