You’re Only as Good as the People You Hire

Prior to getting into the Search industry I was the Director of Recruiting for a large sales organization. When I joined they had a lot of “People Problems.” Turnover was over 50% and new first year people were failing at an alarming rate. I was tasked with closing the back door of turnover and find people who could succeed in the direct selling industry. So my primary function was to identify, attract, hire and train GREAT TALENT!! I was able to do this exceptionally well and it wasn’t just pure luck. I developed a Talent Acquisition Process (TAP) that is repeatable and more importantly for you, transferable.
Here are few problems we identified…

Hiring Managers hire in their own self-image.
Hiring Manager tend to lower the standard. (I call this 10’s hire 9’s)
In a direct selling environment there is a direct relationship in dollars of sales and numbers of Sales Professionals. (If you want to double your sales double your salesforce.)
What a person has done in the past is the best indicator of what they will do in the future.
New people have to be trained in the “Real World”.

We implemented the (TAP) and got amazing results. Here are the highlights of the Talent Acquisition Process:

1. We trained Managers that people don’t have to be like you to succeed. We started promoting diversity helping managers to understand if they wanted to achieve market penetration they need to bring on board candidates that can go after diverse markets.
2. We trained Managers to raise the Standard (We called this 10’s hire 11’s)
3. We typically would increase the size of the sales team over the previous year by 25 to 30% and we always saw sales increase by 25 or 30%.
4. Once we got the message out that the best predictor of future performance is past performance. We quit hiring people with good potential to succeed in sale and started hiring people who had already been successful in sales. (We used the 5 S’s to qualify candidates.)

Skills… in our case we were looking for selling skills
Success… they did not perform in the middle of the pack. They were above average.
Stable… work history and stable life style
Salary… in line with what we pay (step back in pay-they won’t stay)
Social … like values

If a person was missing one of these 5 S’s we called it a “Red Flag”. Part of our TAP was one red flag take a deeper look. Two red flags don’t hire.

5. Training is so important. At the time I joined the company they sent a new hires straight to Dallas for training. As we looked at training to see why it was not working we observed two things.

Candidates were only retaining about 10% of what they were taught because they had no real world experience to compare it to.
We also observed that the local managers gave up accountability for the new persons training to sales school. It was like if the candidate failed it was sales schools fault. Of course if the new candidate succeeded it was because the great on the job training from the local manager.
We made one small change in training that caused new first year candidates to double sales over the candidates before the change. Ok I know you want to know what we changed. We started telling new hires they had to achieve a certain level of sales in their first 90 days to earn the right to go to sales school. It was amazing how earning the right to go to Dallas became the driving motivation for making sales. The local manager did not want to be embarrassed that their new hire did not make the sales school dead line, so they took total accountability for getting their new person to sales school.

Using this system I took the company from 110 sales professionals to over 600 sales professionals. We also averaged 28% growth in sales year over year and achieved $300 million in sales. If you want to mirror this kind of success in acquiring top talent then let’s discuss the TAP program and how it can work for you.
Call or email to discuss!

Call Mike at 918-924-5698 or email to discuss. 

“People Are Worth The Investment”

Mike DukeMike Duke: President, Recruiting Practice Leader

Mike is a Certified Personnel Consultant and President of Professional Search for Career Development Partners.  Mike is a successful entrepreneur and people developer.

For over twenty years Mike has been bringing positive change to corporate leaders in the area of hiring, training, and developing people. He says, “You can boil any business down to three basic strategies: Products, Profits and People. Out of these, the people strategy is the most important. If you don’t hire the right people, none of the other strategies will work.”



Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Written By Mike Duke

Mike is a Certified Personnel Consultant and President of Professional Search for Career Development Partners. Mike is a successful entrepreneur and people developer.

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