Most hiring managers want to hire people with the right skills and cultural fit for their company. They are the biggest imperatives that comes to new hires. You want to hire someone with the right skills for the job. But also, being comfortable that the new hire will fit in the company and thrive under your management style.
So how to make balance and find someone with the right skills and cultural fit? And how to balance them between the candidates?
To make an evaluation in a fair way, the company should use some hiring rubrics. The ideal situation will be if there is more than one person assessing candidates from each rubric, so there will be more range of perspectives.
Remember that the web is the perfect tool to find online resources, exercises and interview questions to help you evaluate the potential hires.
How to assess for Skills?
As in every hire, you need to define clearly, what are the skills you are looking for. Many of the skills can be shown in the interview base based on candidates' experience and responses and reactions to the questions. Based on the info you can roughly make some kind of assumptions where the candidate is based in terms of required skills.
Create a scale and keep asking from co-workers to help for evaluating each skill of the candidate.
Here is a small list of important sales skills:
It’s necessary that the candidate is comfortable with speaking and communicating verbally when working. Working is sales need to have a person there, who is totally comfortable with explain different concepts and needs to engage the listener.
The interview moment gives an opportunity to evaluate verbal communication. You can ask the candidate to pitch some products, for example, a sampler or water bottle.
Test their ability to provide clear instructions. Ask the candidate to give instructions form some easy and familiar task, like changing a tire to a car or baking cookies.
although written communication is critical for sales, it might be tricky to evaluate in an interview moment. One way to evaluate the written skills is to ask for a cover letter before the interview and also ask some of the interview questions via email, so there must be a written answer.
Ask the candidate how they approach prospecting communications and what they’ve done to improve their writing skills.
This is even more important in sales than talking. Evaluate, how good the candidate is listening to interviews. Are they really listening to what you are saying or are they just focused on repeating their own talking points?
A good exercise is role-playing. Play the role of the prospect. How well does the candidate listen or do they have a habit of interrupting you?
You want a candidate who knows how to research prospects. You can ask what the candidate knows about your company and tasks that he or she was applying to. Did they walk in with a piece of relevant knowledge and questions, or just trying to wing it?
How to assess for fit
Figuring out how well a candidate fits your organization often feels amorphous, but it basically comes down to this question: What traits are important to working within our organization? Of course, this will vary between organizations. Some organizations want a person who acts independently, while others prefer people who consult with others before making a decision.
What do you want to find is that the candidate’s values and style fits with your organization. Being a good fit doesn’t mean that the person is a clone of the other people in your company.
Give an opportunity for the candidate to tell about their values and preferences. In an interview you can ask this type of questions for defining their way of thinking.
- What kind of work environment allows you to do your best performance at work?
- How would your co-workers describe you as a part of the team?
- How would you describe your ideal manager?
- How would you characterize your communication style?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- What excites them most about the opportunity to work here?
By asking this type of question, you can gauge, how well the candidates did their ’’homework’’.
When you find a candidate, who is a great match in terms of skills and fit, the answer is obvious. Sometimes, however, it can be a little trickier.
If the candidate feels like a strong fit but isn’t where you want them to be in terms of skills, you need to realistically evaluate whether they can learn the skills they need.
Other candidates may be highly skilled, but don’t seem like cultural fits. Is it just a matter of the candidate being a little different than many of your other hires, or is there a fundamental issue of incompatibility? If it’s the latter, you should probably pass.
Rarely is a new hire ever a slam dunk. But by systematically evaluating candidates in terms of both fit and skills, you can improve your chances of finding a valuable contributor who is right for your team.