Hiring Headaches For Sales Managers

June 10, 2010

By Judith Copeland

What you see is not always what you get

Hiring managers are not in an easy position. There is no definitive way to know whether or not the person they have hired to going to be the right fit. How many times have you hired someone who had the perfect resume? A colleague of mine in Denver hired a seasoned sales professional with 10 years of success within the consumer goods industry. He was well prepared and interviewed well with great credentials and existing relationships with current customers. It was a “no brainer” hiring decision. As a hiring manager you can breathe a sigh of relief and think, “well that was easy.”

Once this employee joined the company, the hiring manager quickly found out that, while his new hire was a valuable asset in terms of his regional success, there was a larger issue that began to overshadow his performance.

He did not mesh with the corporate and regional culture. He was difficult to manage because he felt his experience in consumer goods reigned supreme over the company’s sales training. He would not listen to corporate leadership and trainers. This was someone who knew it all and you could not teach anything. He did not play well with others.
The end result was that, despite his contacts and customer base, the seemingly perfect addition to the sales force failed within the organization. He did not mesh with the corporate culture that emphasized teamwork and the ability of the salespeople to share information to improve the overall effectiveness of the group. It also emphasized ongoing training. Since he did not work well with the rest of the sales team, there was no synergy or team cohesiveness, and this eroded team morale, which in turn affected overall performance.

Sometimes, companies take for granted that the right paper and credentials is all you need, and the rest will follow. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. It’s hard to know all of the myriad factors that are needed to have a truly successful hire, and you don’t want to rely on luck. Tell us your hiring horror stories. Maybe we learn from each others’ mistakes.

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