Salesman, Know Thyself

June 14, 2010

Many employers now routinely use assessment testing for hiring candidates to determine psychological attributes and “fit” within a company. Job seekers should be used to this by now and accept it. She/he should also recognize that these assessments have shown value for the employers by routinely predicting, over a wide range of jobs and industries, which applicants will leave their jobs within a relatively short period of time according to a 2009 study by Avatar Management Services, Inc. “The Use of Selection Systems to Reduce Turnover in the Transportation Industry”. They thus have led to lower turnover among those who have been selected through the process, and greater satisfaction in the job.

However, the results of the assessment belong to the employer, and the job seeker is not often given a chance to see the results. She/he certainly will not be able to take it to other potential employers for use in their hiring process.

For the candidate that did not get “the job” there is a great disadvantage and she/he is left wondering what went wrong. Most of the time there is little to no feedback from potential employers. Often times, even the candidate that did get the job has not seen the results of the assessments,

I think a change in attitude in the hiring process would go a long way toward making better candidates overall for those that did and those that did not get the job. I know it is hard for a hiring manger to tell someone who did not get the job the reasons why. So, maybe sending the assessment results would bridge that difficult gap. For job seekers and employers the more you understand yourself, the better off you will be at taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. If a candidate had the results of an assessment she/he could get coaching and work on developing those areas she/he is weak in. For those hiring managers that think they know all the dynamics of their own organization taking the assessments themselves might reveal aspects of their team or work method that they were not aware of. Assessment tests do not have all the answers regarding whether or not you will get a job, or find a perfect candidate, but they go a long way in helping you figure out what you might need to work on to land the next opportunity or fix what may not be working in your own organization.

At Teneotalent, we offer a free sales assessment which is given in the form of 104 “forced choice” questions, where you are asked to decide which of four statements most resembles you and which least resembles you. This is about style rather than performance, and there are no right or wrong answers. It simply presents the relative strengths and weaknesses in your sales style in each of these areas. It shows how you usually approach sales, not how you do things every time. It is a guide, not a rulebook, and it will help you to understand yourself better before you approach a potential employer. Why not give it a try?


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