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Seven hiring mistakes. Who makes them? What’s the cost?


How are salespeople hired? How were you hired? Did you take an assessment or a sales proficiency test? Were you hired for your skill or attitude, or based on the interviewer’s “gut feeling?”

Hiring is expensive and subjective. Training is expensive and so is firing.

Out of 10 qualified candidates, who gets the job? Hiring isn’t easy, especially if you can’t judge character.

FACT: Salespeople want to find the best job.

FACT: Sales managers want to find the best salespeople.

FACT: When managers hire people, they believe they’re making the “right” or “best” choice.

FACT: They’re also secretly hoping they don’t make a (big) mistake.

HARD FACT: Their intent is to hire the best-qualified, brightest and friendliest people every time.

REALITY: Most managers ask the same questions over and over. They tend to make the same mistakes over and over because they just don’t know better.

As a manager, how are you supposed to know how a potential employee is going to act in six months? How are you going to find out how these people conduct themselves when the “pressure” is on? What is their work ethic like?

Call in an expert! Brian Parsley, a human capital strategist once known as Mr. Hire, was the founder of 123Hire.com, a national employment site. He is now chief executive of KnowSuccess, a human capital assessment company.

He has conducted hundreds of interviews, reviewed thousands of candidates and spoken with hundreds of hiring managers.

“The answer to these questions can be found once you identify the potential mistakes you have been making BEFORE you hire someone,” Parsley said.

Here are Brian Parsley’s seven deadly sins in hiring, being hired and staying on the job.

1. Looking at the wrong time and in the wrong place. Do you only hire or look to hire when there’s a need? Major mistake. Hiring in a crunch is managing by crisis. Look for people you want before you have a need. If you need great salespeople, they are probably working for your competition. You need to solicit the best people in your industry.

2. Asking dumb questions. What kinds of questions do you ask when you interview? “Name two strengths and two weaknesses you have” or perhaps “Describe your ideal environment” Hiring managers ask these and other dumb questions because that’s how they were taught. Try asking questions that force the candidate to think. Ask scenario-based questions that they may encounter on the job such as “What would you do if … ” “How would you react to …”

3. Making an offer just because you “need” someone. How many times have you made an offer to someone you know is not the best person for the job? It may solve your immediate problem, but a new set of bigger problems is right around the corner.

4. Not setting clear expectations. Just because you understand what needs to be done does not mean your new employees understand. Ask for them to explain to you what they think their responsibilities are so you know they understand. By taking this extra step, you will eliminate confusion and frustration.

5. Not communicating to be understood. Many managers assume they are communicating effectively with their employees. Always ask them to repeat the issue so you understand they understand. When employees feel involved, they have a sense of being appreciated.

6. Forgetting to reward the ones you have already hired. The three basic needs all people have are: To be liked. To feel they’re important. To be  appreciated. You can give a cash bonus, but if you do not appreciate them, or if you fail to make them feel important to the team, they will leave. Rewarding employees is not an option.

7. Failing to create loyal employees. Loyalty is determined by your actions or inactions when an employee has a problem. The way you respond to problems will send a message to everyone on how you feel about your workers. Loyal employees will create profits for the company.

FREE GitBit. Want the best questions to ask a prospective employer at a job interview? Go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first-time visitor and enter the words HIRE ME in the GitBit box.

President of Charlotte, N.C.-based Buy Gitomer, Jeffrey Gitomer gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at salesman@gitomer.com.

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