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Recruitment technology

Sales Recruitment is Falling Short When it Comes to Applicant Screening

Clare Hopping

Sales Recruitment is Falling Short When it Comes to Applicant Screening

 Vasilis/flickrThe applicant screening process is the single most important step in recruiting good sales representatives for your company.

Today’s applicants have a broad range of positions available to them, and the workforce is becoming more competitive as candidates fine-tune their personal brands and applications.

However, it can still be difficult to decide between a good candidate and one that just has the necessary skills. According to TechTarget, “50% of a company's success is attributable to the talent in the organisation.” This may seem obvious, but managers who are recruiting sales personnel need an exacting process to recruit and screen applicants in order to find the best possible employees.

In a good applicant screening for a position, “90% of candidates can be eliminated by examining job applications.”, according to Inc. But while applications can make it clear who is and isn’t qualified for different sales positions, there are a number of other tools to use and pitfalls to avoid in applicant screening.

Mistakes to Avoid and Tools that Can Help

Sales management veteran Michael Schmidtmann lists seven mistakes commonly made during the recruitment process.

Schimidtmann ranks them accordingly: “not spending enough time and attention attracting and hiring; not sourcing enough candidates; being ‘undatable’ based on first impressions; not screening candidates effectively; not being able to get a good candidate to commit; not targeting the candidate's hot buttons; and finally, not onboarding and ramping up effectively.”

These mistakes are easily avoided, and one key seems to be making sure you are effectively communicating with applicants. A personal touch, whether in an email, video, or personal interview, can provide the key to successfully attracting the best candidates.

Inc. provides a great list of tips for applicant screening. Many of these tips focus on the applications themselves: CVs that are neat, complete, mention the applicant’s outside interests, and list relevant experience are indicators of a good candidate.

Another aspect of any successful applicant screening program is the use of clear directives, communication, and requirements for potential employees. It’s necessary to decide early on what sort of information you want from applicants. BizFilings notes that it is good to know whether you’re going to “have an application you want them to fill out,” or “will you need to test your applicants?”

Also, deciding how you are going to respond to applicants, specifically by telling them whether they fit your needs or not, is a good step towards developing a positive reputation for your applicant screening and sales recruitment.

Another method available to sales recruiters is the analysis of candidates’ social media presence. The Undercover Recruiter writes that “Facebook and Twitter are being used a lot to screen job applicants. On Facebook and Twitter, we believe hirers are trying to get a more personal view of a candidate, rather than the resume-like view they will see on LinkedIn.”

The kind of personal exposure that a social media presence offers can help people in sales management get an idea of what their candidate is like in their personal life, a good barometer of how successful and responsible they would be as an employee.

New Tools for Applicant Screening

While recruitment may seem like a more difficult and daunting process than ever before, technologies like video interview software have actually made things much easier for hiring companies.

The service provided by LaunchPad Recruits, for instance, lets you review hundreds of different responses to the same interview questions, making comparing candidates a simple, one-stop process. Staying on the cutting edge with the best available recruiting software keeps your business working better, even during times of high turnover.

(Main image credit: Vasilis/flickr)

Clare Hopping

Clare Hopping has been involved in the recruitment of both full-time employees and freelance staff for ten years. She specialises in recruiting staff via social media and digital platforms.