I landed my first entry-level inside Sales Associate job working in the cubicle trenches for a subsidiary of a massive global corporation. I was so thrilled! The interview process? All it took was a phone call and interview with the Inside Sales Manager (plus a meeting with the HR Manager of course). “Wow! that was almost too easy!” I later found out that it was, indeed, way too easy. I was too excited to really notice and he was as enthused as I was. The initial in-person 1:1 interview took the tone of a conversation between friends rather than what I imagined would be a high-pressure situation where I was to be seated in front of a tribunal full of people in highly professional attire firing questions at me about my SAT scores and college GPA. “Weird,” I thought, “but maybe my interpersonal skills are so good that a ‘real interview’ isn’t necessary!” Looking back – was this really the case? Nope.
Anyone reading with hiring experience will recognize my former manager’s hiring process was not only lacking, it was nonexistent! Is this freestyle type of interviewing good practice? Not by a longshot. People who’ve done research into the history of job interviews (they actually exist!) describe what I experienced as a laissez-faire interview. Essentially, where there should have been a process, there was a void. And it had serious repercussions.
It wasn’t until we, the company’s first Inside Sales team (all five of us hired in the span of a week), started our work when I realized something was up. We all had the same orientation, same training on an advanced technology product, and the same objectives. Off the cuff there were two others beside me doing amazingly; successfully making appointments off cold calls within a week, collaborating with the remote sales representatives, setting up demos and conference calls, and dutifully logging all communication in our CRM. We were the “A Team.”
However, while the A-Team garnered considerable traction, I started to notice (and I’ll put this politely) a severe divergence in the quality of work performed by the other two in our cohort; both had dread of making outbound calls, they did a mass send to twenty-five customers a day to keep their CRM activity log somewhat up to par, but the dollar signs speak for themselves, and it didn’t take long for the Sales Department to recognize that these two hires weren’t ready, willing, or capable of doing their work.
So who’s to blame here? The Inside Sales Manager who hired people he thought would make good pals? The two hires who didn’t work out? The company? Answer: none of the above. This isn’t politics, this is business. Instead of wasting our time blaming people, let’s take a closer look at what were the systemic problems in this particular hiring process.
I found out later that the Inside Sales Manager, along with his own quota and sales responsibilities, was simply given a budget and orders to hire an Inside Sales team and to do it fast. That’s no easy task – especially for someone with no previous hiring or interviewing experience. Without enough time for screening, a hiring team, or methodical process for interviewing, it was impossible to build a consistent high-caliber sales team.
Solution? Outfitting your hiring teams with a Talent Management Platform ensures a consistent structure in your interviews. EasyHire.me, for example, provides the ability for hiring managers to conduct Live and On Demand video interviews that can be recorded for later review by fellow team members. There’s no room for the laissez-faire style interview in a situation when a dedicated and focused hiring team (not just a single individual) plans and collaborates around the most relevant questions to ask or projects to give. If the two Sales Associates who didn’t work out were made to do mock cold call for mock product demonstration, surely things would have taken a different direction.
For those of you reading who’ve been in a similar experience or are getting too many of the “wrong fits,” we’d be more than happy to show how EasyHire.me can enable talent acquisition teams to conduct efficient, consistent, and meaningful job interviews!