As recent graduates start entering the workforce, a handful of sobering statistics are bound to occupy the minds of sales recruiters everywhere.
- By age 30, the average millennial has had an average of 6.4 job changes and 3.5 employer changes.
- The average sales force loses one-third of its headcount each year.
- The cost of a bad sales hire can range from $25,000 to $50,000.
- Sales representative is the second hardest position to hire for in 2015.
The responsibility for employee retention starts with recruiting. There are many factors that impact whether a salesperson will be a successful hire, but handing out offers to the wrong people is a guarantee your employees will leave sooner rather than later.
Even if it isn’t your day job, a sales interview should come naturally -- it’s not too far removed from qualifying a prospect. But when you’re sitting across the table from recent college grads, things can get tricky. Without an extensive employment history to reference, it can be difficult to establish a candidate’s track record in a professional environment.
So when evaluating new graduates, it’s even more important to know what exactly you’re looking for. The infographic below from Sandler Training highlights key areas to focus on in a sales interview: communication skills, accountability, personal energy, ability to work on a team, competitive drive, rejection handling, and professionalism. Each skill is accompanied by tips on how to assess it.
When evaluating a candidate’s “personal energy,” for example, Sandler suggests observing behavior in the interview as well as past experience:
- Do they seem engaged?
- Are they asking good questions?
- Were their college years filled with extracurricular activities, volunteer service, and internships?
Ultimately, there’s not much you can do to keep an employee around if they’re set on leaving. But by being more deliberate in your hiring, you’re increasing your chances of finding salespeople who will stick around for the long haul.