Talent Assessment: Pinpoint Gaps in Your Salesforce

Taking on the wrong sales person can cause real problems for your business. This won’t happen if you are clear on who you need from get-go.

The beginning of the year is one of the busiest times for recruitment. It’s a time where employees reassess a career and often, decide to move on. From a company’s point of view, recruitment represents one of its biggest investments, and also one of the riskiest. This is even more so in today’s environment: as jobs become scarcer, candidates are ever more willing to expand their horizons from their ideal. How can you avoid costly mistakes? Read on to find out.


The Wrong Fit

Every employer has a story about someone they have recruited that didn’t fit in, and that’s because recruitment is far from being an exact science. It’s difficult, during an interview, to gauge a person’s work ethic or their source of motivation. No candidate will admit that they lack the confidence to take on high-end deals or that their motivation is really an easy life.

The Cost of Recruiting

It can take around six months for an employer to discover that the salesperson is not ideal for their role. That’s not only six months of investment that went to waste, but also the less tangible cost of the lost opportunity. An employer starts paying their new salesperson a salary from day one, but how long until that investment pays for itself? And what if it doesn’t?

Interviews are Subjective

An interviewer naturally gravitates to a person who is similar to themselves. They have a set of personal preferences – consciously or unconsciously – that are determining factors in their decision. Perhaps the recruiter is a manager who has just lost three members of their sales team. They’re going to be in a hurry to fill those spaces.

In short, interviews alone are an expensive and fallible way of recruiting.

What if There Was a Better Way?

By finding out the following 4 things, the costs of recruitment can fall dramatically:

  1. Is the salesperson a good fit in within the culture of that company?

For example, do they thrive on working in a team and need a nurturing environment?

  1. Is the salesperson an ideal fit for the role?

Perhaps the new candidate has come on board in a ‘new business’ capacity, but is not used to picking up the phone and discovering that their target audience has no idea who they are.

  1. Does the salesperson have the right motivation?

What gets them out of bed in the morning to go to work?

  1. Does the salesperson have the skills needed to perform the job well?

Or do they have a gap in skills set or attitude?

All businesses vary. All jobs are different. However, every employer can benefit from giving their potential employee a talent assessment in the following 5 ways:

  1. It flushes out the aforementioned four elements at the shortlist stage, meaning that the salesperson employed possesses the right attributes for the job.
  2. Research proves that employees who have the right profile will perform well and deliver a lot earlier.
  3. In addition, the talent assessment then becomes part of the employee’s personal development plan.
  4. The biggest win of all is an employer knows what motivates that salesperson.
  5. And of course, they cut the costs of recruitment dramatically.

Getting the Right Fit

One client, a small IT firm, can’t afford to make mistakes in its recruitment. Every time they see someone with some potential, they ask Longley Academy to perform a talent assessment.

The assessment looks at the cultural, job role, motivational fits and the skills set of the candidate. If there is an issue with the cultural fit, the company simply doesn’t employ that candidate. However, if there is a cultural fit but not a job role fit, the company has the information and ability to restructure the salesforce. This has allowed them to incorporate a really good person into a different role.

Consequently, to date, this client feels that they haven’t made any mistakes on recruitment, they haven’t experienced any attrition and the people they have employed have delivered within three to six months, which for them as a small business, is crucial.