Tag Archives: Head Hunter

How Do You Identify Good Job Candidates? Four Views

Situation: A company needs to hire several upper level managers to support growth objectives In the past they have selected candidates based on referrals from existing employees or management’s “gut feel” of candidates. The results have been inconsistent. What have you done to identify good job candidates?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • The answer depends upon the success of your hiring in the past, both for areas where you are comfortable with the skill sets and those areas you are less comfortable. For example, you may be good at identifying candidates for technical positions, but not for sales and marketing.
  • One CEO’s “gut feel” hires have been consistently wrong. The solution has been to have recruiters screen and evaluate candidates. Once candidates are prequalified, only the best are presented to the CEO for final selection.
  • Another CEO uses a two-step process:
    • A recruiter selects and ranks their final two or three candidates.
    • Then the CEO gets a second opinion from another recruiter on the recommended choices of the first recruiter.
    • If both recruiters agree on the best candidate, the CEO meets the person and offers a job provided that they are compatible. If the recruiters disagree, the CEO probes the differences between the evaluations and decides whether to meet with one of the candidates.
  • Another CEO involves staff and uses a ranking system to evaluate candidates in areas of competence and fit. This produces composite scores that assist them in identifying the best candidate.

Key Words: Hiring, Manager, Selection, Referral, Gut Feel, Process, Skills, Head Hunter, Recruiter, Ranking

What Are Best Practices for Selecting Business Development Staff? Four Thoughts

Situation: A company wants to expand its business development staff. What is your experience, and what has worked best for you in selecting among business development candidates?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Your first priority is your compensation plan for the new person. There are three basic compensation schemes:
    1. High Base/Low Commission
    2. Medium Base/Medium Commission
    3. Low to No Base/High Commission
  • Choice between these options depends on your own philosophy, as well as common practice within your industry. Compensation is central to candidate selection. The CEOs recommend asking candidates about their own preferences for compensation.
    • If they prefer Option 1, don’t hire them – they either lack experience or confidence.
    • They ideally prefer Option 3 – they can make more money, but cost you little unless they perform.
    • If they prefer Option 2, probe. They may be good but face personal obligations that make it difficult to choose the high risk/high reward option. Ask about past compensation and performance. Verify any claims made during the interview.
  • You want to structure sales compensation so that non-performers leave of their own accord – without costing you dearly in time or money.
  • What are the most important traits to seek in a good B.D. candidate?
    1. Understanding of customer’s requirements as well as purchase behavior.
    2. Understanding of your product or service.
  • How do you find candidates?
    • Use a Head Hunter who knows your industry and competitors.
    • Use written tests to evaluate the individual’s traits.
    • Let the recruiter find and screen prospects and present the top 2-3 to you.

Key Words: Business Development, Candidate, Compensation, Experience, Traits, Evaluation, Base, Draw, Commission, Industry Practice, Verification, Performer, Non-Performer, Selection, Head Hunter, Personnel, Recruiter, Test