As a manager of a sales team or a team of supervisors, there will be a time when you need to bring a new member to the team. You have to cut the pile of candidates and resumes down to the final few.
What criteria should you follow when you pick up the phone and call someone to offer the job?
A lot is going to depend on the makeup of your team. BUT more importantly, it will also depend on how you RUN your team. Are you a hands-on and structured supervisor, do you deliver consistent manager training to groom your team members? Or do you just let people do it their way and only focus on the end result?
Company X is opening two new call centers. The Call Center Managers (CCMs) are told they can speak to any existing managers in the company as well as any current employees to assemble teams for their new centers.
CCM A, who is a top sales person on the floor, recruits people who are his friends and who are like himself. All top salespeople, high energy, not very structured, looking to make a name for themselves by standing out from the pack.
CCM B is also an above average salesperson, but he recruits folks with a variety of backgrounds and personalities. A combination of solid salespeople and good team players with a strong work ethic, and all eager to follow leadership and do whatever is needed for this opportunity.
The results: When Team A was on fire they had great sales numbers, but when they were a little off, they had horrible numbers. Why? After all, individually these were all the top sales people. But as a unit, they were scattered and divided, running from one idea to the next to get results, sometimes hitting their mark, but often times not. Overall, it was a very stressful place to work and folks started to burn out.
Team B did not hit the super highs of Team A on a given week, but also never had the lows. Time showed that Team B’s consistency allowed them to be more productive. Their CCM was hands-on and structured, groomed his talent internally and managed growth at a pace they could handle. No individual superstars, but the team as a whole eventually outranked every other sales office and blew everyone out of the water.
One of the key reasons that Team B was more successful in the long run is due to the manager’s initial decision to recruit different personalities to fit different roles.
So, back to “draft” day and who do you pick?
Here are three things managers should focus on when deciding on a new team member.
1. Recruit for the position. Don’t try to fit a Top Salesperson who is used to working on their own into a position where they have to work by committee.
2. Recruit for the skills that are important to the position. If work ethic is more important than experience, so be it. I personally will always take someone with 100% work ethic and 75% experience than the other way around.
3. Recruit for personality. This is a bit tougher, but if you already have the high energy, big ego salesperson, don’t hire another one. It can tip the balance of your team. Hire someone who is confident, but a more even keel personality.
On Draft day, choose the player who fits into your overall team’s needs. Don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole or convince yourself that you can make it work. This will backfire because the new individual is not being set up for success and both they, and the team, will suffer.
Let me know your thoughts.
Improved Performance Solutions is a management consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations improve their profits through streamlining processes and increasing production from their employees.