What is the safest bet for a hiring manager looking for the next sales superstar?
Option 1. Seek out that “perfect fit”… Someone that has the pristine resume, aligns to the customers, knows your products and space… Oh and yes they are just waiting for you to call and jump ship from probably a perfectly fine situation.
Option 2. Seek out an up and comer, kind of like a seasoned stock investor looking for the next diamond in the rough.
I went through an interesting recent interview with someone who came highly regarded as a strong up and coming draft pick. The candidate on paper and in person had all the obvious holes… Lack of time in the patch/role, new to the area, not playing in the high end of the industry, and coming from a “B” rated company. Nonetheless, I was intrigued based on the recommendation and went for the first date.
What struck me as unusual was the candidates lack of self awareness on where they were at in terms of career maturity and personal development. They kept going on and on about the desire to move into management (IMO without any really good reason other than a desire to “lead” people). It came across like wanting to build a penthouse in a condo without finishing laying down the foundation. This was a key driver in the person being open to picking up their head.
Admittedly, I saw a lot of potential and someone with a solid intellectual ceiling and serious motor. Despite my interest, my concern shifted towards entitlement and expectations…
Can I really keep this person happy on the team even if we really spelled it out for them? In the majority of careers and industries, you have to pay your dues- there are no short cuts! I relate it to being a Black Belt in Brazilian JiuJitsu. Yes, you can be a very good Blue Belt or whatever rank for that matter and likely give people a really hard time… but there is nothing like time on the mat and in the gym. This is where you learn the fine intricacies of what separates Black Belts from the others.
I did my fair share of separating the history from the future. Many cite the ability to get the job done but have you really done it and done it consistently?
I am firm believer every candidate is going to have holes otherwise you are hiring someone over-qualified who should already be off doing the next thing. The hunt continues, no stakes higher than adding new talent into your team.
What is your formula for hiring the best? More to come on The Sales GOAT!
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