Sales Role Selection Made Easier.

By Chris Tandridge

Contemporary “best practices” generally require job applicants to be put through any number of assessments and interviews before an eventual selection decision is made. Successful organisations have realised that there is a substantial Return on Investment (ROI) associated with selecting the right candidate, as well as significant negative consequences associated with making poor selection decisions. Consequently, most organisations are concerned with establishing a comprehensive and predictive selection process that minimises the frequency of Type I (selecting a poor candidate) and of equal importance Type II (missing a good candidate) selection errors.

Types of Pre-Employment Assessment Tools

There are a number of pre-employment assessment products on the market, all of which claim to be predictive of on-the-job performance. This certainly makes it difficult for organisations to peel away the marketing propaganda and expose a tool for what it really offers.

Job performance is a multidimensional and multifactor construct, and as such, must be assessed accordingly. There are a number of questions that a recruiter or hiring manager should thoroughly address before making a selection decision:

TALENT – “Can this applicant do the job?”

The talent section of the performance equation helps the recruiter answer the question “Does this person have the ability/talent to do this job?”. This is where the personality assessment fits in as it provides insight into the applicant’s inherent ability to display the behaviours or characteristics required to do the job effectively. The applicant’s skills, certifications, education and credentials should also be reviewed and assessed at this stage as they too provide insight into the applicant’s ability.

HABITS – “Will this applicant work hard enough to realise their potential?”

An applicant can have all the talent/skills/education in the world, but if they are not willing to work hard enough to realise and leverage that potential, there is no way they will be successful. This is why a talent-based assessment should not be used independently. Habit or work history information is most accurately obtained through a comprehensive structured interview. Through this process, an applicant is asked to provide concrete examples of times when they displayed various competencies or character traits. The underlying assumption of this process is that past behaviour is a valid and strong predictor of future behaviour.

OPPORTUNITY – “Is the applicant a good fit for you and the organisation?”

This final piece of the selection puzzle has to do with FIT. You may be presented with strong candidates who have extensive work histories and qualifications however, if they don’t fit with your existing culture or do not relate well to your management style, their likelihood of being retained is significantly impeded. Organizational fit has been shown to directly influence satisfaction, engagement, and overall productivity (Saks, 2006). As such, it is an extremely important and often overlooked component of any valid selection process.

How Does Our Predictor of Potential – POP7.0™ – Support Your Selection Decision?

Our POP7.0™ provides a comprehensive, holistic and objective assessment of an applicant’s core character traits as they relate to success in a competitive sales position. Simply put, it assesses how natural of a fit a sales career would be for this individual by measuring them on personality traits associated with key sales competencies (eg prospecting, closing, managing rejection, networking).

Due to our instrument’s low face validity (applicants don’t know what the question is directly assessing or what items go together), in conjunction with its baseline response scale and social desirability (eg lie) scale, the POP7.0™ provides an objective assessment of an applicant’s probability for success.

Moreover, it provides consistency in an organisation’s selection process by ensuring that all applicants are being evaluated against a common benchmark.

Finally, it adds predictive validity to an organisation’s selection process, which is the standard recommended by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other government regulators of employment testing. By taking as much of the subjectivity out of the selection process, and replacing it with scientifically validated objective assessments, organisations can insulate themselves from applicant grievances and legal action while simultaneously increasing their ability to identify candidates with the highest probability for success.

Equal Employment Considerations

Pre-employment selection tools must adhere to national and international Equal Employment guidelines. As such, assessment products must be designed in a way that omits any gender, age or ethnicity biases that would subsequently adversely impact people with these demographic characteristics while engaged in the hiring process. The POP7.0™ was designed with EEOC considerations in mind and has been tested repeatedly for the past 30 years.

Validity Group provides comparative analyses according to all designated EEOC classifications as part of its annual validation process. In order to comply with EEOC guidelines, no statistically significant differences should exist between these designated categories.

Making it Easy

Our POP7.0™ makes the use of science and data easy and affordable for any size organisation and every department head. Easily used and interpreted reports means that every hiring manager can make a fully informed decision and be armed with the specific interview questions for each applicant. No requirement for certifications means no bottle necks when reviewing candidates, as every hiring manager can use the reports themselves. It also means that every organisation, even those without a HR department, can at last use a reliable and affordable assessment that delivers strong indicators of performance.

Learn more by contacting us today!

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