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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

What to Do When Your Favorite Candidate is Not Recommended by Your Trusted Talent Assessment


What to Do When Your Favorite Candidate is Not Recommended by Your Trusted Talent Assessment

Scenario: A team member comes to you, excited because a former coworker, a Top Performer, has just let them know that they are looking for a new position.

They are perfect for an opening on your team! You become excited because that opening has been hard to fill. Finding quality candidates has been hard and the competitive job market brutal.

So you can’t wait to hire this person. But before you meet with them, you have them take the Sales Talent Assessment, confident that their talents will match the glowing description by your AE.

Then comes that email. Not recommended to move forward in your process.

What?! How can this happen? And what do you do next?

Always Be Recruiting 

With the tight job market, a lack of talented candidates has been a constant concern for hiring managers. Even those with a strong talent bank are struggling because many sellers are not willing to leave their current job or relocate because of the unstable economy.

And with a focus on work-life blend, culture, fit, remote work, and social conscience taking precedence with a growing number of Millennials and Gen Z workers, finding candidates, any candidates, is increasingly difficult. All of this means that as a manager, you need to always be recruiting.

When you are at a bar or restaurant, a retail store, or even watching a sports game, always be looking for someone who shows some of your must-have talents. When you have many candidates, you will likely find a few who are recommended with the right talents.

A Leader’s Guide to Recruiting Sales Superstars

Must-Have Talents

What are must-have talents?

They are the talents that you can’t live without. Download the Job Analysis and Spec Sheet in the CSS library and spend some time picking your non-negotiable and preferred talents. When a candidate completes the Sales Talent Assessment, grab your Spec Sheet and compare their talents to your must-haves. This will often offer clarity on whether you want to move them to the next step.

Don’t hire every Recommend or throw out every Not Recommended. If a candidate has your non-negotiable talents and looks like a good fit for the team and culture, then schedule a pre-hire feedback call with a Talent Analyst to discuss how those talents fit the position.

It’s important to remember that the Sales Talent Assessment does not predict Failure; it predicts Success.

When a candidate is "Not Recommended," that classification means that your candidate does not have a sufficient level of consistent talent in the areas that we know are key to success in the job. Because they did not meet the minimum threshold determined by the benchmark study, we are unable to predict success. So, while half of "Not Recommended" candidates will likely see some success in the job, they are unlikely to be Top Performers.

9 Sales Leadership Qualities to Look for in Top Performers

Top Sales Teams Need Top Performers

Top Sales Teams need Top Performers!

So with that said, it’s important to play the odds. While some Not Recommends will succeed, if you hire a recommended candidate, the odds of success shoot up to 80%. So wherever possible, hold out for talent! Your candidate's odds for success and your odds for a top-performing seller are much better.

In these tough economic times, making the right hire is vital. To increase the odds for success, define your must-have talents using the Job Analysis and Spec Sheet, make sure your new hires take the Sales Talent Assessment, and schedule a pre- hire feedback. And Hold out for Talent!

We know it's hard, but so very worth it in the end.

Talent is only a strength when the fit is right.

*Editor's Note: This blog has been updated since its original post date.

Topics: hiring salespeople sales talent assessment