$100,000 Hiring Boondoggle

I don’t want to go on a rant here but why is it when companies want to purchase something that’s going to cost $25,000, $50,000, or more, they strike up a committee to investigate what’s available, check out all the competition, argue and bicker for hours, and take months to make a decision. But when it comes to hiring a salesperson, they make the decision over a two-drink lunch?

I know, I know, not every hiring decision is made over a two-drink lunch. That’s simply my metaphor for a shoddy hiring process.

For a company, hiring a salesperson is like an individual buying a house, it’s one of the more expensive "purchases" a company makes. These days it’s not unusual for salespeople to make $100,000 or more a year. Keep them for five years and that’s a half a million dollars invested in someone you hope will pay for themselves, plus make some money for you as well.

You’re lucky if you get your initial investment back in the first year. By then you’ve discovered that the two-drink lunch bought you a dud and you’ve not only lost your investment but you’ve lost a bunch of customers and potential business as well.

This being the case, you’d think that companies would take more care when making the hiring decision. Cripes, many companies don’t even check references any more. And use a sales assessment test? Forget it! Who needs that!

Like training, hiring shouldn’t be an event, it should be a process, and a well thought-out one at that.

That’s the way I see it anyway.

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2 Responses to “$100,000 Hiring Boondoggle”

  1. Simon September 15, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    That’s the way I see it too. I couldn’t agree with you more. But it’s difficult these days to check references. Employers are afraid of getting sued if they say anything detrimental.

    • Brian Jeffrey September 15, 2009 at 10:31 am #

      You make a good point. But there are ways of structuring your questions that will get you the information you are looking for.

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