The problem with the ‘ideal’ candidate

Do you struggle to find people who are a 100% fit for your team’s needs?

A senior manager from one of Australia’s biggest employers (and a respected household brand) said to me, “When we are recruiting, we look for and hire people who are 65% ready for the role and demonstrate a strong cultural fit. If they have 100% of the experience we need, then they are overqualified and will not remain challenged in the position long enough.

Too often hiring managers want to make a low-risk, safe and easy choice and employ someone who has all the experience, skills and qualifications to do the job. That way, they won’t be taking any risks and don’t even have to train the new employee. However, what happens when your new employee wants your job or another one in a year’s time, because they are no longer challenged or because the right opportunity presents itself?

3 Best Practices to find Top Sales Performers:

  1. Before you recruit, determine what can be taught within the short term, and focus on finding people who bring skills and experiences that take longer to acquire (eg Strategic selling).
  2. Cast a wider net with these criteria through HR and your recruitment partner to find and interview candidates who have the longer-to-acquire skills and experiences but not necessarily things that can be taught relatively quickly (eg Product knowledge).
  3. Co-develop a 30-60-90 day plan with your new employee to address their knowledge gaps. What they received in learning, they will give back in performance.

The Top Sales Performers seek opportunities where they can earn, learn and grow personally and professionally. They aim high and will most often seek opportunities even where they are not a 100% fit but where there is an element of the new and challenging. They will not leave their existing roles for anything less. Therefore, it is unlikely you are going to have too many candidates who are a 100% fit.