Sales Assessment - More Accurate Than Sales Management Thinks

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Dec 01, 2006 @ 14:12 PM

I have a single rule that I ask our sales development experts and their clients to follow:  When assessing sales candidates, if for whatever reason the assessment says, "Not Recommended", then the candidate must not be hired.  If the assessment says "Recommended", a candidate may still be undesirable for a handful of other reasons, but a "no is a no".   Many clients push back.  They talk about track record, the interview, how much their managers loved a candidate, etc.  And we push right back at them.  After all, our sales candidate assessments are the most accurate predictor of future sales success.  Period. 

I interviewed the sharpest candidate I have ever seen - in thirty years - in early October.  I had some coworkers interview him too.  We all came to the same conclusion - can't miss.  He had it all. Except for one little detail that I failed to share with anyone.  The assessment said, "not recommended".

Did I dare to violate my own rule?  Did I dare to override the most accurate assessment - the one I created and enhanced and fine tuned every day for the last sixteen years?  Did I dare to risk the consequences?  Our own statistics show that 75% of the candidates who were not recommended but were hired anyway, fail, usually within 6 weeks.  If I risked it, I would be as guilty as the sales development experts and their clents that use our assessments. 

I did it anyway.  He started on October 16 like a house on fire.  Today, right on schedule, six weeks into his new challenge, he resigned, discouraged, broken down by his inability to meet his own unrealistic expectations.  He failed.  I'm embarassed.  The only one who knew this would happen was my wife, the very talented marketing guru, Deborah Penta.  She met him once, early on, and predicted it.

There's a moral to this story, a lesson learned right in my own back yard.  If the OMG Sales Candidate Assessment says, "Not Recommended", do not, under any circumstances, hire the candidate. 

© Copyright 2006 Objective Management Group, Inc.

Topics: recruiting

Subscribe via Email

View All 2,000 Articles published by Dave

About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned awards for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog for eleven consecutive years and of the more than 2,000 articles Dave has published, many of the articles have also earned awards.

Email Dave

View Dave Kurlan's LinkedIn profile View Dave Kurlan's profile


Receive new articles via email
 to the Blog on your Kindle 



Most Recent Articles


 Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 -  Gold - Individual Blog

Top Sales & Marketing 2015 - Bronze - Blog Post

Top Sales & Marketing 2015 - Gold - Assessment Tool
Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 -  Bronze - Thought Leader

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 - Bronze - eBook/White Paper

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Blog

Dave Kurlan Top 50 Sales Influencer 2015

Sales Pro Insider Blog

Top 50 most innovative sales bloggers



Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee

Hubspot Top 25 Blogs