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Why you need HR in the Boardroom and how a fractional HR Director could help

 

Forward-thinking companies understand the value of having HR at the top table, acknowledging the pivotal benefits they bring. However, some may struggle to justify a permanent appointment to exploit these advantages.

Benefits of having HR in the board room

Strategic Alignment – aligning HR strategies with overall business objectives ensures that practices like recruitment, training, and performance management support the company’s strategic goals.

Talent Management – advising on attracting, developing, and retaining top talent helps them identify skill gaps, design training frameworks, and implement strategies for team growth.

Employee Engagement and Productivity – cultivating a positive work culture and enhancing employee engagement helps boost morale, productivity, and overall job satisfaction.

Risk Management and Compliance – with expertise in employment laws and regulations, HR professionals ensure compliance and minimise legal risks.

Change Management – Efficient introduction of organisational change, whether due to restructuring or operational advancements, is facilitated by HR expertise.

Employee Well-being and Diversity & Inclusion – advocacy for employee well-being initiatives and promotion of D&I fosters a more inclusive and attractive workplace.

While these benefits are significant, what can businesses without an HR Director or Head of HR do to harness these advantages?

Increasingly, companies are turning to fractional HR Directors to leverage strategic HR leadership without the commitment to a full-time resource.

Benefits of Fractional HR Directors

Cost-effectiveness and Flexibility – scalable involvement based on fluctuating HR needs, meaning you only pay for the required time based on your tailored specifications.

HR Team Development – providing learning opportunities for existing HR teams and aiding their professional development.

Expertise and Experience – bringing fresh perspectives and innovative solutions from working with diverse clients across different industries.

Focus on Strategic Priorities – freeing internal resources to focus on core business activities and strategic priorities.

Compliance and Risk Management – keeping abreast of evolving HR regulations and compliance requirements to avoid legal and financial consequences.

Access to Specialised Skills – expertise in specific areas of HR, such as talent acquisition or employee relations, providing added value.

Objectivity and Impartiality – offering an unbiased perspective on HR issues and conflicts within your organisation.

Bringing HR to the forefront of your business strategy will ensure you build people practices aligned with your growth plans in the long term. While a full-time HRD is not always an option, hiring a fractional HR Director presents a cost-effective, flexible, and scalable solution for businesses seeking to leverage HR expertise without a full-time commitment.

To learn more about how Corvus People can support your business with its HR requirements, check out our HR Consultancy services or contact us at [email protected].

Written by Ian Weatherup.


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World Bank Report Reveals Global Gender Disparity in Workforce Opportunities

A headline that never ceases to disappoint.

It’s natural to feel outraged at the injustice of being denied equal rights and opportunities simply because of one’s gender. The slow pace of reforms, despite the clear economic benefits of gender equality, exacerbate these feelings of disappointment. It highlights a failure of leadership and a lack of urgency in addressing a fundamental issue that impacts the lives of half the global population.

Recent findings from the World Bank highlight a stark reality – no country in the world currently provides women with equal opportunities in the workforce compared to men. This revelation, far exceeding previous estimations, underscores the urgent need for action to bridge the global gender gap.

According to the report, closing this gap could potentially elevate the global gross domestic product by over 20%, presenting a significant economic opportunity for nations worldwide.

For the first time, the report delves into the impact of childcare and safety policies on women’s labour force participation across 190 countries. Shockingly, it reveals that women only enjoy 64% of the legal protections granted to men, a decrease from the previously assumed 77%. Issues such as childcare costs and safety concerns emerge as major barriers hindering women’s full engagement in the workforce.

The report’s 10th edition also sheds light on the disparity between enacted laws and their implementation in bridging gender gaps. Despite laws on equal pay being enacted in 95 countries, only 35 have measures in place to address the pay gap, with women globally earning just 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.

While some sub-Saharan African nations have shown commendable legislative progress, a significant gap persists between legal reforms and their effective implementation.

Countries like Togo exhibit high numbers of enacted laws but lack sufficient frameworks for execution.

Addressing childcare gaps emerges as a pivotal solution, with the report suggesting that improving childcare accessibility could immediately increase women’s labour force participation by 1%. Yet less than half of the countries offer financial support or tax relief for parents, and even fewer have quality standards for childcare services, leaving parents concerned about their children’s safety.

Moreover, disparities extend to pension benefits, with 81 countries failing to account for childcare-related work absences in women’s pension calculations. Additionally, while 151 countries have laws against workplace sexual harassment, only 40 cover abuse in public spaces or during commutes, leaving women unprotected on their way to work.

Indermit Gill, the World Bank Group’s Chief Economist, emphasises that discriminatory laws and practices globally hinder women’s equal participation in the workforce, potentially doubling global growth if the gender gap were bridged. However, reforms have been slow to materialise, underscoring the urgent need for action.

In the face of such staggering revelations from the World Bank’s latest report, it’s evident that the fight for gender equality in the workforce is far from over. The disparity between enacted laws and their implementation, coupled with persistent barriers such as childcare accessibility and safety concerns, underscores the urgent need for decisive action. It’s imperative that leaders and policymakers across the globe prioritise meaningful reforms to bridge the gender gap. The economic benefits are clear, the moral imperative undeniable. Let’s go beyond merely acknowledge these findings, and heed them as a call to action, ensuring that every individual, regardless of gender, has the opportunity to thrive in the workforce and contribute fully to our collective prosperity. The time for change is now.

 

Written by Lesley Armstrong.


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Killing bias from your Recruitment and Selection

 

I often get asked how to promote Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in the workplace. When it comes to D&I, it starts with the hiring process. And one of the main blockers to fair and accessible processes is our unconscious bias.

Unconscious bias in hiring refers to the subtle, unintentional, and automatic prejudices or preferences that individuals may hold towards certain groups of people. Unconscious biases are often based on factors such as race, gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, or other characteristics that are not relevant to a person’s ability to perform a job. These biases can manifest in various ways, including:

  1. Affinity Bias: Preferring candidates who share similar backgrounds, interests, or experiences with the decision-maker.
  2. Halo & Horns Effect: Allowing one positive trait or characteristic to overshadow other relevant factors, or vice versa.
  3. Confirmation Bias: Tending to favour information that confirms pre-existing beliefs or stereotypes about certain groups.
  4. Stereotyping: Making assumptions about individuals based on generalisations and stereotypes associated with their demographic characteristics.

So, how can you fix this? How do you implement fair, unbiased processes that encourage diversity? The answer lies in employing assessment techniques, which removes the gut feeling and guesswork from recruitment.

Benefits of using Assessments

  • Assessments in hiring ensure fair and legally sound practices, supporting diversity and inclusion goals.
  • They offer flexibility for unbiased evaluations in recruitment, redundancy, promotion, and leadership development.
  • Role-specific competencies identified through assessments align with company standards, ensuring precise and inclusive scoring.
  • Evidence-based feedback from assessments provides valuable insights for a transparent and equitable hiring process.
  • Scientifically backed assessment methods eliminates reliance on biased gut feelings, ensuring accurate candidate evaluations.
  • Layering & integrating various assessments establishes a comprehensive approach to reduce bias.

Effective Evaluation Methods

Assessments can come in many different shapes and sizes, but the most effective are those tailored specifically to the requirements of the role. This will ensure you are measuring what matters most and helps you identify the best person for your role. Some example assessments are:

  • Work Sample Tests: Replicate job tasks for a comprehensive evaluation.
  • Integrity Tests: Assess honesty, trustworthiness, and dependability.
  • Conscientiousness Tests: Evaluate responsibility, organisation, and hard work.
  • Structured Employment Interviews: A reliable method for assessing candidates.
  • Behavioural Consistency Method: Leverage past behaviour as a predictor of future success.

Eliminating bias from your hiring process is crucial for building a workplace that values diversity and inclusion. By recognising and tackling unconscious biases with practical assessment methods, you can escape the pitfalls of favouritism and stereotyping.

If you need support creating an assessment process that meets the needs of your organisation, while ensuring fairness, get in touch with us today.

 

Written by Michelle Kearns.


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Brand: Why trying to please everyone is an easy way of pleasing no one

 

A month or two ago, I finished my second round with Game of Thrones, brought on by a recent trip to the Studio tour in Banbridge (10/10, would recommend to a friend). There is one line from the finale that has really stuck with me – so much so that I couldn’t even pinpoint where I had heard it, but it has been rattling around up there for weeks.

‘No one is very happy. Which means it’s a good compromise’. – the one and only, Tyrion Lannister.

I agree wholeheartedly with the statement, particularly for significant decisions (policy, redundancies, or in this case, who rules the Iron Throne). But let’s not ignore the first part of the quote – no one is very happy.

I’m a marketing bod, so hopefully, that provides some context to where I am going with this – but when it comes to your brand, both from the perspective of customers and talent, too much compromise can make for an all-around bland experience. You have spent so long trying to please everyone, that in the end, it hits the mark for no one. It might be an OK exchange, but there will be someone else, somewhere else, that has got it spot on for them. And ultimately, that’s where they will go.

People are diverse with their own blend of preferences. They want authenticity and a brand that personally resonates with them. We live in a world where we are being sold to all day long. Adverts pointed at us in every direction – TV, radio, social media, email, text message, in person. You can barely step outside your door without being met with some form of marketing. The only way to actually stand out? Be different.

How to do it

Firstly, you need to understand who you are as a business. What makes you unique? What do your customers and employees love most about you? Where are your strengths, and more importantly, what are your weaknesses?

From here, you should start to build an idea of what it is you bring to the table, and what you can do that your competitors can’t. That will define your offering.

Then you need to look at who actually wants this. Who are you attracting? This goes deeper than ‘business owners’ or ‘top talent’ – because that’s exactly how we have all fallen into this trap in the first place. What type of people are they? What do they love? What do they hate? What matters most to them when it comes to buying from or joining your business? Even better, who aren’t your people? Who doesn’t need this, or want it? And who don’t you want to work with?

I’ll use a car as an example (this will be rudimentary because I know nothing about cars – please bear with me). A 7-seater isn’t sporty – it’s not the fastest, or the coolest, or a status symbol to be admired by onlookers. But does it pretend to be? No. Do they try and find a middle ground and say, ‘We’re kind of fast and kind of sporty – look, we added a spoiler’? No. It just is what it is. And instead of trying to be all things to all men, they lean into it. No, we aren’t the fastest, but we are the biggest. No, we aren’t the coolest, but we do have space and flexibility to fit your lifestyle. No, we aren’t going to be gawked at on the street, but we’re ready to take on any terrain.

For many, that is what is important. That’s their who, and they speak right to them.

Find the people that matter and start creating messaging that is meaningful to them and avoid trying to please those who don’t – they aren’t your audience, stay in your lane.

If you’re interested in seeing this in action, and keeping to my 7-seater analogy, I think this one from Lexus demonstrates strong messaging well. Not only is this aimed directly at their target audience, but it also solves a notable problem with 7-seaters – no one wants to sit in the tiny back seats!

At the end of the day, we all know compromise has its place – but don’t make it the default for your brand. Embrace what makes you distinct, connecting with those who resonate with your message. Trying to please everyone will blend you into the background. Be bold, authentic, and unapologetically yourself. It may not please everyone, but it will resonate with those who matter most. In a world saturated with compromise, standing out is the only path to success.

Written by Natasha Agnew.


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Crafting an authentic employer brand

We hear a lot about Employer Brand (EB). How can we showcase our business, make ourselves sound great, and attract the best candidates? A simple solution could be to write some fancy copy to stick on your job ads and add a list of all your benefits – but of course, if it were that easy, every business would have an amazing EB.

So, the question is, how do we create a message that resonates with our target audience and attracts them to our business over our competition?

To truly speak to your audience, you need to look at more than just what is great about your business – and too often, employers neglect to show the challenges that come with the job.

You might be thinking, “Why would I talk about the hard bits of the job? Won’t it just put people off?” but think back to getting your first car. Did your parents just hand you the keys, or did you save up and use your hard-earned money to buy it? Chances are, if you worked for months to save up, you appreciated that car more than if it was simply given to you.

When we evaluate the value of something, we need to know how hard it will be to achieve it, or it’s virtually impossible to know if we want to pursue it. Will the juice be worth the squeeze?

In a book by Bryan Adams and Charlotte Marsha, the idea is that there are three main buckets of adversity we are looking to satisfy – purpose, impact, and belonging.

  1. How can I fulfil my purpose in this business?
  2. How can I create an impact on this business?
  3. How can I feel a sense of belonging in this business?

To answer these questions, it’s essential to assess the difficulty of achieving each element. Is the wall too high to scale, or is it sufficiently high to bring meaning and value to the climb? Understanding the magnitude of the struggle is crucial.

The beauty of your EB lies in its uniqueness. Tolerance, threshold, and endurance for a company’s situations, demands, and expectations differ among candidates. Your EB acts as a smart filter, attracting those well-suited to your organisation while dissuading those incompatible with your culture.

Some candidates thrive on adversity, finding your expectations fair and even relishing the challenges. Others may be deterred. When crafting your messaging, the goal is not to attract as many people as possible but rather to attract as many of the right people as possible.

The conventional approach of boasting about being great at x, y, or z in every job ad has lost its impact. Candidates have become desensitised. Acknowledge the challenges of the job, be transparent, and create a give-and-take within your brand. This approach will yield a pool of candidates better aligned with your organisation, saving time and effort in screening those who don’t fit.

An authentic Employer Brand that embraces both the positive and challenging aspects of your business will resonate more with the right candidates, fostering a stronger connection between your organisation and potential employees.


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Workplace dynamics across the generations

Have you ever heard your grandparents say, “Back in my day….”? Or perhaps your parents reminisce about a time when things were harder, and the challenges of today seem like a breeze in comparison?

It’s a common sentiment that each generation believes they had it tougher than the one that came before and after them. But what if the challenges we face in the world of work aren’t necessarily tougher, just different?

Each generation makes its own unique journey into the narrative of the workforce. Baby boomers navigated a world without the internet, millennials witnessed the birth of social media, Generation X grappled with the transition from analogue to digital, and Gen Z is stepping into a landscape where remote work is the norm rather than the exception.
The challenges are distinct – shaped by the technology, social dynamics, and economic landscapes of their respective eras.

Baby boomers might reflect on the job security and stability of their careers – a job for life was the norm. A concept that seems almost non-existent in today’s gig economy, where the next pay cheque might come from a freelance project rather than a lifelong commitment to a single company. But in their time, job security didn’t mean the same constant career evolution demanded by today’s rapidly changing industries.

Generation X, often referred to as the “forgotten generation,” experienced the advent of technology. They saw the rise of personal computers, the birth of the internet, and the transition from analogue to digital communication. Sandwiched between the stability sought by baby boomers and the dynamic, tech-centric approach of millennials, Gen Xers developed a unique blend of adaptability and resilience. They learned to balance traditional values with the emerging tech landscape, providing a bridge between the old and the new.

Fast forward to my era, the era of millennials, where the hustle culture and the gig economy bring both flexibility and uncertainty. The pressure to maintain a vibrant online presence and the constant pursuit of side hustles can be mentally exhausting. However, we millennials also benefit from unprecedented access to information, networking opportunities, and the ability to craft careers that align with personal interests.

And now, Gen Z is entering a workforce transformed by a global pandemic. Remote work, digital communication, and adaptability are not just assets but necessities. The challenges they face may include finding a balance between the virtual and physical worlds, advocating for sustainable practices, and leveraging technology for both efficiency and well-being.

While each generation tends to argue that they had it tougher, perhaps it’s more accurate to say they faced different challenges. And while we all face struggles, we can always learn something from one another. Here’s what each generation brings to the table:

Baby boomers

Their wealth of experience provides a foundation of reliability and wisdom. Their tenure often translates into a strong work ethic and an ability to navigate challenges with adaptability – honed in an era that predates the internet (can you imagine?). Their contribution lies in a foundation of consistent career paths and a deep understanding of workplace dynamics.

Generation X

Caught in the technological shift, Gen Xers bring a unique perspective of adapting to digitalisation while preserving traditional values. They possess a pragmatic approach, often characterised by independence and resourcefulness. Gen Xers are the bridge between the analogue and digital eras, offering a balanced view of stability and innovation.

Millennials

Characterised by their adaptability, collaborative mindset, and tech savviness, millennials bring a fresh perspective. Their ability to navigate rapidly evolving technologies and their inclination towards teamwork make them valuable assets for businesses seeking innovation and efficiency.

Gen Z

This generation is known for their commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I), entrepreneurial spirit, and being true tech natives. Their passion for creating a more inclusive workplace fosters a diverse and vibrant organisational culture, and their innate entrepreneurial spirit can infuse a sense of creativity and initiative.

I’m not saying that these assets are unique to these generations. I know a few baby boomers who are much more tech-savvy than me (a millennial) – they’re just generalisations about each generation. But when harnessed effectively, their diverse traits will create a harmonious and forward-thinking workplace.

So, the next time you hear someone say, “We had it tougher in our day,” remember that they faced challenges influenced by a different world. The essence of hard work remains, but the skills needed to navigate the professional landscape continue to shift and adapt, ensuring that each generation can contribute its own unique skills and experiences to the workplace.

 

Written by Michael Hewitt.


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Creating a candidate-focused approach to early career selection

When it comes to hiring top talent for your early career programmes, a well-designed selection process is crucial for identifying candidates who align seamlessly with the competencies essential for an organisation’s success. This process goes beyond shortlisting, prioritising professionalism, fairness, friendliness, and informativeness to place the candidate experience at the forefront.

Online Assessments

Utilising online assessments, such as Emotional Intelligence, Numerical Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and Inductive Reasoning, ensures a modern and efficient evaluation process. These assessments are thoughtfully designed to align with the brand, creating a seamless extension of the selection process. 

Acknowledging the diverse demographic of candidates, and incorporating an engaging and gamified approach to assessments enhances the overall experience. With a clear and straightforward marking system, these assessments rigorously evaluate a wide range of competencies, providing a robust understanding of candidates’ abilities.

Flexibility is key, especially for candidates managing academic commitments. Online assessments offer the freedom to complete evaluations at their own pace, accommodating various schedules and ensuring a user-friendly experience.

Personalised Insights into Motivations and Experiences

Interviews play a crucial role in gaining insights into candidates’ motivations and experiences. Whether conducted in person or online, these sessions involve a brief biographical interview and competency or experience-based questions, each accompanied by a scoring system.

Collaboration with stakeholders is integral to this process. Working closely to identify specific competencies and experiences ensures a targeted assessment aligned with organisational needs. Beyond the selection phase, interviews provide an opportunity to articulate the role and its intricacies to high-performing candidates.

A Holistic and Transparent Selection Journey

Early career selection goes beyond shortlisting; it’s about creating a framework that assures candidates they are making the right career move. The process is designed to yield the best shortlist, offering clarity and transparency through a distinct scoring mechanism. This ensures candidates leave with a positive experience, regardless of immediate fit, encouraging consideration for future opportunities. With a focus on clarity in feedback and a commitment to a comprehensive selection journey, organisations aim to make every candidate feel valued and informed, setting the stage for a positive employer-candidate relationship.

 

Written by Michelle Kearns.


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2024’s top 3 talent opportunities – attract, assess & engage

When our marketing manager asked me to write a blog, I wracked my brain and thought about what people might want to hear about.

I settled on a blog on the biggest opportunities for talent attraction, assessment, and engagement in 2024. So, here goes.

Candidate Attraction

If I see another job advert talking about exciting opportunities, I might need to sit quietly in a dark corner for a few minutes.

It’s an area that needs a lot of improvement. The good news is that it’s easy to solve. Get your creative people (copywriters or marketers) involved in writing your job adverts.

Instead of telling people that it’s an exciting opportunity, tell them what makes it different. Tell them about your unique benefits or the cool projects that you work on. Talk about the positive impact that you have and the culture that you’ve built.

Ask your colleagues “Why did you accept the job offer with us?” or “What’s keeping you here?” and share the top snippets in your adverts.

Improving your job adverts is a quick win for 2024.

Candidate Assessment

Traditionally, most SMEs rely on unstructured/structured interviews to assess talent. Ambitious leaders of high-growth companies that want to start improving the accuracy of their hiring will see improving their recruitment process as a quick win – be that by improving interviewing techniques with training and the introduction of competency frameworks or by mirroring large corporates and introducing assessment centres.

As more businesses realise the benefits of becoming more selective and increasing employee engagement, they’ll see investment in the assessment of talent to be a “no brainer”.

Adding a more robust candidate assessment to your recruitment process could be a win for your talent strategy for 2024.

Employee Engagement

The UK has a problem when it comes to employee engagement. To put a figure on it, Gallup puts the UK rate at 10% vs a global average of 23%.

To put this into perspective further, the top companies globally have an average engagement rate of 72%. They also make a concerted effort to retain these highly engaged employees, allowing them to become more selective about who they bring in.

When comparing employee engagement levels, Gallup found that, versus the top quartile of business units and teams, the bottom quartile had the following differences in business outcomes:

  • 81% increase in absenteeism
  • 18% increase in turnover for high-turnover organisations
  • 43% increase in turnover for low-turnover organisations
  • 10% decrease in customer loyalty/engagement
  • 18% decrease in productivity (sales)
  • 23% decrease in profitability

There’s a huge opportunity for businesses to increase employee engagement in 2024 and in turn, increase their profitability.

One effective way to boost engagement is by promoting open communication channels and encouraging employees to express their ideas and concerns. Providing opportunities for professional development and growth can also enhance engagement, as employees are more likely to feel invested in their roles when they see a clear path for advancement. Recognising and rewarding employees for their hard work and achievements, whether through formal programs or simple expressions of appreciation, can significantly contribute to a positive workplace culture.

Conclusion

There are a lot of these types of blogs at this time of year making predictions on what the challenges will be.

I prefer to focus on the opportunities. If your business takes an interest in Attraction, Assessment and Engagement, they’ll all work hand-in-hand to set your business up for a stellar 2024 and beyond.

Build habits and processes that support your growth journey.

Corvus People is a consultancy that specialises in supporting businesses to Recruit, Develop & Retain high-performing talent. If you’d like help in any of the mentioned areas, we’d be happy to have a chat. Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

 

Written by Michael Hewitt.


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Building a dynamic sales team – easy interview questions

A company’s success often hinges on the effectiveness of its sales and business development (BD) teams. These teams are the driving force behind revenue generation, client acquisition, and overall business growth. Assembling a high-performing sales force requires careful consideration and strategic hiring.

Given the dynamic and client-facing nature of sales roles, the interview needs to assess not only their product knowledge and sales acumen, but also their interpersonal skills, resilience, and ability to navigate challenging situations.

Effective questioning allows you to delve into a candidate’s past successes, learning experiences, and strategies for overcoming obstacles, providing valuable insights into their potential contributions to a sales team. In this context, the art of asking pertinent questions is pivotal in making informed decisions and ensuring the selection of candidates who align seamlessly with the demands of a dynamic and competitive sales environment.

In this blog, we’ll explore some simple questions you can ask during the interview stage to ensure you are recruiting the right talent for sales and BD roles.

Understanding the Candidate’s Background and Approach

Tell us about your previous experience in sales and business development.

This fundamental question provides insights into the candidate’s track record, the industries they’ve worked in, and the scale of deals they’ve handled. Look for candidates with relevant experience that aligns with your company’s products or services.

Describe a successful sale you closed. What was your approach, and what challenges did you overcome?

This question delves deeper into the candidate’s problem-solving skills and strategic thinking. It helps assess their ability to navigate challenges, negotiate effectively, and close deals successfully.

How do you research and identify potential clients or business opportunities?

A proactive and research-driven approach is crucial in sales and business development. This question evaluates the candidate’s ability to identify and pursue new business opportunities through market research and strategic planning.

Assessing Communication and Relationship-Building Skills

Can you walk us through your approach to building and maintaining client relationships?

Effective communication and relationship-building are cornerstones of successful sales and business development. Look for candidates who prioritise understanding client needs, maintaining open communication, and fostering long-term partnerships.

How do you handle objections from clients, and what strategies do you employ to turn a potential rejection into a positive outcome?

Resilience is a key trait in sales. This question assesses the candidate’s ability to handle rejection gracefully, pivot effectively, and turn challenges into opportunities.

Evaluating Strategic Thinking and Goal Orientation

What strategies do you employ to meet and exceed sales targets?

The ability to set and achieve ambitious sales targets is crucial. Look for candidates who can articulate clear strategies for goal setting, planning, and execution.

How do you prioritise your leads and opportunities to maximise efficiency?

Time management is a critical skill in sales. This question assesses the candidate’s ability to prioritise tasks, focus on high-potential opportunities, and manage their workload effectively.

Gauging Adaptability and Learning Agility

Describe a situation where you had to adapt your sales approach to a rapidly changing market or industry. 

The business landscape is dynamic, and adaptability is crucial. Look for candidates who can demonstrate flexibility, a willingness to learn, and the ability to adjust their strategies in response to market shifts.

What steps do you take to stay informed about industry trends and changes?

Continuous learning is vital in sales and business development. This question assesses the candidate’s commitment to staying informed about industry developments, market trends, and emerging opportunities.

Probing for Team Collaboration and Leadership

How do you collaborate with other departments, such as marketing or customer support, to enhance the overall customer experience?

Sales and BD don’t operate in isolation. Look for candidates who understand the importance of cross-functional collaboration and can work seamlessly with other teams to enhance the overall customer journey.

Have you ever had to lead a sales team or project? If so, how did you motivate and guide your team to success?

Leadership skills are essential for growth within a sales organisation. This question helps identify candidates who not only excel in individual contributions but also have the potential to lead and inspire a team.

Building a successful sales and BD team requires a meticulous hiring process. By asking these targeted questions during the interview stage, you can gain valuable insights into a candidate’s experience, skills, and cultural fit.

Remember, the right questions not only help you assess a candidate’s past performance but also provide a glimpse into their potential for future success within your organisation. Taking the time to identify and hire top-tier sales and business development professionals is an investment that can significantly impact your company’s bottom line and long-term success.

 

Written by Charlene Craig.


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