What could be the solution to ensure that you do not miss out on Wild Card Sales Candidates and that you hire the right sales candidate for the position?

SalesStep's recommendation for fulfilling sales vacancies more quickly

Due to the severe shortage in the labor market, entrepreneurs and recruiters are fiercely looking for new creative ways to fulfill their (sales) vacancies. 

At SalesStep, we are experiencing this as a significant increase in the number of requests for candidate sales assessments.

The use of online assessments has skyrocketed in recent years. And within recruitment processes, assessments are too often used after the first or second interview (as a "sanity check"). However, many candidates do not make it through the first selection round because they often do not have the right sector expertise or experience. We see this, particularly in the ICT, Finance and Manufacturing sectors. 

Our recommendation & observation: 1) Hiring managers can also deploy online assessments earlier in the recruitment process, hence just after the sanity check but before the interviews. 2) In addition, these recruiters or hiring managers could stop with rejecting candidates who don't have the right education, sector expertise and or experience. 3) We see a remarkable number of what we call “Wild Card” candidates who are still successfully hired and onboarded. Wild card candidates are therefore hidden gems who, based on their resume, often are not invited to an interview due to a lack of sector expertise but still have a lot of potential. With the insights gained by a SalesStep assessment, it is a lot easier to identify and highlight these hidden gems. Since the SalesStep report goes a lot further than the candidates resume and provides an extensive report on their Sales Drives, Sales Mindset, Motivational Drives, Sales Attitudes and Sales Skills as well as development potential and ambition. Therefore, we consider these Wild Card candidates as the hidden gems that could offer a solution in the tight labor we are in right now.


For that reason, we decided to investigate the success criteria for Wild Card candidates in successfully onboarding new Sales colleagues. We consulted 39 of our partners and customers worldwide with the following question:

What are the most crucial criteria to the successful hiring and onboarding of new salespeople?

We examined five selection criteria used by our customers and partners during the recruitment process. These criteria were:

    •           Experience in a similar job
    •           Sector expertise and market knowledge
    •           Sales Skills
    •           Education level
    •           Sales Mindset (i.e., Motivation, drives *)

In addition, we asked them to rank the most important success criteria for successful onboarding of their new salespeople and results of that survey are listed below.

Here are the (surprising) results from our survey:

          1) Sales Mindset (i.e., Motivation, drives *) | 31%

       2) Experience in a similar job | 24%

       3) Education level | 18%

           4) Sector expertise and market knowledge | 12%                   

           5) Sales Skills | 10%

           6) Others | 5%

The results show us that the most distinguishing criteria for successful onboarding are indeed not the right education or sector expertise. But having the right Sales Mindset is according to our customers and partners significantly more decisive for the future success of the sales candidate.

For some of our customers, this is not a surprise at all. But the practice of changing the hiring criteria and the recruitment process has proven to be difficult.

This is why, with the help of the findings of this research study, we encourage managers and executives to

closely review their recruitment process and hiring criteria and start to seriously consider "Wild Card candidates" in the process more frequently.

Lots of success in recruiting your next sales champions!

Questions? Contact us at: info@salesstep.com  info@salesstep.com

* When we refer to Sales Mindset, we mean Drive To Win, Passion, Motivation, Drives, Mental Fitness, and Sales Attitudes, among others.

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