Best practice: Sales Recruitment in 2022

“People are not your most important asset. The right people are.”

Jim Collins

What a resume doesn’t tell you about the sales candidates

A resume tells you something about a salesperson, but it does not show everything. A great resume in sales can say something about a candidate’s loyalty by looking at their tenure. You can also get an idea of their overall performance or attainment. But it is tough to get an indication of their future performance based on their working history unless you know three things:

    1. What are their competencies and state of their Sales Mindset?
    2. Would you buy from this person? Do you trust him?
    3. What are their core drivers and motivators?

Together with our partner theNextSales, today we outline a better solution for uncovering those three aspects of your sales candidate and thus tackle this issue. Our joint solution consists of two proven successful tips:


1) an online sales assessment, whereby the sales candidate is asked to answer an extensive questionnaire early on in the recruitment process;


2) using video questionnaires as a means to demonstrate the candidate’s “true” skills in practice.


In the two paragraphs below, more insights will be shared into both parts of the solution and why they are relevant.

First tip: the use of an online sales assessment

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 sectors ICT, Finance and Manufacturing.

Our recommendation & observation:

1)         It is more effective when hiring managers deploy online assessments earlier in the recruitment process. The best time to do this is just after the exploratory call but prior to the first round of interviews.

2)         One benefit following from using assessments earlier in the recruitment process is that it allows hiring managers or recruiters to invite talented candidates who otherwise would have been outside of their scope due to specific requirements in the job description. For example 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. These Wild Card candidates can provide the answer to the challenge of the tight labor market.

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. The assessments dig much deeper than the candidate’s resume by providing an extensive report on their Sales Drives, Motivational Drives, Sales Attitudes, Sales Skills, and development potential and ambition as well as Sales Mindset, which according to research, is more important than the level on experience in a similar job or the education level of the candidate. Furthermore, the light version of the SalesStep questionnaire – SalesStep-Select, takes as few as 15 minutes to complete, making it the perfect tool to use in the recruitment process (with high volume). Therefore, by implementing the online questionnaire SalesStep earlier in the recruitment process, hiring managers can gain deeper insights into the competencies and core drives of each candidate, thereby not missing wild card candidates or making wrong hires.

Second tip: the use of a video questionnaire


After a positive review of the SalesStep assessment and several candidates are selected, our next solution creates a modern alternative to the traditional hiring process. By providing a video questionnaire, we can more easily assess competencies and skills by seeing the competencies in practice. This will help the employer answer some questions before inviting someone for an interview. More importantly, it reduces the chance of a bad hire dramatically.   


Sales competencies can easily be tested in the early stages by asking questions and providing small video assignments. Let us give you some examples of competencies that can be reviewed before meeting a candidate.


1 – Facilitation skills

Assignment: Make an intro, present the agenda and set the stage

How does a salesperson set the stage? Is the seller convincing in controlling the frame by selling the process first before asking questions or presenting something?


2 – Presentation skills

Assignment: Present our company in a storytelling way in under 2 minutes

Although a salesperson can practice a bit, you can’t fake a great presentation. Does the candidate know how to build a pitch and draw attention in the first 10 seconds? What technique is the seller using, and what is his vocabulary?


3 – Personality

Assignment: What would you do if…

Provide your candidate with a challenging situation with a fictional customer that is very demanding and is asking for more discounts. Ask him or her how he would solve this and why? This provides great insight into their personality


4 – Creativity

Assignment: Connection request

Show a LinkedIn profile of a famous CEO. Ask the seller to make a short video for this potential connection in 20 seconds and provide the candidate with some additional details about this person.


5 – Give energy

Would you be able to confidently say that this person is someone you would buy from? Of course not. Subconsciously you know before you know, and good energy is an invaluable asset for every seller. Especially in a digital era, it’s important to spice up your performance and increase the overall buying experience. With video, you will get a more complete impression.


By presenting two tips, we have suggested an enhanced structure for the recruitment process that is more robust and future-proof. Implementing these will result in better hiring decisions, by reducing the number of wrong hires and increasing the number of candidates by successfully identifying Wild Card candidates. 

A more elaborate presentation of our suggestions is illustrated in the graphic below: 

If you would like to learn more about SalesStep or video recruitment, you can contact us via or theNextSales via