Can A Great Resume Prevent You From Hiring an “A” Player?

I’m gonna jump right to the answer. Yup!  It can. Here’s why. A resume is a list. It’s a list of accomplishments and experiences. That’s all. It’s all good stuff, but a resume is only as good as the readers ability to match it to the job getting done and this “gap” prevents companies from hiring “A” players all the time. Here’s what happens. You build a list of requirements for the position; ten years experience, knowledge of SaaS, college degree, successful quota achievement, industry knowledge, strong closing skills, good relationship building etc. You describe the killer candidate, you nail the skills that make the best candidate in the world, BUT you didn’t stop and ask, how much of this is required to actually do the job we need them to do? This is what most candidate searches look like. gap 2   What we are looking for often misses the mark. Why, because not enough work is done around what needs to get done or in other words, what needs to be delivered. Take a look at your most recent job description. Does it describe exactly what the candidate needs to DELIVER in the role? Does it outline how the candidate will be measured at the end of the year? Does it spell out the goals? If your organization is like most, it doesn’t and this is how the gap is created. Here’s an example. Your required skill is a successful track record of meeting quota. Good, requirement, BUT meeting quota how? Does how they met quota map to what it takes to make quota in your world? Did they make quota with an inside sales team and you don’t have one? Did they make quota selling transactional, high volume sales, yet your sale cycle is long and complex? Did they make quota with established accounts and you’re looking to add logos? Did they make quota working for the 800 lb gorilla in the space and you’re a disrupter who is unknown? See, just because someone has continually made quota doesn’t mean they can make quota for you. You need to go deeper. To get the best fit requires starting with the end in mind. It requires a comprehensive list of the goals, objectives and success criteria you’re looking to accomplish. Break the job into critical parts; the environment the person will be working in, is it fast-paced, political, technical, creative, competitive etc. Be clear on what kind of environment the candidate will be working in (externally and internally) then ask what kind of skills are required to be successful in that particular environment. Next, write down the goals. What needs to be delivered? What’s quota, what type of pipeline needs to be created? How will this person be measured? What does success look like, beyond just hitting quota?  Once you know these things, identify the skills required to deliver on the goals. Do you need hunting or farming? Do you need a technical person or business acumen? Do you need an aggressive, hard charger or smooth and methodical. The key is to make sure you have complete alignment between the skill sets of the candidate and exactly what it is you need the person to do/deliver. You want it to look more like this;   gap2   It’s too easy to create a candidate profile that describes the killer sales person, but it’s not the killer sales person you need. It’s a killer sales person who’s going to crush it for you. To get that person requires you accurately outline what you want delivered — nothing else matters. Check out your most recent ideal sales candidate profile. Does it map perfectly to what has to be delivered? Here is a test to find out. Ask yourself, can this person be successful if they didn’t have this skill.  Ex; bachelors degree or equivalent? Does the lack of this requirement prevent the person from being wildly successful? If the answer is yes, then it’s a good skill. If the answer is no, you’re headed in the wrong direction. Be honest, be real.  There are few sales jobs that require a bachelors degree. I promise you, my Poli-sci degree has provided little in way of my sales success. Don’t let shinny objects distract you from being clear and accurate. Know what is real and what isn’t when it comes to finding your “A” Players. Don’t get distracted by shiny objects on a resume. Get your hands dirty and dig in to what really matters to getting the job done. That’s why you’re hiring in the first place — to get a job done.   If you’re curious on how we close the gap and grow “the win.” Check out, How to Hire A Players?, we break it all down from environment, to goal and more.