Monday, 9 March 2015

EQ or How to recruit salespeople

As a business owner, you probably do realize that more and more people pass the technical and psychological test in your recruitment process, but hiring them does not seem to bring more value to your business. There is still the 20% of your sales team that provide the 80% of revenues. The 80-20 is a valid rule, but you should wonder why this is happening and what makes the 20% special. Believing it or not, it’s emotional.

We, at Nexus, started by interviewing salespeople and following our instincts or just trusting them for the job. Turned out that many of the trusted persons left the job shortly after being hired. Then we decided to recruit by testing their logical skills and the results were similar. By trial and error, we found the best way to expand our team: we now test for logical thinking and a high EQ.

EQ or Emotional Quotient got into the spotlights as studies showed that this quotient is most inclined to influence success and business growth than personality or IQ.
The EQ reveals that a person has a set of competencies that prove he or she has the ability to recognize self behavior, moods and catalysts, and to respond best according to the situation.
According to Mike Poskey from Zerorisk HR, Inc., there is a set of five emotional intelligence skills that studies proved to be more important in the workplace than skills achieved by education or personality traits combined. 

In his article, “The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the workplace: Why it matters more than personality”, he divides the EQ competencies in social competencies which determine how people handle relationships and personal competencies which determine how people handle their own behavior. Social competencies include intuition and empathy, political and social skills and personal competencies include the three Selves: Self awareness, Self regulation and Self expectations & motivation.

The EQ test results portrait the person that will come later to the interview and makes it easier to test the accuracy of his or her answers or if the person fits the needs of your company. And he or she has to fit. One unfit, influencer type employee can harm the productivity of a whole sales department and can decrease the company's incomes. On the contrary, suitable sales people can increase revenues even if they are fewer. So keep this in mind: more employees don't necessarily mean bigger profit. We actually experienced situations about 2 times more salespeople and 40% less sales.

Furthermore, experience taught us that any recruiting tests also need to be verified by personal interaction through an interview after you have in mind the characteristics of the perfect candidate. But you have to know exactly what you need! Start from this and only afterwards focus on finding emotional intelligence tests online, training your HR team to apply and interpret the tests or even externalizing the process.

Also, the beauty of this set of five competencies is that they can be trained and improved. After you get the right sales people, you have to invest continuously in their soft skills by training and coaching them to overcome their limits and develop their emotional intelligence.

If you care for other success stories, have two more great examples:

A Texas-based Fortune 500 Company had utilized personality assessments for candidate selection for a long time with little results in reducing turnover and boosting revenues. After switching to an emotional intelligence-based assessment and EQ training and development program, they increased retention by 67 percent in the first year, which meant $32 million extra from reducing turnover costs and increasing sales revenues.

Also, a large metropolitan hospital reduced their critical care nursing turnover from 65 percent to 15 percent within 18 months of implementing an emotional intelligence screening assessment.

Furthermore, one study conducted by a Dallas corporation measured the productivity of employees with high and low EQ scores. Turns out the ones with high scores were 20 times more productive than the ones with low EQ scores.

So maybe it’s time to change the way you recruit your sales people and hire only persons that can increase that 20% percentage, nurture them, help them grow and be patient at least 3 months to see results. Be sure your business will thrive and your employees will be optimistic, empowered and productive.
Photo source.