If you really dig into the challenges that IT service providers face as they transition to managed services, hiring the right salespeople is always near or at the top of the list. Gartner VP and distinguished analyst Tiffani Bova has said that only one-third of a VAR’s existing sales force will be able to make the transition. Those who have made the transition can attest, if you’re going to sell managed services you’ll need to hire more salespeople.
For many service providers, hiring employees is a daunting process — in addition to being a significant time drain trying to find the right talent. I recently spoke with Marshall Decker, CEO of managed services provider Decker Wright, a company that’s recently gone through this process, and he shared some valuable tips he learned from his training with master MSP CharTec as well as from business leadership author and consultant David Russell, creator of the MANAGEtoWIN program.
One of the first things Decker does to prescreen potential candidates is to have them follow a simple two-step process when responding to his online job ad. For example, he may ask interested candidates to email him with a copy of their resume attached as a PDF, Word document, or in a rich text format and then to click a link to take a 10-question survey. What percent of sales candidates do you think could follow those two steps? Only 50 percent!
Once Decker gets closer to identifying a potential hire, he’s discovered another invaluable test to use is the DISC profile.
“I’ve been amazed at how accurate this simple test is at matching candidates to specific job roles,” he says. “For example, we know that a good salesperson will score high in ‘D’ [dominant] and ‘I’ [influential], whereas when hiring a technician we want someone who’s high in the ‘S’ [steadiness] and ‘C’ [conscientiousness] categories.”
Decker also admits that anytime he’s short-circuited the process either by ignoring test results or skipping a step, it’s always come back to bite him. How about you? What tips have you discovered along the way that help you more quickly and efficiently identify and hire the right people for your business?