By: Jeff Hoffman
The beginning of the year often brings on the addition of new team members. As a manager, or team lead, you’re responsible for making sure that your team continues to perform well and hit your numbers. And so it is imperative that any addition to your team measures up, and that you determine their success at the company as quickly as possible.
But how do you quickly and effectively evaluate your new hires? In the next two posts I’ll explain how to quickly determine whether or not your new hire is working out, and if they aren’t, how to quickly remove them from your team.
In Part 1, I explain the three steps I’ve established to adequately determine if your new hire is a good fit… or a DUD.
Here are three steps for determining if your new hire is a good fit.
1. Establish Metrics of Achievement for their First 30 Days.
You want to start with the premise that when you hire someone in any department, one of the things you need to consider is the milestones you are looking for in the first 30 days. What are the things you want to see that will make you think/know that this person will be a killer addition to your team? And keep in mind, you can’t use any existing metric in these first 30 days. Why? Well, it isn’t fair to the new hire, as they don’t know the product as well as your current team members. So any existing metrics, such as KPIs or number of meetings, won’t be an effective way of evaluating your new hire. Additionally, if we rely on traditional metrics, you will force yourself to wait far too long for the evaluation of the new hire. You’re looking at 6 months or more, and that’s far too long. (More on that later.)
So how do you know your new hire is a good fit in the first month? If you ask any manager, or successful sales leader, how quickly they had doubts about a new hire in their career, they will almost always say ‘immediately.’
So the first step in evaluating your new hire is to determine what those milestones will be. And really challenge yourself here. What do you want to see? What do you not want to see? What did you, yourself, do in your first 30 days in a new role? Personally, I conducted interviews with customers, during my first 30 days at a new company. It was a great way to learn about the value of the product, as well as get to know why your happy customers bought it. That’s something to put in there. You want to make these metrics something that will establish some level of achievement that they’re going in the right direction.
2. Make Sure There Are Spiffs, Contests, or Public Activities They Can Participate In.
Most free stuff, swag, spiffs, etc. are only available to the people who have been with the company for a long time. For example, the rep with the most deals closed, the largest pipeline, or the shortest average time to close. Having new hires compete in an existing spiff or challenge won’t tell you anything because they don’t know the product and don’t have the longevity that the existing reps have to back up on.
Overall, it just won’t be enlightening to you as a manager, evaluating their success in this new role. The new hires need contests that allow them to compete with existing reps on the same level. You want to make sure you can see your new hire perform on the same level as your existing reps, so any comparisons you make are more telling to you as team leader.
3. Have Your New Hire Practice Their Pitch To A Non-Sales Executive.
One of the tasks you have to get done quickly is to evaluate your new hire’s skills. And you should do this in a very specific way. Have them practice their corporate pitch to a non-sales executive. And you want it to be the same non-sales executive. Say to them, ‘Bill, I want you to do the presentation to the head of product three times.”
Having a consistent coach and judge to see someone’s changes and improvements in real time is very important in your evaluations. You’ll be able to learn whether or not they can take direction, feedback, and if they are able to apply those to make real strides in their presentation. Additionally, presenting to a non-sales executive will help them strengthen their presentation skills, and vocabulary.Your other company team members will not know the same sales jargon, so the rep will be forced to be clear, concise and articulate in their pitch – exactly what you want from them when they are pitching to prospects.
Your new hire can learn about the product, but without these necessary skills you’ll learn from these exercises, it’s likely they won’t be a successful addition to your team.
These are three things you MUST establish and do before you even consider hiring new people. Make the effort to have a solid evaluation foundations.
Stayed tuned for Part 2 where I’ll explain how to fire your new hire, if they are just not making the cut.