Every sales team leader wants 'A' grade players. An 'A' player is an individual who you trust implicitly in their capabilities and in their attitude to the business as a whole. They are trusted by the team and give you time by taking on that extra responsibility. As well as being the individual who closes leads, they are a safe pair of hands.
They need to be reliable, intuitive, loyal, holistic in that they are able to turn their hand to most tasks, and they are team players but also good at working alone. But most of all they are the type of performer who thinks about the wider picture - the whole company. When they commit to their daily tasks they are also helping to build a better business and brand.
This may all sound a little bit too much to ask for. But as a leader it is how you find, interview and nurture the potential in these individuals which will eventually give you your life back and put a rocket under your company.
Interviewing for 'A' player employees
The key to finding that perfect 'A' player is creating that employee profile. Too often a job description is created which is great - but it is about the role not about the person. If you want to filter in that extra special individual, you are going to look a little deeper.
This is where you need to sit down with those managers involved in the interviewing process and create an "A" profile description of that person. You need to know what qualities you are going to be looking for above and beyond just being able to do the job. To help you develop that profile think about what would be recognised as an acceptable performance and what would be recognised as a superior performance.
It is also useful to consider "knock-out factors" for the interview process. This will help you to weed out those non-starters and leave you with those individuals who at least have 'A' player potential. So list those features you feel your candidate must possess at the very least.
Most of all never stop recruiting in your mind
That may sound a little odd in the sense that the recruitment process is expensive and time consuming and something you normally want to do as little as possible. But put it this way: How often have you been talking with an associate when networking and thought "I wish they were working for my company"? Don't stop that thought. Take it to the next stage. There may not be a job available in your company at the time, but by inviting someone to an informal interview situation you are possibly opening doors for them in the future, complimenting them greatly at where they are at and creating a database through networking which could make recruiting a great deal less expensive and efficient in the future.
This is like taking on a new mind-set because those managers who want "A" players on their team are always on the lookout for that unique person. In the same way, if you are networking efficiently online and offline you will naturally encourage the top talent to enquire. As a brand you will be recognised as a professional company that employs "A" players.
Now that can't be bad.