New research proves far too often, managers focus only on sales candidates’ positive characteristics, and not nearly enough on their negative ones.
This according to Million-Dollar Hire author David Jones, whose research proves managers can reduce turnover and ensure better hiring decisions by placing equal emphasis on a candidate’s “dark side.”
According to research Jones conducted via hundreds of business organizations, “Candidates with an inclination toward perfectionism and
a near obsession with pleasing customers” actually performed worse than their run-of-the-mill counterparts.
Candidates who exhibited “some degree” of questionable behavior (e.g., sarcasm, lack of professionalism, etc.) actually performed better and had more of a tendency to stay with the organization for a long period of time.
Personality traits recruiters should be leery of, especially if they’re readily apparent during the initial interview:
- High excitability, aloofness and skepticism are usually signs of a rep who’ll drift from the group in times of high stress, abandoning traditional sales practices.
- Extreme boldness or mischievous behavior are signs that a rep may try to manipulate other salespeople, or create a schism in the group if a personality conflict arises.
- Perfectionism is often a sign that a candidate will be high maintenance, constantly in need of validation for his/her contributions, rather than focusing on big-picture tasks.
The key: Seek out candidates who show a healthy mix of positive and negative behaviors, while avoiding those who veer too far in one direction or another.