Ernst & Young got rid of their degree requirement a while ago - so why haven't you? There are still many entry level positions out there that require experience.
There are a lot of reasons you may not have, but the point is to get our brain to recognize that there are data points and use cases that show new paths are leading to success.
Have you ever hired someone with a degree, that you’ve had to let go?
I’m guessing you have, and if you have that means having a degree is not the end all be all when it comes to success at your company. Education is still very important, but when used as an isolated barrier of entry it’s proven to not be the most effective way to grow a healthy team and culture. So what is?
That ‘what is’ is something we at Always Hired have a passion for learning more about.
Our team has over 25 years of first hand closing experience in addition to owning sales leadership roles where we have interviewed thousands of candidates in person.
What made us better than our fellow sales leaders? We could hire for more than just experience. We knew what experience we should look for in people that would translate well into sales success from an entry level on.
So here is how we did it:
Replace work experience with life achievements
Many SDR roles ‘require’ previous SDR experience. I really don’t get it, you want an SDR that got fired after 5 months at their previous job? Or, you want an SDR with 3 years of experience still working as an SDR? Both of those sound like pretty shitty options to build a team when you have big revenue expectations and a short timeline. Those profiles are straight up B players. Yes, you could just try and hunt candidates with exactly 9-15 months SDR experience but that is an uphill battle.
Instead think about being an SDR this way: a human being that knows how to play well with others, self-start, handle adversity, find key stakeholders, stay positive, and figure things out on their own always do well in sales. Below is the formula to substitute life experience for work experience.
It’s hard enough to communicate with your friends, family and coworkers. Imagine doing it in another language with strangers.
What about working in a team environment, is that important to you as a hiring manager for sales talent? Does this person need to know how to drive individual results while focusing on the big picture and overall success of the team?
Well then you should look for people who have organized sports experience. They know how to be responsible for their own KPIs, while understand the team W comes above all. 2+ years of organized sports experience translates well to 1 year of entry level sales work experience.
What you can start doing is creating a point system and including Degree as a sub for 1 year, as an example. So let’s say you want an SDR with 2-3 years of inside sales experience, because you know that person is likely to perform well and quickly. Next time trying using life achievements substitute for experience. Do it with 3-5 hires and tell me what you see in the data. If you see an increase (which you will) - send me an email and we can go celebrate/talk shop over a coffee in SF.
BTW - once the lead (candidate) is qualified, you still need a great process to close them. I’ll be writing another blog on the best questions/process to ask when hiring sales talent. This is important when trying to find the best candidates for your entry level positions.
Let’s be the change we want to see.
Let’s fix the Skills Gap.
Let’s hit revenue targets.
PS - care to share any other substitutes you’ve found to be effective predictors of sales success?
Gabriel Moncayo, Co-founder and CEO
The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals first published this article here.
- Traveled to 5 countries = 1 year experience
- Lived in 3 countries = 1 year experience
- Speaks multiple languages = .5 year experience per language
- 2 years organized sports at a competitive level (not intramural) = 1 year experience