Dealing With the Resumé Haystack

Neil HartleyHiring ChallengesLeave a Comment

haystack in a field

Tech is a hot space and, for startups, hiring the right people is critical to the future success of the business.

Given that most founders have a solid technical background, identifying whether a developer can do the job is relatively straight forward. Do they have the relevant Ruby experience, have they worked with Angular are both relatively straight forward to determine for a technical founder.

However, hiring sales people is an altogether different proposition. They don’t advertise their skills in the same way and, even if they did, is it clear which skill sets are required to fulfil the requirements of the role? This is particularly the case for that first sales hire, the Pathfinder.

Layer into this the challenge of dealing with potentially hundreds of applications for your first sales hire (on top of everything else you need to do) and you’re very quickly looking for shortcuts to identify that needle in the resumé haystack.

Just to scale the size of the challenge, one recent client advertised a COO role on LinkedIn and received over 500 applications. How do you deal with that without introducing an artificial shortcut?

What shortcuts have you heard of/used to work through a mountain of applications? Having your life partner do the first trawl through them all? Even though they don’t understand your business fully? Just choosing those with surnames starting A to M? Favoring those who went to a particular school, perhaps?

There are more ‘scientific’ shortcuts that can be leveraged to greater effect. For example, borrowing from Cialdini’s ‘Science of Persuasion’ and using Social Proof as the shortcut. For every applicant who is a 2nd degree connection on LinkedIn, see if the 1st degree connection can reference them in. That’s assuming you can remember who that 1st degree connection is and that they, in turn, know the applicant.

This is better than metaphorically tossing the hundreds of applications in the air to see which land face up but it still requires a lot of work and isn’t a guarantee of finding the right candidates to interview. Each of the shortcuts is as likely to miss the right candidate as find them – you’re just speeding the process.

Here’s the rub, there are some great sales people out there who are great at what they do, but what they do isn’t what you need them to do.

Understanding the role of your Pathfinder salesperson and the skills required to enable the successful execution of that role is critical. That’s what we do.

The Right Five is the only sales recruitment technology focused on the unique requirements of the first sales hire of B2B tech founders – the Pathfinder salesperson. Years of start-up experience has enabled the definition of the role of the Pathfinder, the skill sets required to be successful in that role, together with the development of an online assessment tool that identifies Pathfinders as distinct from other, less suitable, types of salesperson.

The Right Five automates the assessment of all applications to deliver the right five Pathfinder candidates for interview. We help you find that needle in the resumé haystack, saving you time in the process.

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