The Right Five, Not Just the Best Five

Neil HartleyHiring ChallengesLeave a Comment

poppy in a field of wheat

You’re a busy person. You’ve founded your B2B tech startup, got your product into the market and led from the front to win those first few key customers. You’ve proved that someone will pay for your product and it looks like you’ve made it onto the right trajectory for success.

You may have taken a little seed money already and, depending on continued success, you may try funding growth organically or look to go the institutional investment route.

One thing is for certain – your first Sales hire is probably the hardest, most critical, hire you will ever have to make. Most founders in your position get it wrong. You don’t need to.

As we’ve covered elsewhere on this blog, that first sales hire needs be a Pathfinder. Their role is to  prove many people will pay for your product and to develop a repeatable, scalable, profitable sales process. That’s a process that begins with marketing, i.e. this person can’t sit waiting for someone else to generate leads for them, and will involve dealing with a lot of ambiguity and require checking a huge amount of ego at the door.

Many founders do not understand the multi-functional objectives and requirements of their first Sales hire so it’s little wonder that the traditional hiring process has failed to deliver the Pathfinder candidates required for success. Further, dealing with the mountain of applications (along with everything else in the business) results in short cuts being taken to get through the volume of resumés which, coupled with a lack of understanding of the attributes of a Pathfinder, often leads to the selection of the person with the largest Rolodex (or the one “who looks most like me”).

Rolodex person invariably fails because they’re not a Pathfinder. They can be great salespeople but not the type you need to be your first Sales hire. They’re not Pathfinders. Can they generate their own leads? Can they deal with ambiguity? Massive amounts of it? Will their ego get in the way of them doing the grunt work required?

At The Right Five, years of start-up experience has enabled us to define the role of the Pathfinder, together with the skill sets required to be successful in that role. That knowledge has been built into an online assessment tool that identifies Pathfinders as distinct from other, unsuitable, types of salesperson.

That ability to identify Pathfinders as distinct from other Sales types means that your recruitment process with The Right Five leads to the right candidates, and only the right candidates. If less than five Pathfinders have been identified through the assessment tool, then you keep driving new candidates to the assessment tool until you get at least five. At no point should you accept non-Pathfinders simply because they’re the best of the bunch.

With The Right Five, all you really need to do is paste your assessment url into your job ad and wait until five Pathfinders are identified. No sorting through a myriad of resumés looking for a needle in a haystack. No massive sucks on your time. Just interview the five and select the one that makes most sense for you – confident in the knowledge that they’re a Pathfinder and, therefore, can do the job you need them to do.

The Right Five, Not Just the Best Five. The Right Five to Get the Right One.

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