University graduates who have recently completed their degree, also known as ‘grads’, not only make up a large percentage of the workforce but are also the future of the sales industry. Why, you ask? Though millennials often get a bad rep, there are actually many benefits of adding them to your sales team. These fresh-faced go-getters will bring a new perspective to your workforce. Furthermore, they are eager to be molded by your company culture, grow in the industry and be mentored by your employees’ experience.
So you might be wondering; “How do I spot potential in a grad?” This is how we go about the process:
At Pulse Recruitment we use psychometric assessments to measure a candidate’s suitability for a role based on their aptitude or personality characteristics. We are a boutique recruitment firm that specialises in Business to Business (B2B) sales; and the psychometric testing helps us to identify skills such as adaptability, curiosity and quick thinking in individuals. Our testing is based on the Myer-Briggs Indicator Type and identifies the main key factors in a B2B sales person; dominance, influence, steadiness and compliance (DISC theory). These present us with guidelines to gain a better understanding of the candidate’s skills while going hand-in-hand with identifying the indicators to look for in the interview.
Interviewing grads should have a very different approach than interviewing mid-market and senior level candidates. The key factor when interviewing the candidate is to build trust so that the candidate opens up and shares their experiences and skills (after all, they’re likely going to be quite nervous). Getting them to open up will ultimately allow you to identify their level of their knowledge, skills and abilities. Our Managing Director, Daniel Hale, recommends spotting the following core traits when interviewing a graduate B2B sales rep:
It is vital that a sales candidate has a passion for the product they are selling and are in the know about market trends. In regards to this, Daniel’s favourite question to ask a grad is; “tell me about a news story that has recently caught your eye.” This works in two ways. If they tell you about a news story related to the business sphere it shows curiosity for the corporate world. Tick! If it specifically relates to your business, product market or cliental it highlights the fact they are up to date on current affairs. Double tick! This represents a genuine interest in your particular company and field.
Traditionally speaking, a recent grad does not have a lot of experience in the corporate world. Now this is probably because they are normally quite young, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have other experiences which have taught them these vital skills. A question Daniel asks is; “tell me about a time you have gone above and beyond to help a customer.” This question looks to understand how comfortable they are to step out of the routine and respond to their customer’s needs. At the end of the day, your B2B salespeople need to be able to show originality and drive to get past the hurdles to be able to generate leads and even close a deal.
“Why do you want this role?” Daniel asks each and every one of his candidates this question. We pride ourselves in candidate care, and we can only do this if we have a thorough understanding of the candidate’s motivators. Not to mention that this is truly a great way to gauge whether a grad’s skill set and attributes will be a perfect match for the job description and company culture.
According to Graduate Careers Australia[i] in 2015, 68.8% grads were in full time employment within four months of finishing their degrees. Furthermore only 19.9% had secured a part-time or casual position while continuing to seek full-time employment. This highlights that the majority of grads are being snatched up by companies, and pretty quickly if that. So therefore employers are already reaping the associated benefits.
So, why not let Pulse Recruitment use these tips and tricks to help you join the bandwagon?
Until next time…
Graduate Careers Australia 2015, “Grad Stats: Employment and salary outcomes of recent higher education graduates” on >http://www.graduatecareers.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/GCA_GradStats_2015_FINAL.pdf