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Jerry Scher of Peak Focus on Where to Find Talent for Your Business

Published on March 22, 2013

Jerry Scher, Principal at Peak Focus, talks about his ongoing series on recruiting and discusses how to actually go about attracting talent and where to find it.

Hi, this is Jerry Scher from Peak Focus. For the past few weeks I’ve been sharing some of my thoughts with you about recruiting talented people. Talented people that will enable you to execute your strategies. I encourage you to go back and take a look at some of the previous videos as I’ve built a systematic approach for you to take.

But I want to talk a little bit about how do you actually attract talent and where do you find it. This, of course, is a question that everyone asks me.  To begin with, you have to define the job. You have to know exactly what you’re looking for before you go looking.

Secondly, under the circumstances where you are attempting to sell services beyond print you actually need to go outside the print industry to find the talented salespeople that you’re looking for. Part of that is because if you approach a vertical market within your business, folks that work within that vertical market know that industry and they can bring a wide range of knowledge and networking to your organization.

So going outside your organization – I mean typically in the past when printing company executives went looking for salespeople they looked for somebody with a book of business. That’s not gonna work this time. They need to find people who actually work within the industry, have knowledge of the industry, have those industries make money, people with marketing backgrounds and good strong consultative selling skills is a must.

Beyond that if you’re going to determine the suitability of a candidate – in other words, will you be able to work with them? Will they have the right motivation? Will they be organized? All of these are behavioral competencies and to be able to predict that in advance is extremely valuable. So I strongly recommend the use of a validated behavioral assessment tool that can provide that information for you. Given to people within a relatively short period of time but getting you a significant amount of information.

Now, for the past two years I’ve been working on the development of a job template for business development specialists for the printing industry, specifically in the area of marketing services. I’ll share with you just a few of the traits that we’ve uncovered based on lots of research and experience.

To begin with, they have to have very strong interpersonal communication skills. The ability to communicate in a tactful yet direct way. They have to be strong influencers, convincing other people to their point of view, and be assertive so that when they finally present a solution they’re actually strong enough and assertive enough to ask for the business.

They have to be well organized and have the ability to plan properly and be strategic in their thinking. They have to be able to work with others. One of the major differences with the sales position today, as I’ve indicated before which is a much more sophisticated sale, requires that they work as part of a team. They have to be collaborative and be willing to enlist cooperation. The days of being an independent salesperson, being out on your own, doesn’t work anymore because no one person in the organization, especially offering this wide range of services, is able to have all of that knowledge and expertise.

So taking a look at all of these kinds of behavioral traits is critical to making a good decision. I strongly recommend that you take a step back, take a look at your hiring processes and really develop a reengineered approach to attracting talent, to recruiting talent, assessing people up front so that you can eliminate those that don’t behaviorally fit within your organization. And then be able to move forward with a plan that can be well executed. Thank you.

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