The rules seem to change constantly and are not always easy to interpret. As the sales manager, and as a representative of your organization, you must actively support the adherence to all legal guidelines regarding employment practices. These laws and regulations were put in place to prevent some past questionable practices, and they have long-term positive outcomes for all parties involved. It is, however, impossible for you to keep current on all regulatory changes. Before you begin any hiring activity, please contact one or more of the following:
- Your own human resources department
- Internal legal services
- Outside contracted legal or employment support
- Local governmental agencies
- State governmental agencies
- Federal governmental agencies
If you are planning to hire sales professionals internationally, make an extra effort to understand the legal hiring practices of the local country. The U.S. government, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), local country embassies, consulate offices, and specialized consultants can help with these issues.
One final note: hiring sales professionals for your team has an impact far beyond the limits of your department. Successful sales personnel can enhance your department's image, and unsuccessful ones can hurt you with other departments, suppliers, management, and, of course, your customers. But the way you handle the hiring practice goes far beyond these areas.
You are changing people's lives. They have dreams and desires just like you do. As such, the hiring process becomes very emotional and sometimes turns out to be very difficult. Protect your company and yourself. Below are a few steps to take to make it a safer exercise:
- First and foremost, be fair to all candidates.
- Evaluate them against the job requirements only.
- Eliminate prejudices and stereotyping from your thinking.
- Make sure candidates have a clear understanding of your hiring process.
- Educate them on how they will be evaluated on the job if hired.
- Document the interview questions, answers, and facts.
- Do not document gut feelings!
- Watch out for halo and horn effects that may sway your opinion.
- When candidates are not selected for advancement in the hiring process, be honest with them so they can improve their efforts on their next job search.
- Treat every candidate as you would like to be treated.
- Be realistically open and honest about the financial compensation and benefits the person will receive immediately and what the future possibilities for compensation might be. Continually check with your HR or legal advisor to make sure your guidelines are current
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