Distributors consistently say it is difficult to find the right people for the job openings they have. Joe Ellers, a sales strategy and management consultant in the distribution industry, says that distributors’ first step in finding the right person to fill a sales role is to determine what kind of skills are needed.
Ellers spoke this week at the Fluid Power Distributors Association and the International Sealing Distribution Association's joint annual meeting in California.
“The single biggest mistake we make is we start with a profile,” Ellers said. But the vacancies change – and the experience and skills needed to fill those vacancies change, as well, including the need to be proactive or reactive; farmer, hunter or pioneer; and technical or nontechnical.
He recommends distributors ask the right question: What do they really need?
Even using terms like self-starter or go-getter in a job description can be a mistake. “I don’t know how you know if someone is like that,” he said.
Ellers encouraged attendees to build and follow a process, rather than a profile, for every hire they make: “Things have to be done consistently if you want to see consistent results.”
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