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How to recruit a rockstar sales team
Episode 324th November 2022 • Revenue Riser • Alate Business Growth Ltd
00:00:00 00:49:38

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Attracting talent is difficult in this current climate. Recruiters need to be clear on the candidate they want to attract, the role and job description, and the characteristics that will be a good fit for their business.

It’s vital to consider what value the role has to the organisation, as well as ways that a candidate might demonstrate their own value outside of the standard interview process. Anna unpacks these and many other issues in this episode, focusing on hiring a rockstar sales team, not simply recruiting individual rockstar candidates.

Guests

Julie Greenfield has extensive experience recruiting and enabling salespeople, with practical down-to-earth experience, combined with an obvious passion for the aspirational.

Alex Ede is Business Development Director at PRISM, a neuroscience behavioural profiling tool, and a go-to advisor on all things behavioural.

Key takeaways

Actionable steps you can take to recruit the best-fit talent for your business:

  • How to make sure your job description actually matches the work to be done – and why that matters.
  • Be clear about what the candidate can expect from your business.
  • Does your network think and look like you?

Links

Transcripts

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You usually go into your network to look for candidates because we know

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they have what we're looking for.

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I ask people to pause a minute and ask them the simple question, Does

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your network, your professional network, look just like you?

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And most of the time they take that pause in realization that the

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candidates do look just like them.

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You need the best talent, but how do you make sure you recruit the right

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salespeople for your organization?

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That's the subject of today's episode, and it's full of practical

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tips and real world experience.

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We'll explore some key dos and don'ts that might make a difference for you.

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I'm your host, Anna Britnor Guest, and as always, I'm joined by two expert guests.

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Julie Greenfield has extensive experience recruiting and enabling salespeople.

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I met Judy recently via the Sales Enablement Society and loved her practical

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down to earth experience, combined with an obvious passion for the aspirational.

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Alex Ede is business development director at Prism, a neuroscience

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behavioral profiling tool.

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I've known Alex since I qualified as a Prism practitioner, and

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he's become a go-to trusted advisor on all things behavioral.

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Something all three of us clearly have in common is a desire to

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support personal and professional development and to help individuals and

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organizations achieve their potential.

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So let's join the conversation.

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Alex, you talk about, looking at recruitment from a number of

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different perspectives, and so can you start off by just sharing a

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little bit about what you mean by that and what those perspectives are?

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Yes, Anna.

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I think, um, for me it's more of a strategy really.

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So how do you try and.

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Right people in the business.

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I think there's three key perspectives that you need to consider.

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So for me, the first of these is around understanding the role.

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So this is, this is the part where you really dig deep, you understand the

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key competencies, skills, behaviors.

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So what does success look like in the role?

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And, and regardless of the job title or what the job description says, this is

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your opportunity to really understand what it is that this person actually does.

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A simple way of thinking about this.

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If, if you were watching this person at work, so you were standing

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in the background and watching them perhaps for a few days, what

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would you actually see them doing?

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And sometimes that can be radically different to, to

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what the job profile says.

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So the first part of the, the, the strategy is, Understanding the role.

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The second part is around then understanding the candidate.

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So typically this is done via an interview process, but there's obviously other

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areas that you can use to explore that.

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What you're trying to do here is really understand the

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candidate's fit with the role.

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So you're trying to glean as much information as you can from the candidate

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to really understand if they fit with the role that you've previously understood.

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And then the third step is around using the information gleaned in the process

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to help drive an effective onboarding.

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So, you know, the recruitment process is absolutely rich in information about

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the role itself and the candidate.

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So start to use this information to drive an effective process

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when this person starts with you.

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So what are their strengths?

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Where the areas they need to develop, what does an effective PDP look like?

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So really use that to the best effect when they start with you.

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So, so three steps, really.

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Three perspectives.

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Understand the role, understand the candidate and drive effective onboarding.

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And to be honest, in my experience, a lot of energy goes into

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understanding the candidate.

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Probably not as much energy or time goes into the other two perspectives.

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I think that's really helpful to look at it from those three angles, Alex.

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And certainly when we come to look at onboarding, it's a topic that I wanna

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pick up in a future podcast episode.

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So something we'll dig deep into.

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I'm sure we'll talk a little bit about it, uh, today as well.

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But those first two, think about what the role really looks like and, and then

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understanding the candidate and joining those things up, I think we should dig

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deeper into, And Julie, do you wanna come in now and talk a little bit about

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what, what you are doing in terms of particularly defining the role and,

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and the clarity that you need there?

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Absolutely, thank you, Anna.

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And, and Alex, spot on, right?

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I think that so often we have.

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Someone's left, someone's been promoted, and we take that old job, Descript, right?

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And we just post that because we need this role filled expeditiously without

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taking that holistic view to really see what is going on in that day of the life.

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How do we set.

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Our team's up and these individuals up for success and making sure we

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truly understand what they're going to do and how that role has changed.

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One of the things too that I've noticed is that a, and I just got

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one today, a job description that came through in my network, right?

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They're looking for someone.

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And when I stop and I read these requirements, I take a step back and

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say, Is this really what they expect for that role, Maybe it is, but make

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sure that when you are writing your job descriptions, you are very specific.

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Yes, you want people who are going to stretch, and you wanna have those

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rock stars, but I've seen far too often where we're looking for what

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I would call a unicorn that there's no one that's going to be able to

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fill that role, or there's very few.

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And what happens is there are a lot of individuals that will

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not apply for those roles.

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So now you're missing out on a huge set of candidates that can be really impactful to

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your organization because you've overshot or overstated what that job truly is.

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Or maybe you've scared them away.

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And some people might say, Well, that's good.

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I want that overachiever.

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Okay, well this is a really difficult time in trying to attract talent and

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bring them into your organization.

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So I really think we need to pause and be mindful.

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And there's a lot of work that's being done on diversity and making sure that

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your job descriptions are inclusive.

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And there's tools out there, free tools, paid tools that you can run

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your job description through to make sure that it's not bias one way or

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the other, regardless of what the diversity aspect is, whether it's gender,

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whether it's race, culture, so forth.

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So I really do think it's important to make sure that you understand the

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role, that you describe it without going too far, as part of that process.

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I definitely want to dig a little more into diversity through this conversation

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because I think it's a really critical element when we are thinking about

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recruitment and, and what we need in, in diverse and different teams these days.

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Before we get into that, just digging down a little bit more into something

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you were talking about there, Julie, in terms of the expectations for the role

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and does the job description really match A, what the job requirement is,

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but B, realistically what a candidate is gonna be able to bring to that?

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And I think that sometimes it starts with the job title doesn't it?

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And, and you see many different job titles, some of them really don't have

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a clue what actually that job is, but others might be quite straightforward.

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An account exec, an account manager, but actually what the role entails might be

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very, very different company by company.

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So what, what are some of the things that we should be thinking about here

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to make sure that the job description as it's advertised is really clear?

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And what are some of the things that you, you do, Julie?

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That's a great point, Anna.

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And, you know, the, the term revenue organization, Chief Revenue Officer,

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those, you know, when you start looking at those organizations,

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they mean very different things depending on where you go.

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That's, I think, a really good example.

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And what does that revenue org, what does it entail?

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Who does it encompass?

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So, okay, we're going to assume it's sales, but does it include marketing?

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Does it include your customer success organization?

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Where do you fall?

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Is the renewals team who's responsible for that?

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So we really do need to be deliberate to make sure that we're

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communicating that with candidates.

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And that really does start with, I would say those roles like our business

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development, our sales development reps, account development reps, right?

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There's so many names for that.

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What does that entail?

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Is it just that you are getting that appointment and you pass it off?

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Okay, that's a very specific skillset to not have to take this sale from the

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beginning to the end and through closing.

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And there's very specific skill sets needed to be able to make sure you

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can get that phone call first of all.

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We know many of us will see a unknown number and we don't pick up, or we're

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not responding to those emails, so making sure the candidate has those skills.

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When we talk about our account executives, sometimes they have

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very fancy titles for the seller.

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In today's world, we wanna call them managers, we wanna call them directors,

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whatever the case is, making sure again, that we're outlining what it

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is that they need to know in that role, and what is the expectation?

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Are they only selling into new business or are they also.

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Fostering and growing the current customer base, right?

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Are they upselling and cross-selling?

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And that's really important because those are different skill sets

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to nurture an account versus just come in selling that new walk away,

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pass it on to the next person.

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So it really truly is important.

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And one way to do that is to make sure that is included in that job description.

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What are the expectations of the account?

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And you can do that briefly.

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It doesn't have to.

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Uh, a monologue in the job description.

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And I've seen some that are very long and they need to be shorter, so

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they catch that candidate's attention and they know exactly what they're

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getting into before they apply.

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And of course, you're going to reinforce that throughout that interview process.

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Judy, I just wanted to, to, um, to pick up on a couple of things.

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I think a lot of the time when we talk about understanding the

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role, and I think we rightly think.

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The role itself and the job description and perhaps how outdated

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that is or, or how little reference it has to the title itself.

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But I think it's also an opportunity to step back and say, Actually, how does

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this role add value to the organization?

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What is it within this role that we really want to help

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drive this organization forward?

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So you think about certainly the role itself, but, but the wider team in which

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this role operates, Who do they report to?

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What other teams do they interact with?

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Think about, you know, key stakeholders, what communication styles are required

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to, to get the best out of those interactions with, with others.

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Think about the, you know, the disruptions that you might get from technological

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advances and, um, how, how you want this person to sort of combat that or,

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or do you want to be the disruptor?

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So there's a whole range of things I think.

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Underpin what the role actually looks like.

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Um, you know, the culture, the values, all of those things feed in.

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I think it's a great opportunity to stand back for a minute rather than

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just sending out the, the usual job description or the job advert and just

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say, Hang on a minute, are we absolutely sure we really understand what this

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role is about and the impact this role is having on the organization.

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Absolutely.

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And I think this is where we start touching on culture.

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And I like how, you know, you're saying do, are you looking for that

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cultural fizz or are you looking for that disruptor to the culture?

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And we talked about this where, is the culture we have today, the

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culture we desire and we want?

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So we are looking for that cultural fit, or are we looking to change our culture?

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And do we have, are, are we finding someone that is matching the desired

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culture that we're trying to build here?

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And the piece that I would add, because I've had this happen in, in a

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former life where I was brought in to be that change agent, I was brought

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in with a team to be the disruptor.

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And what we found was the executive team, why they thought they wanted

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the change wasn't ready for the change themselves, and it became a battle

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between the disruptors and the status quo.

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And so you really do need to make sure throughout your process as the candidate,

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I will say on the flip side, as the candidate to make sure that you understand

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the support and you can get some of that in your interviewing, what the

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executive level support, if you are gonna be that disruptor to the organization.

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and I think just to, just to build on that, build on your experience, Julie, if

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you are a disruptor in an organization, you need to really understand what that

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could feel like before you take the role.

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So you need to understand the challenge that that brings, the support that you may

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or may not have, and organizations are not necessarily good at communicating that.

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So they might want to.

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They might want to recruit a disruptor, but they may not be particularly good at

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voicing to that candidate, This is one of the challenges that you will have.

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We are asking you to change the culture that exists in this organization,

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a culture that might be quite deep rooted and might even be welcome,

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acknowledged by people at the top.

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So I think there's a, there's a huge sort of messaging piece

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there if you are taking someone on board to, to disrupt the culture.

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I can definitely recognize and, uh, empathize with what

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you were describing, Judy.

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I've been in those shoes myself as well.

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And, uh, and it's hard work, especially if you are a lone voice

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trying to push against a very strong tide, no matter what the wheel is.

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And I think, you know, one thing that really resonated with, with me as you

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were describing this was making sure that the candidate has sufficient space

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in the interview process, I think is really what you were saying, to be able

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to ask the right questions and challenge.

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Because I think often when we'll get into, um, interviewing and assessment

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and how we evaluate candidates, I think is probably a good step into this.

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But as we go into that process, often there's a bit of a

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selling job going on of the job.

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And you know, particularly this is being led by sales, you know, we're

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excited about the company, we're excited about where we're going.

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We wanna find a fantastic candidate.

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We've got somebody sitting in front of us who's ticked enough

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boxes to get to interview and we're enthusiastic and so on.

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I think sometimes there can be a, a tendency to kind of push and sell the

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job to the candidate, whereas really what we need to be doing is thinking

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about, is this a really good mutual fit in making sure that the candidate has the

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opportunity to ask deep meaning questions and, and get some really insights and to

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have those questions answered honestly.

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You know, if this is gonna be a challenge, and an uphill struggle.

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Then be clear about that upfront.

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So they come, you know, if they accept the role, if they're successful, they

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come in with eyes wide open, knowing what they're dealing with and ready

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for it, rather than coming in expecting one thing and finding another because

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the job has been unintentionally, but perhaps a little oversold in some areas.

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But this seems like a good leap into just understanding the second point that you

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gave us at the beginning, Alex, around understanding and thinking about how do

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you assess and evaluate the candidate beyond the standard interview process.

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I think for me, the process, whether it's an interview or there's other

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pieces that are added to that and we can cover some of those as well.

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If this is your opportunity to get as much information as possible.

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But the information has to be relevant.

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So yeah, this isn't just a, a cozy chat.

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This is your opportunity to really understand the

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candidates fit with the role.

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And, and loads of things gets it, get in the way that we, we sort

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of can call noise if you like.

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So noise exists and noise can come from everyday mundane factors such as, you

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know, perhaps the interviewer, isn't it particularly good in the mornings.

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Perhaps the interviewer is a little bit tired, too hot, just

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having a bad day, lots of other things going on in their life.

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So the interview process could be flawed from the work go because of

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the noise that's getting in the way.

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So I think one thing that's absolutely critical is to have a really good

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structured approach to your I.

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So be really clear what that interview process looks like, and have that same

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framework for absolutely every candidate.

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So, therefore, it cannot be down to the interviewer liking

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someone because they're like them.

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We have a real structured process that everybody goes through, and

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that process really focuses on what the demands of the role are.

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Apart from the interview, which I have to say, I'm not a great fan that interviewing

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is, you know, the one, the be all and end all, if you like of the interview process.

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You know, think about presentations, think about what it is that you can do

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to put this candidate perhaps in similar situations to the ones that they're

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going to be in when they actually join.

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So, Presentations, role plays.

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Think of in particular role plays that could be really useful for taking people

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out of perhaps a pre-prepared question and answer session that you know, the back of

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their mind, they know a little bit about the organization, they know about the

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role that have prepared some responses.

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So try and think about what would take them out of that, that

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really show their true values.

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So for me, yes, it's about garnering relevant information.

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It's about being really clear that the noise gets in the way.

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I think the point that you make there about testing the skills is really

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important here and something that I've recommended with a lot of teams using

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the Prism, um, behavioral profiling tool.

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Others are available, but specifically I think, you know, looking at the

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behaviors that you want in the role.

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So not just the skills and the knowledge and and experience, but what are the

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behaviors that somebody needs to have and be comfortable within the role.

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So you talked about presenting and presenting or demoing, Um, you know,

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the discovery meeting, particularly in the early stages, back to your earlier

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point, Julie, if they're, if they're BDRs or in that kind of role, you know,

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what are, what are the behaviors that you need in a long, complex sales cycle?

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What are the things that they need to be doing?

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What are the behaviors that are associated with that?

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And I think using some kind of tool to test, where do we think

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this candidate is likely to be strong and a really good match?

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Where do they think perhaps their behavioral preferences

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are not, not such a good match?

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But back to, um, Julie's comment earlier, you know, are you likely

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to find the perfect candidate?

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And where might you be willing to compromise and where are

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you not willing to compromise?

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But then building out some tests to test out those strengths and are

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they, you know, do they have the skills that match the behaviors to

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make those strengths, things that they're likely to be good at quickly?

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And where are the things that perhaps they might struggle?

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So to your point about, taking them out as something pre-planned is

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a great way to see how will they, how will they act and respond?

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You know, when the customer throws 'em a curve ball in the middle of a

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meeting, what are they likely to do?

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Are they gonna stick rigidly to their plan or are they gonna be

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able to flex in an appropriate way?

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And I think testing out those things with some structure and objective

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support, I think is really helpful.

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Pulling on, uh, some of the threads there.

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When I think about who's doing the interviewing, it's really important,

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alex, you talked about having a structure.

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And part of that structure, it's really important that those doing

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the interviewing have a role and know what their role is.

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So, If I'm the hiring manager, maybe I'm looking for the skills and the

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knowledge that they have that experience.

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If I am a leadership person, let's say over in our solutions

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consulting, we talked about demo a little bit, you said, right?

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Like, so those pieces of the organization that this individual would work with.

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If I'm in that org, I might be looking for Are they a team player?

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How are they communicating with me?

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And is it that type of team fit?

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And it is this paradox that we have in sales where you have your singular quota.

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You're the individual.

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We talk so often about, It's your territory, it's your business, right?

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Run it that way, and you're independent, now go.

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The reality is that it is a team sale.

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So whether that is that you're working with development reps that pass you

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that nice warm lead, whether it's the demo team, if you're doing the demo,

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regardless of the way your organization is structured today, it's usually a team

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approach that is going to close that opportunity, so we need to look for that.

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But really truly making sure that each person that is doing the interview of

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those candidates knows what their role is.

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And the piece that I think we forget quite often is come together.

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Afterwards and do your own debrief.

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Here's what I saw.

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Here's what I liked.

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So let's say the three of us were doing the interview.

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Alex did the interview.

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I did the interview, and now it's up to Anna to do her last part.

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But maybe there was something that gave me pause as I like to say,

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something that stood out that I was not sure that they were a right

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fit for whatever that reason is.

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So we all got together and expressed how we felt, Alex, myself, so that

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Anna, you could then come in and say, Okay, we need to make sure

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that this person is a team player.

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That's what we weren't sure that we were seeing.

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So then you can target your questions accordingly and make sure that we

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have the candidate that we need.

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And I think that's what's lacking today, is that communication and debrief

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among the people doing the interview.

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That takes us right back to where we started really in terms of clarity

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of the role and what is it that we're looking for in the role, doesn't it?

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And you know, what are the, what are the critical elements

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of that that we need to see?

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And then gearing the interview process around that.

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Cuz if we're not clear up front, then it's very hard for us to have that three way

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conversation and know what we're really looking for because potentially we're

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all looking for something different.

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It occurs to me as well that there's also that tension, I suppose, between

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having a clear idea of what we want in the candidate and making sure that our

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thinking around that is diverse and open.

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It's really interesting and, uh, there's a lot of discussions, talks, books

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out there on the typical seller, and what that typical seller looks like.

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And when I'm meeting with my leaders and others, I ask them to just take a

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minute, because you usually go into your network to look for candidates, right?

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We've worked with these people, they're great rock stars.

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We wanna bring 'em onto our team.

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How can we, you know, recruit them into the new organization

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that we're working with?

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Because we know they have what we're looking for.

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I ask those people to pause a minute and ask them the simple question, Do those

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candidates and does your network, your professional network, look just like you?

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And most of the time they take that pause in realization that the

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candidates do look just like them.

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So that's where I encourage that diversity of thought of experience.

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It could even down to experience, right?

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If we've all worked at the same company, we're going to have a very

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similar experience and try to do things the same way we've always done them.

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To be a disruptor, to be an innovator, and help companies grow,

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we need to have diverse experiences.

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We need to have diverse thought that we can bring to the table, and we only

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do that when we're surrounding ourself with people with different backgrounds,

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different experiences, different cultures so that we can really make

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sure that we have that connection.

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Taking it a little bit further is to look at your customer base as

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well and making sure that the teams that are going out to your customer.

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Mirror what your customers look like as well, and I think that's a really

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big challenge for companies today.

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I think it's worthwhile to do

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I think that's such an interesting and important point, both in terms

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of, you know, Absolutely how does your network look in relation to you?

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I think that's such a powerful question.

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And, you know, how does our organization look compared to the, the demographics

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and the, and the cultures and so on, of the customers that we're serving and,

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and trying to understand those elements.

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Julie, just quickly, what are some of the things that you would

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recommend people think about?

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If, if they're looking at their network, and thinking, Yeah, my network looks

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very much like me, whatever me looks like, and equally maybe looking at their

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customers and thinking we are not really reflecting our customers in who we are.

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What, what would be some of the tips or things people should be looking at?

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This is where the power of social media is that there's so much we

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can do to set up alerts around key topics that are important to you.

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Learning and development, culture, growth, all of these things are really

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important to me, so I can look for and follow people that have that same topic

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that they're writing about, whether that's on LinkedIn, whether that's on

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Twitter, wherever that may be, so that then I can look to grow my network.

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And one thing I have to tell people, and this comes in everything

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that we've talked about, you need to be genuine and authentic.

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When I reach out to someone that I do not know, I am very specific.

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Especially when you're on LinkedIn.

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Please people, if you're going to connect with myself or

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anyone else, give a reason why.

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Take the time to personalize that invite, because otherwise we will

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assume you are just going to sell to us the minute you connect, right?

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So I usually ignore when it's someone I do not know, unless there's a

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different connection there, then I might go back and reply to them.

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I will ignore it because I don't know why you're asking for that connection.

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So let's say I found someone that heavy in learning and development help heavy in

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building cultures or enablement, whatever that looks like, I'm going to reach

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out to them and say, I liked your post.

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I really, that resonated with me.

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Here's why I would appreciate joining your network so that I

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can continue to learn from you.

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Something like that.

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You do need to be authentic and genuine.

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So there's ways that you can look and grow authentically and not be false about it.

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If you're just gonna do it for the sake of, I need diverse people,

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and you're clicking, Oh, I'm gonna add these people, don't do it.

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Please don't do it.

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That's the opposite of what we're saying.

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I think there's a lot to digest and dig into here.

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And thinking about that assessment and making sure that we're bringing the

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right people into, um, into the team.

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We were talking a bit earlier about the real need for sales people to be team

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players in the current world, and I'm wondering to what extent is that really

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conscious in the recruitment process?

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I think it ties in very much to perhaps more diverse thinking about what the role

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entails, and definitely links into some of the language that historically has

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been used around a lot of sales roles.

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So being, you know, go getters and self starters and self-motivated and

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self-reliant and self everything else.

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Individually targeted, obviously as we know, and with really clear

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expectations about what, what's required.

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So I'm thinking here around how do we make sure that in that recruitment

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process we're being really explicit about the, Alex, you talked about this

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earlier on, you know, who, who are the stakeholders that you need to engage

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with through the customer journey?

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How do you do that?

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But what are the expectations and the measures, if you like, in the

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role around that collaboration?

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And we know, you know, we know from research, from things like challenger

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sale for instance, that loan wolves might be quite, um, effective at winning

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business, but tend to leave a trail of destruction in their wake and kind of,

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nobody really knows what's going on.

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So they're not really actually very profitable in that sense, in, in

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the, in the business and not really that productive or proactive in

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terms of what the company needs.

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I think one of the things you mentioned earlier in terms of Prism and other

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tools are available, I just want to touch on using the three step process and

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using Prism to make that work for you.

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So the whole idea of the three steps is start with the role, then the candidate,

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and then finally the onboarding.

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So the first step in any recruitment process has to be

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this understanding the role.

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And Prism sets, with the help of a few simple questions and some challenges, if

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you like, sets what we call a benchmark.

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So the benchmark considers the key interactions that this person needs

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to make, the key results that this person needs to achieve, what they

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basically do on a day to day basis, and sets a benchmark benchmarking system.

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The benchmark will consider the proportion of.

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Perhaps challenge that we want from our sales people versus the

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collaboration that we might want.

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So it will rate one perhaps higher than the other depending on the

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discussion that comes outta that.

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The, the, the simple process.

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It really is simple, is then to look at the candidate, candidate completes

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the simple questionnaire and can be compared against the benchmark.

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So you will have some people that are quite typically pushy, quite aggressive,

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um, in their approach to sales.

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And you can then say, Well actually that's not quite what we want, but

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we need to look at whether that person has the opportunity to flex

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that down, which they may be able to, or whether they're ingrained within

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that very, very strong behavior.

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So the, it's not the prison process doesn't provide you with,

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we must take this candidate on because they are an ideal fit.

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What the prison process is saying is there are some areas

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here that you need to explore.

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And this, I think, think comes down to how much emphasis you're putting on

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one particular behavior over another.

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Because if you do want someone that's really aggressive in their approach,

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they are not likely to be collaborative.

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So getting that balance right can be absolutely key.

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Asking those questions when you see the output can be really insightful in terms

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of how the candidate responds, responds.

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So for me, it, it, it's, it's about doing your homework first.

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Understanding those bits that form the benchmark, and then simply comparing

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the candidate to that benchmark.

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There's an element of that, which comes back to what we were talking about earlier

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on in terms of giving the candidate an opportunity to figure out if the company

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is the right fit for them as well.

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Because I think once you start to get into those conversations, and everybody

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has some kind of profile that they're looking at working to, it's easy for the

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candidate to see where am I a good fit?

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Where am I not such a good fit?

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Do I want to flex as well as can I flex?

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But is this the right, is this the right team for me?

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If I'm very kind of innovative and lots of lots of creative blue

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Skype thinking, thinking out the box, am I gonna be comfortable in a

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role that is not gonna value that?

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Because what the, what the role values is a more systematic process

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driven approach, or vice versa?

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And, you know, the role on paper might look very similar, but the

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expectations are completely opposite.

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And I could end up very quickly as a candidate, a square peg in a round

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hole if that hasn't been discussed and, and brought and put on the table in

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the, in that interview process to be really clear what's, what's expected.

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I'm gonna switch gears just slightly here because I think there's also, as we're

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talking about candidates, we've been talking a lot about external candidates.

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Julie, you mentioned earlier on, the job market is a really

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challenging, tough one at the moment.

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Absolutely Anna, this is such a passion of mine and I sum it into career pathing.

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And making sure your organization, just as we're doing this, we're

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talking about it for a specific role, that you have this defined, right?

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There's a lot of work around career architectures that are

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being done in, in organizations, and what it does is outline.

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These are the different opportunities or careers you have

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access to at our organization.

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So I could be sitting in support or customer success or somewhere

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else in the organization and go, and this is really funny, right?

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Oh, sales is easy.

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I wanna go to sales.

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Right?

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I wanna be like them.

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I wanna go to presidents or chairman's club, or whatever the case is.

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Once they get wind of this great trip everybody gets to go to.

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So really making sure for your internal candidates, you're doing all of the

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things that we just talked about, and making sure that they understand and

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have that opportunity to grow internally.

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If you think about the onboarding, Alex started to touch on onboarding, and

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I know that's a whole other podcast that we could cover onboarding.

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But if you think about the amount of time it takes to recruit, hire, and

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onboard any candidate and any role in your organization, and if that person

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has already been there a year, two years, three years, and you're able

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to transition them to another role, think about the time, money, energy

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that you've saved, and then also, You're helping to grow these people.

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When you have that loyalty internally, that is that culture

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that you are looking to build.

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So we really do need to take stock and take that time to look at our internal

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candidates just as much as the external.

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And I would challenge, and we've done this in our organization, and I would

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challenge others to think about the same.

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Set a metric.

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30%, 20%, whatever that is, that our can, that we are going to fill

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with internal candidates, right?

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Set that goal for yourself and then drive to that goal so that you

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have the opportunity to grow the individuals in your organization.

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Julie, I think, uh, I think that's really, really valid and um, avoids

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pitfalls that so many organizations have where they have somebody that's,

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you know, really good in a particular role, so a sales role, for instance.

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And they make an assumption that that person will be a good sales leader.

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And of course, the skills, the competencies, the behaviors are

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totally different and we need to be very mindful of, of that.

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So it's not just about somebody's performing really well in this

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role, therefore they will perform well in the, in the next role.

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Same principle applies.

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We need to be really clear on what that new role looks like,

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all across the organization.

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What are these roles actually about?

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Where do they add value?

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What's the impact on the organization so that we can understand how people need

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to develop to, to move into those roles.

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Not necessarily around, You're doing well in this one, let's move you into another.

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Agree 100%.

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It takes a very specific skillset to be a people leader and all too often,

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especially on the enablement side, I have seen that promotion of that

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rock star sales person into a manager role when that wasn't their best fit.

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And that's what we really have to look at.

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And there's ways to grow our sellers and highlight and spotlight them,

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give them opportunities to be that subject matter expert, to be a buddy,

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you know, do peer to peer learning, and give them opportunities where

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they are highlighted and we build their brand in the organization,

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while not making them a people leader.

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And I have found that to be very successful.

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So there's a really important topic that we haven't touched on, and I think

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today especially we've talk, we've touched a little bit on social media.

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Glassdoor, Indeed, Reddit, wherever a candidate's going to get their

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information, I'm sure, and I would expect candidates to be doing

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research on your organizations, and this is that opportunity to own

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whatever it says out there about you.

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Hopefully there's raving reviews.

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More than likely you are going to have disgruntled employees sending

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and putting reviews out as well.

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We should not shy away from these.

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We own them.

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We let them know what's going on.

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Yes, there is a selling into that job, into the organization

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as well as into that role.

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We really need to be mindful and hit these head on in our discussions so that people

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do realize, Okay, this, this company's going through a complete transformation.

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Do I wanna be part of that?

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Maybe they don't.

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Okay, then this isn't the best fit for them and we should know right now so

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we can save all our time and money.

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Make sure that you are addressing these, and especially if you have

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negative reviews out there that you know the team that's going to be doing

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the interviewing, how you're going to address them, especially if some

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of them are more serious concerns.

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So we really do need to address them to be honest and and upfront about

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them rather than just ignore them.

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I'd just like to pick up on that, Julie.

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I think, um, when you're, when you're going through those

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adverse comments, look for trends.

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So are the.

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Coming from people who perhaps have all worked in the same

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area, under the same manager.

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Is there a cultural piece where the culture of some, some teams within

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the organization is very different from the, the culture of others,

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the culture of the organization?

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So, so users are a bit of a learning curve to, to understand what it is within

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your organization, you need to put right.

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Look for those trends, identify them, and then go back and, and tackle them.

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Just coming back to, uh, to some of those points as well.

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I think making sure that you are really upfront and honest about those.

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And also understanding, particularly you, I work a lot with sort of

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mid-size scale up businesses and every single one of those without fail has

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growing pains of some sort or another.

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And I think, you know, being really clear about where is the company on its

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maturity path, where are some of those growing pains and those pressure points.

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Because somebody coming into that role needs to be able to deal with that.

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If somebody's come from a very large, mature, established organization,

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they could be just the diversity, they could, they could bring the

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structure and the thinking that you want, and they might find that, that

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environment, a complete breath of fresh air, it might be a perfect match.

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But equally it could be a disaster because the expectations are completely

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misaligned and, and vice versa.

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So I think, you know, being really clear about that maturity journey

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and, and where some of those pressure points are is really important.

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And some of those may, may result in negative reviews on Glassdoor and

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so on, but some of them may just be more inherent within the business

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that people know and, and accept.

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But I think it's really important that people understand where are

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they coming in and joining that, that company on, its on its journey.

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I think it also just links in and, and bringing back to that

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point around Rockstar individual contributors, not necessarily developing

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rockstar teams, should we say.

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But I think that also just brings to a wider, wider question as well, which

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all of this leads to, which is if you find somebody that's not a great fit,

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but you're desperate to feel the role, to what degree should you compromise

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and what are the pros and cons of that?

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So, um, neuroplastic.

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That's a nice long word, which basically means we can change.

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So neuroplasticity is the ability of our brain to constantly make change,

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and our brain is changing all the time to take into account our experiences.

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Every second, Every minute of the day our, our brain is taken

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into account making changes.

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So we know people can change.

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And if people couldn't change, then all of those learning and

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development interventions will be a complete waste of time.

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So we know that people can change, but you need to think about

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the level of change required.

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So let's talk about innovation.

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So if you have someone that scores really low on innovation, then they are not going

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to be perhaps as creative as you want.

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They're not going to be challenging the status quo as much as you would like

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and coming up with radically new ideas.

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But they may be high on collaboration.

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They may be quite insightful in the way that they challenge other

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people, the way they ask questions.

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So they may be able to create innovation by using others.

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So they may be a catalyst for innovation by asking the

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right questions, by listening effectively, by really leveraging

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other people's thought processes.

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So I think yes, people can change.

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But also think about other skills that that person may have.

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Other behaviors that may lead them to overcome a particular

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strength that you want.

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Bottom line for me is if you have a behavior that's critical and a person is

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low on that behavioral dimension, that behavior score, whatever profiling tool

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you are using, and you want them to be high, I think that's the step too far.

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I think to move someone from a low point to a high point, you

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are going to sap a lot of their natural energy from other behaviors

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into that particular problem area.

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So the brain only has so much capacity.

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You know, if you really want it to work hard on something that's

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not natural to it, then other areas are going to be inhibited.

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So you need to consider that.

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So, yes, people can change, but consider the amount of change that's required and

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also consider where they may be able to use other behaviors to overcome some of

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the particular behaviors that you want.

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So I, I mean, that's not a straight yes or no answer.

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But it, it, I think it's, I think it goes back to really understanding which

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behaviors are critical and perhaps strong, and whether the candidate has

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those, where there are other behaviors that are desirable that, that perhaps

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you can candidate can flex into.

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So it's, um, it's the volume of change that's required.

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I think that that's absolutely key.

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Yeah.

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Well, I'm certainly very glad that you talk about

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neuroplasticity, that we can change.

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Otherwise I wouldn't have a job and nobody would be listening to

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this podcast either, probably.

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Um, but also the fact that I think not only does it sap that individual's

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energy to try and fit and flex, but actually SAPs the energy of

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the team around them as well.

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So it can have quite a negative impact on the rest of the team too, can't it?

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If we recruit the wrong person into, into a role.

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Let's wrap up with your parting comments and, and what tip would you like to

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leave people with to, to think about?

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I had two really, but I'm gonna stick with with one.

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And I think for me it's something called beware of buzzwords.

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So when you are understanding the role, when you're understanding

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the candidate, just be cautious of using too many buzzwords.

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So buzzwords for me are overarching descriptors such

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as collaboration, passion.

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They don't really tell you what's going on.

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So beware of using buzzwords.

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Beware of candidates using buzzwords in the actual process itself.

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If someone says to you, I'm really good at collaboration,

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what does that actually mean?

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You know, you really need to be good at thinking through the buzzwords.

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Buzzwords are headlines.

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They're a little bit abstract.

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They mean different things to different people.

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So get really good at actually drilling down yourself so you understand what it is

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that you require out of those buzzwords, and get good understanding from the

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candidate what it is that they can offer.

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Adding onto the buzzwords real quick is be careful of your acronyms.

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If you're using your acronyms in your job description and someone might not

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know, and even if those are industry acronyms, you're looking for maybe a,

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a different candidate from a different industry to bring insight to you, be

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mindful of acronyms, um, adding to that.

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The piece that I wanna share though is that leading as the, the final

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thought is we've talked a lot about that cultural fit, diversity, you

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know, helping to grow our people.

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The one piece we need to make sure of as an organization is that we

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have the support system when we bring these candidates in or when

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we're growing our candidates.

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So a lot of companies are doing great work with employee resource

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groups or ERGs or affinity groups to support the employees where they are.

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We've talked about having them, that final piece you were talking

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about, Alex, where we don't want to look for a behavior or expect

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someone to be something they're not.

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We all wanna be our true selves.

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Yes, we're going to grow and there's different versions of that true self

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depending on the situation that we're in.

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And every day we wanna make sure that we are supporting

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our employees and our people.

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It is the people that drive the business.

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So I really encourage companies to look at how they support the

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teams once they bring them in.

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That leads us neatly onto, uh, I hope a future conversation talking about what

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do we do when we get the right candidates on board, but really appreciate the,

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the tips that you've left us with.

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I think there's a lot of, a lot to dig into, a lot to digest

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from what we've discussed.

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I think two, two things that I would add.

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One is just a little observation around how our brains work.

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And Alex, you were talking earlier on about how maybe we're tired

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when we're interviewing and so on.

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But one thing, the neuroscientists have proven that when we are sleep deprived,

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we negatively interpret people's facial expressions more so than is intended.

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So I think it's really worth thinking about if we are tired and have not

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had at least six hours sleep the night before we are interviewing, or even

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a couple of nights before, we may be interpreting that candidate in a

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slightly more negative light than we should be, than actually they are.

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And that could be that we are, you know, we are therefore not being objective

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in how we're looking at people.

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So one thing to kind of think about.

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I think the other piece is really thinking about that clarity of role that really

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resonates with me in terms of what is it that we are looking for and ties in with

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a bit of a mission that I'm on to try and have sales teams think more like teams,

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um, which I think, you know, starts with what of the people that we're bringing in

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and what are the expectations that we're setting from day one in the organization.

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So I think that would be one thing if your sales world today, which most are

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is collaborative, is multifaceted, both on the customer side and internally,

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then think about how do your team members work collaboratively and

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collectively to a common purpose.

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But I think in terms of our common purpose, to talk a little bit about

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some of what's going on from a recruitment perspective, I think there's

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quite a lot there to think about.

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I hope that's really useful for sales leaders who are listening into that.

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Alex, Julie, thank you so much for your time and, and I really

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look forward to welcoming you back, uh, on a future episode.

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Thanks, Anna.

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It's been there.

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It's.

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Great pleasure.

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Thank you.

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Thank you.

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It's been wonderful.

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So what are you taking from this conversation?

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I was really struck by the importance of being specific about the role

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description, what your business needs, not a cookie cutter job spec.

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And from there, being clear about what the candidate can

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expect from the business too.

Speaker:

Which brings us to the question of the right fit, not just for the role, but

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culturally and the power of Julie's question to make us think Does your

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network look and think like you?

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That helps us to ensure that we value diversity when we think about fit.

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It's not about everybody being the same.

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So I hope that helps you think about how you attract and recruit the

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best in this current war for talent.

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Next time I'll be building on that.

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I'll be exploring the hugely important topic of how to coach

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your sales managers and teams.

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I'll be joined by two men on coaching missions, David Clutterbuck

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and Emmett Flourish, both with practical tips and a few disruptors.

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Season 3
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1. Lifting the lid on account-based marketing
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Season 2
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5. The VC path to growth
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Season 1
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9. Season 1 review: Adapting to change
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