Creating quality sales in the growth industry of jewelry products is largely dependent upon the people doing the selling. Now that should be a bit obvious, but the real question is how do you hire quality people to begin with. Finding the exquisite match of employee (salesperson), employer and product often seems more like luck or magic rather than the genius of careful selection.
But is it, really? First off, where are you looking? Are you gathering word-of-mouth referrals from associates, from customers, from friends and acquaintances? Are you advertising your need in trade publications? Are you mining people from the various business associations to whom you pay dues each year? When customers are shopping in your store, is your radar actively seeking to create an employee from a great customer?
Secondly, have you carefully written out precisely what you are seeking in an employee? What personal qualities are most important to ensure the success of a great employee? How important is previous experience to your selection? Some stores require a track record of success as a prerequisite to hiring. Other employers prefer to train each of their hires according to their personal guidelines.
Why does a potential-hire want to work for your organization? Are you anticipating that a new hire will automatically know what is expected in the realm of procedures and productivity? Are you thinking that your newest employee is willing to give their all to your company because you are a “nice” employer? What desires and needs is the employee bringing to the organization that motivates them to success? Why do you need to hire a new individual? A careful examination of your needs and motives is an important facet of the hiring process.
How will the great employee you’ve hired be compensated? Mostly, a smile and a handshake are not going to cut it when it comes time for the best of the best to pay their bills!
Who will be the final selectee among all the candidates you have interviewed? Have you thought to administer an Aptitude Test, A Personality Test, or an Interest Inventory as a part of the hiring process?
The degree to which you can organize and specify your needs as an employer is equal to the quality of the new hire that you intend to transform into the quintessential sales professional. Just as you would thoroughly research a physical business resource (equipment, goods, services) before making a purchase, it seems logical that you would thoroughly and objectively research each personnel resource before you invest the money, time and energy to train and develop the individual. Being able to specify your needs as an employer and consistently designing interview questions or “discussion points” for all candidates will guide you in your selection process of the most qualified candidates. (If your personnel budget is limitless, you could hire anyone who can pass the Mirror Test - can the candidate successfully fog a mirror placed beneath the nose - and let matters sort themselves out.) Investments in interviewing, hiring, training and developing staff personnel generally make the Mirror Test an unwieldy assessment instrument.
Checking references may lead you to discover more pluses and minuses in the personnel research process; however, given the legalistic climate in which we live, it is unusual to gather a complete portrait from this method. Testing, checking backgrounds, and talking extensively with each candidate seems like a major investment - and it is. It is the same as the pre-purchase research you would conduct before investing a sizeable amount of cash into a physical asset. You want to research your human resource at least as carefully as you would your business assets.