The selection shortlist - Sales Management

Once the first interviews have taken place,and objective decisions made about which candidates warrant further consideration, second meeting with each of the shortlist should take place to further probe their suit abilities, skills and experiences. The shortlist interview can also provide additional information on the company and the specific job vacancy. This shortlist interview should be conducted within as brief a time interval as possible after the first interview.

With an internal recruitment the first interview may be the only stage, or it may be supported by other tests. The typical shortlist process may be summarized as in Figure.

The objectives of a short-list procedure are to:

  • call back those candidates judged most likely to meet the requirements of the jo band to elicit additional information about their suitability to the job and the company environment
  • give other persons in the company team a chance to meet the candidates and provide an input to their suitability
  • allow the candidate time to become more familiar with the company environment and team in order that he or she can make fair decisions about joining the company if made a job offer. (It can Beverly useful to allow the candidates to meet other salespersons, and perhaps also to arrange for the most suitable candidates to spend some time with an established salesperson calling on a few customers.)
  • provide an opportunity for company managers to meet a range of candidates,each of whom has been judged at the initial recruitment stages as having relevant skills, experience and personal attributes warranting their further consideration.

In most markets reliance will be upon selection through second interviews, often with colleague involved, i.e. a personnel manager or senior sales manager. At the shortlist stage it may prove appropriate, for certain positions, to support interviews with additional assessment techniques, such as additional intelligence or aptitude tests, group selection activities, or individual tasks. If these are appropriate then they should be discussed and developed with your human resource department, and administered by a person trained in their use and interpretation in the selection process.

Depending on the level of the position to be filled, and local recruitment practices, the shortlist procedure could include any or all of the stages outlined. In many markets it is found to be a very useful exercise to ask the final candidates,prior to a job offer being made or accepted, to spend a day with an established salesperson calling on trade outlets and observing the normal job functions. This serves to clarify to the candidate the real nature of the job and reduces the risk of successful applicants subsequently being dissatisfied with the job content.

Group selection tasks

While aptitude, personality and intelligence tests will normally be administered by trained professionals, when used as part of the selection process, the sales manager form and constantly use questions to expand on the facts contained in the form and to make observations and notes, to help you form judgments and opinions.


Notes at interviews

When conducting an interview you will need to make brief notes as a record of what you have discovered in addition to the information contained in the job application form,and to record your observations and conclusions.

The notes will act as a pen picture later when you come to review the merits of each of the applicants you have seen. It is useful to highlight on the interview notes record any points that might need further probing at the shortlist interview.


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