Part of every sales manager’s job is to add to the team. Hire new talent. You think you know what you’re looking for: that “spark,” that intangible “it” factor, that “something about this candidate” that tells your intuition that this is the one. You look at resumes and previous sales figures (if they have them), but you also look for personality, drive, determination, and people skills. Not an exact science, is it? There’s lots of room for error. So how do you combat that uncertainty? You use assessment tools.

Using behavior or personality assessment tests on candidates in the hiring process can be one of the most useful tools in a hiring manager’s box. Knowing the traits that make a successful salesperson will give you critical information to add to the resume and the interview so that you can make the best hire possible.

Some of the more common tests:

  • DISC is the classic test. It provides a behavioral profile across 4 primary dimensions: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. It’s not a specific skills test, but it does describe behavior patterns and styles.
  • Caliper works with you and your company to create an ideal profile of your top performers. Their assessments measure for personality characteristics, individual motivations, likely behaviors and potential for success in a specific job.
  • OPQ (Occupational Personality Questionnaire) measures persuasiveness, teamwork, independence, relationship building, planning, attention to detail, conscientiousness, tolerance to stress, results orientation, leadership style, motivation and energy.

My best advice: administer these tests on your current sales force first. Since you know what qualities and traits have proven the most successful for your company, you can use these results as a benchmark to measure new candidates against.

On the high end, assessments can run between $300 – $400. For this, you get actual recommendations with very comprehensive and specific information. For a little more work on your part, you can get assessments for as little as $50. For basic cash, you get basic information-personality traits, qualities, etc.-and you do your own interpretations. All these tests can be done online.

Peggy McKee is the owner and chief recruiter for PHC Consulting, a recruiting firm providing top sales talent, sales management, marketing and service / support personnel to some of the most prominent high growth companies in the medical and laboratory products industry for over 9 years! Our client companies provide capital equipment and reagents for the clinical laboratories or research laboratories, equipment and consumables that aid the physician/clinician in diagnostic, therapeutic and prognostic information, software that provides the workflow improvements that have unending positive impact on the patient, physician and the laboratory professional and a number of service offerings in the medical arena (for example: laboratory service, imaging etc).

Our expertise is in providing: Sales, Sales Management, Marketing, Technical Service, and Support Professionals. We provide top talent (usually the top 10% of sales force rankings) and reduce turnover (through exceptional client knowledge and candidate screening) this in combination with our reputation for smoothly facilitating the hiring process makes us the search firm of choice in this arena. For more information, see our website at

Source by Peggy McKee