Q: Our company is growing a lot, and we are faced with a dilemma: We need another inside sales coordinator to help keep all of the orders flowing properly, but we would also like another salesperson to bring in even more business. In general, which option would a business expert suggest?
Ryan Hulland, Netfloor USA Cable Management Floor
A: An organization's short- and long-term viability will often depend on its success in recruiting and retaining the necessary human resources. In your scenario, some items an organization and the individual should consider may include:
1. Which skill sets of the candidate(s) most closely match the key competencies or requirements of the positions? While being aware of a candidate's liabilities, which gifts or assets, short- and long-term, will ensure performance success?
2. Is there a natural progression (learnings, organizational or industry knowledge/maturity, compensation, etc.) between the positions? Is one position in the industry or organization perceived as more prestigious or complex? Have you considered other internal candidates for either position as a developmental opportunity?
3. Although cultural fit assessment and onboarding processes will differ depending on the organization's size, sophistication and maturity, which position is better for orienting the candidate to the organization?
4. How flexible are your compensation and employee development programs? Generally, inside sales and/or customer service positions pay less than outside sales positions.
5. Which system or process (internal or external) is most critical to organizational success? Is either position in trouble? Or sometimes defined as "a problem" or "an opportunity?" If you have a high-potential candidate, generally, you are better off placing the high-potential individual in the position with the larger opportunity, rather than the "problem" area.
6. Regardless of the organizational size or industry, the selection, placement and development of candidates is more important than the specific "initial" position.
Nevertheless, if the internal processes were "sound," I would generally hire the salesperson to generate additional revenue.
K. David Hirschey is an adjunct professor of personnel management at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.