How to Make the Best Decision When Hiring Sales Candidates: The Impact of the Recruiting Process

Making better hiring decisions is essential for any company. But it can be incredibly challenging when it comes to filling sales positions. For example, how do you make sure you select the right salesperson? And once you’ve made your decision, how confident are you that your new hire will get strong results? In this article, we’ll explore the impact of the recruiting process on hiring decisions. And we’ll offer some tips for making better choices when filling sales roles.

Choices and Their Impact on Hiring Outcomes

When it comes to making hiring decisions, it’s a myth that the number of choices leads to better decisions. According to a study by researcher Sheena Iyengar, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed when presented with too many options.

Overwhelm, in turn, leads to poorer decision-making

Iyengar’s study found that when presenting people with a smaller number of choices, they are more likely to be satisfied with their decision. In other words, we can extrapolate that it’s better to interview five sales candidates and decide than to interview twenty candidates.

You’re more likely to second-guess yourself when you have too many choices. You might wonder if there’s someone better out there or if you made the right choice.

Making hiring decisions can be difficult because you know you will live with the consequences over the long term. But it’s important to remember that the goal is to find the best fit for your team and company.

computer and man looking at resume

The Recruiting Process and Its Impact on Hiring Choices

The recruiting process can also have a significant impact on hiring decisions. In many cases, the way you advertise a job opening can attract or discourage certain types of candidates. For example, are you advertising your sales requisition but emphasizing the customer service aspect of the position? If a sales position is advertised as being focused on customer service, you might attract applicants who are better suited for customer service roles than sales roles.

On the other hand, if a sales position is advertised as fast-paced and results-oriented, you might discourage candidates looking for a more relaxed environment.

Recruiting and Its Effects on Hiring Outcomes

It’s essential to be aware of the recruiting process’s impact on hiring decisions. In addition, it’s imperative to make sure you’re attracting on-target candidates.

By taking the time to find the right salespeople for your team, you can improve your chances of hitting your revenue goals and achieving better results.

Making Better Hiring Decisions

Making better hiring decisions is crucial for any company, so how do you make sure you select the right hire?

Annie Duke, Author of Thinking in Bets and How to Decide, challenges widely held beliefs of relying on gut instincts and presumptions. She also proposes simple tools and methods for decision-making that include thinking about the future from a positive outcome and then from a negative outcome. She recommends imagining positive and negative results and asking yourself questions about what you did right or wrong in both scenarios.

Project Into the Past and Future

Annie advises looking into the future and assessing what could go wrong. She recommends reviewing what factors contributed to the outcome. And she recommends the same exercise with a vision of a positive outcome–then listing reasons why you succeeded. She stresses to look for reasons both inside and outside of your control. Annie refers to this process as conducting premortums and backcasting.

Asking these types of questions will help you better understand your decision-making process. By taking the time to understand your process and thinking about potential future outcomes, you can significantly improve hiring decisions.

woman at computer table smiling baordroom
Speeding up Decision Making

When it comes to making better judgments, sometimes the most efficient thing you can do is move through them swiftly without getting caught up in “analysis paralysis.” This is especially true when there isn’t much difference at the margins.

Picking Better or Best? How to Navigate Good Choices

Dukes also advises that there is no downside when deciding between two good choices. You have to try one and go for it. Investing more time into the decision isn’t necessarily producing a better decision. Eventually, you’ll reach diminishing marginal returns on time invested in deciding, and it’s simply time to act.


The number of candidates you interview impacts your satisfaction with your decision. The recruiting process can also influence the outcome of your hiring choices and, ultimately, your decisions. Taking a lookback perspective and asking yourself questions about what worked or didn’t work will help you uncover better outcomes in less time. However, overanalyzing your choices is a trap. If you find a candidate with 80% of what you’re looking for, hire them!


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