Ten thousand applications in ten minutes : Evaluating scalable recruitment, evaluation and screening methods of candidates for sales jobs

University essay from KTH/Industriell Marknadsföring och Entreprenörskap

Abstract: While personnel evaluation has been extensively covered in literature, little is known about evaluation procedures screening a large number of applicants. The basis of this research was to investigate if candidates for sales positions can be evaluated in a scalable way (where the number of applications does not impact the cost of evaluation much) for an on demand sales platform. The study consists of interviews with the recruiters and growth leads of the studied firm, a case study of a firm that has omitted resumes in their salesperson recruitment processes, and sample tests performed on candidates for sales positions. Further, some data on salespeople was collected and analysed. In summary, the study links the findings to the restrictions of a process that requires scalability. Previous research outlines how various indicators (personality facets, biodata, and optimism) predict sales performance in salespeople. Mental ability of candidates is relevant especially for the work training phase. Some of these findings were supported by the case study. While traditional resumes contain information predicting sales ability, some sales managers argue that they are obsolete. Previous research shows that recruiters risk drawing broad generalizations based on resume content. Video resumes have some potential, but currently have technical and ethical limitations. Personality and mental ability tests show predictive ability for sales performance, and are scalable. Previous research discusses limitations in many personality tests being commercial, resulting in limitations in how they may be modified; in their transparency of scoring; and validity studies being hard to conduct. Other limitations with personality tests in evaluation settings are that they are prone to faking. The study also suggests future topics of research in how culture defines what an ideal salesperson is, and extending these findings to other areas than sales. 

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