Welcome back to our mini-series of The Debrief podcast, Masters of Sales Hiring. Hosted by BrightHire Co-Founder and CRO Teddy Chestnut, the series features conversations with today’s top sales leaders, sharing their candid stories about building world-class sales teams.
Today’s guest is Sean Murray, CRO at Greenhouse Software. Over his 20-year career, Sean has served as a sales leader at Salesloft, Xactly Corp, and CEB and has hired hundreds of people.
In the conversation, Sean shares how his hiring approach has evolved over his career, how he enables his team to hire well, what he’s learned about hiring in uncertain economic times, and why it’s important to have a plan and a purpose when hiring.
Check out the highlights from our conversation:
7 critical things to get right about hiring. (02:27) – Over his career, Sean’s hiring approach has evolved. Along the way, he’s uncovered the seven most important things every sales leader needs to get right about hiring.
The biggest hiring mistake to avoid. (04:49) – A major mistake Sean made previously was focusing on bulk hiring instead of quality hiring. To avoid this mistake, Sean says it’s better to move slow in order to move fast and focus on the data.
Why hiring is all about accountability. (05:56) – Making a great hire doesn’t end with extending an offer. Once you make the hire, leaders are accountable for that person. It’s up to you to ensure there’s an intentional onboarding program that sets new hires up for success.
How to enable your team to hire well. (07:43) – Sean says there are eight core competencies that he trains his team on to ensure they hire well:
- Ensuring diversity
- Results oriented
- Communication & listening
- Career development
- Talent management
- Resource planning capable
- Process improvement
- Vision & strategy
- Capable of motivation
Sean’s approach to hiring during an economic downturn. (11:29) – There’s a lot that can go wrong when hiring during an economic downturn. Some of the most common mistakes include a lack of solid operations, growth at all costs, communication breakdowns, and the failure to evolve your leadership to adjust to the times.
The new realities of today’s selling environment. (14:20) – The days of relationship building – or, in Sean’s words, “steak and whiskey” – are long gone. According to Gartner, you have 7-9% of the buyer’s attention at best, so you’ve got a short timeframe to sell. Today’s sales reps have got to really know their product and how to solve their customer’s problems so they can make the most of their limited opportunity in front of the buyer.
How to create a fair, equitable hiring process. (16:12) – The keys to creating a fairer, more equitable hiring environment is to have a structured approach, ask thought-provoking questions, and ask each candidate the same questions. Sean says, “Structured hiring is hard to get right, but once you do and you enjoy the benefits, it’s like magic.”
Listen to Sean’s podcast episode or watch the entire conversation below:
Missed the last session of The Debrief? Catch up on our conversation with Mark Kosoglow, CRO at Catalyst Software.