I recently spoke with Ralph Lentz, a senior sales executive in the Bay Area with 25+ years of sales leadership experience, to get input about the best hiring practices for sales – a topic that is a hot button for today’s sales organizations.

In a fast-paced industry where inside sales reps move faster than ever on and off the market, how can you move quickly yet still make the right choice? If you have a lengthy hiring model, how can shorten it without hurting the process? While no hire is ever a sure thing, you can increase your chance of success by ensuring that you cover the most critical criteria in the hiring process. Here is a short checklist of things to consider as part of your preparation:

Prepare your team for the interview process

Make sure that anyone who is interviewing a sales candidate is prepared for the task. To attract applicants, the entire team needs to be on top of their game. When you schedule interviews with team members, be sure that they know how to interview, as well as sell the company. Are they organized and prepared? If the interviewers don’t seem to know what they’re doing, it creates a poor impression and can impact a candidate’s interest in the job.

Show that you value the candidate’s time

If you’re having a candidate meet multiple people, be sure to schedule all meetings on a single day. By being efficient and organized, you demonstrate that your organization has its act together and that you value the candidate’s time. With refined and well-executed hiring processes, you also convey a positive work environment.

Define career paths clearly

If someone comes in as inbound sales development rep (SDR), can they easily become an outbound SDR? Can they move to a role in customer success, support, or marketing? What career paths are available, and how are they defined? Be clear regarding expectations for different positions and how long people are expected to stay in each one.

Explain how they will be set up for success

Be certain that candidates understand how you’re going to set them up for success. What kind of training do you offer? Do you have advanced sales tools that can help them be more effective in their jobs – such as email automation capabilities or engagement analytics to quickly identify and follow up with the most promising opportunities? Sales tools, such as the LiveHive sales acceleration platform, are emerging that deliver deep customer insights and streamline sales processes to increase your team’s efficiencies and productivity.

Consider how to make your offer competitive

Larger companies have an advantage in what they can offer candidates in terms of training and benefits. If you’re a smaller company or startup, you have to be competitive in other ways. Be creative in how you make your offer competitive vis-á-vis a larger company. Maybe it’s giving sales reps more room for growth or putting together a larger package. If you have a superior or cutting edge technology with more market potential, you can highlight the future opportunity of your company.

Don’t overlook millennial motivation

Millennials represent a force to be reckoned with in sales. As one of the largest generations and the first generation of digital natives, millennials have qualities that make them ideally suited for sales. Do you offer a work environment that is attractive to millennial talent? Do you have sales recognition programs to appeal to millennials? Do you have ways to support millennials’ interest in social involvement – and socialization with their peers? Millennials also value opportunities for both personal and professional development. Do you have training programs in place, or can you sponsor attendance at conferences or workshops? For more insight into the millennial mindset, check out this eBook “15 Trends That Define Millennial Sales Talent.”

Weigh the pros and cons of sales skills assessment tests

Giving people sales skill assessment or sales personality tests can reveal the higher quality candidates. However, tests can also delay the process and might be off-putting for some candidates. While seasoned reps might be more accustomed to testing, millennials may not. And, if a candidate is talking to three companies and two aren’t asking for a test, you may be putting your company at a disadvantage. You need to weigh these factors and the risk of delaying the process versus the value you can gain with a sales assessment evaluation.

Choose recruiters carefully

There are different types of recruiters. While some focus solely on their existing networks, others go beyond their contact network to source candidates. The latter is preferable. Ask if your recruiter has experience and is willing to source candidates beyond their own network and how they approach the process. How do they use LinkedIn and LinkedIn Ads to attract talent?

Keep an eye on job aggregators

Pay attention to job aggregators like SimplyHired, Indeed, and Glassdoor. In addition to posting jobs, you need to monitor these communities to see what’s being said about your company. Your candidates are looking at these sites!

This article was originally published here.