Can Assessment Centers be Used to Improve the Salesperson Selection Process?

Randall, E. James; Cooke, Ernest F.; Jefferies, Richard J.
September 1981
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Fall/Winter81/82, Vol. 2 Issue 1, p52
Academic Journal
The article discusses problems encountered in salesperon selection process and the kind of role that assessment centres can play in helping through this process. Misemployment, hiring the wrong person for the wrong job, exists in all industries for all job categories. However, in no category is the problem more serious than in sales. Some companies, in order to circumvent this problem, try to hire salespeople with experience and a proven sales record. However, there are drawbacks to this approach. The costs to businesses for the hiring and training of salespeople are staggering. These costs include advertising, employment agency fees, salaries or draws, and expenses, as well as training and assimilating costs. One of the major problems in discussing the selection of sales personnel is the many different types of sales positions in existence today. Some selling situations require a six months to two year negotiating period to complete the sale. This requires great patience and perseverance on the part of the salespeople involved. Many companies use a variety of tests in the screening of potential job applicants.


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