Spotting ‘coachable’ talent

Nearly 1 in 2 Fast Growth Tech companies (47%) claim it takes 10 or more months for new sales people to become fully productive, according to CSO Insights. 2 in 3 tech companies said it took 7 months or more for a sales person to become fully productive. Investing this much time into someone should show that you need talent who are ‘coachable’.

Making mistakes throughout your hiring process can be very costly, especially if you’re hiring at a senior level. Sales cycles in the Fast Growth Tech industry can take 2 years and beyond sometimes. Combine that with you investing 3-4 months of interviewing to find the perfect candidate – it will be over a year before you see any true return on your hiring efforts and your recent funding.

Peter Brzezinka, Director at Org 3D, discusses his opinions on how to spot the ‘uncoachables’ and what to look for when interviewing.

Not interested in their own career.

Have you tried to give feedback that will help them to grow their skill sets? Or given them a new project that they have shied away from?

Take feedback personally.

Do they become overly emotional about the feedback you’re giving? Do they switch off or just look to end the conversation?

Blame others.

“Well I would be doing that but…” is one of my favourite lines. Where there is a will, there is a way. Do they take accountability for their own actions or is there a chip on the shoulder?

Stuck in the comfort zone.

Are they willing to push themselves and go the extra mile? Or, have they remained stagnant without challenging any form of status quo?

They are threatened by new hires.

How much support do they offer to anyone new coming into the business? Do they provide helpful guidance and mentoring? Or do they spread gossip and talk down to anyone new joining?

How do you recognize coachable talent?

During the interview process, there are a handful of questions that will help you to determine if you have a coachable person sat in front of you.

  • What are their personal goals?

Coachable talent typically has targets to aim towards – not just revenue targets, but personal targets. Learn a new language, bench 80kg, run 10k in under 25 minutes. Goal-orientated employees are much more likely to achieve their ambitions than those who do not set goals.

  • What personal goals have they achieved thus far?

Anyone can give a goal off the cuff – but have they achieved anything of note thus far? Again, doesn’t have to be ground-breaking – reducing debt, travelling, owning a new car, written a book… anything – if they have achieved it! If you are working with someone who has hit their goal and happy to set another goal – then you have someone coachable in your team.

  • What have they learned, that isn’t through the education system?

If your potential employee is looking to join your Fast Growth Tech start-up, without a doubt they will be out of their comfort zone. New colleagues, innovative software, competitive environment – you can’t escape it. It’s going to be a tough ride.

But, throughout tough environments, have they continued to personally develop? What do they read? What are their interests? What seminars or events do they attend?

23% of funded start-ups fail because they haven’t got the right team, it’s vital that your tech business gets it right.

If you are looking for assistance on how to spot coachable talent, please contact me on [email protected] or +44 (0)161 791 1546