Using Virtual Assessments to Identify Top Sales Talent

3 Minutes

Assessments days have been a staple of the recruitment process, allowing businesses to replace hours of individual interviews with a method analysing large groups of candidates at once. Offering a more comprehensive and in-depth approach, assessment days help potential employers identify those with the skills and competencies they’re looking for.

The COVID pandemic has temporarily put a stop to face-to-face meetings, meaning traditional assessment days can no longer take place. For many businesses, graduate assessment days provide a bulk of their recruitment, and at Pareto, we typically ran 20 a month, placing 2,000 graduates a year through this method.

During our latest Sales Surgery, Josh Perry, UK Sales Development Director at Leyton, discussed how important this approach to recruiting new sales talent was:

“The graduate assessment days made up the bulk of how we recruited, it’s very efficient. You take three or four managers along and gain an insight into what candidates are like, replicating 15-20 hours of interviews quite quickly in an afternoon.”

With graduate assessment days playing such a significant role in wider recruitment strategies, the approach is too important to be side-lined. Instead, it needs to adapt to the current challenges by taking a remote approach and moving to an online space. At Pareto, we’ve been hosting our popular sales assessment days online to ensure our clients can continue to rely on us. 

During our Sales Surgery, Aaron Spreckley, Sales Manager at UBER Eats, commented on the pivot to virtual graduate assessment days:

“We ran our first virtual assessment day in the second week of March, and I think it was the best thing we did. We really enjoyed, it was such a good day for Joe, me and the team. Since then, we’ve run three or four virtual assessment days.”

Moving assessments to a virtual space does create some concerns. Face-to-face interviews help build a personal connection and discover whether a candidate will fit into your company’s culture. Taking this away could remove a vital part of the recruitment process. 

Fortunately, through the virtual assessment days we’ve run, our clients have found the new process helps them focus on the talent piquing their interest. Traditional methods meant recruiters were unable to follow high-performing candidates as it became too obvious. This new environment allows them to spend time following an individual’s progress without appearing to pick favourites.

Josh Perry gave his thoughts on the virtual assessment day:

“What I really enjoyed about the online format is the ability to get a real insight into the three or four candidates you’re are particularly excited about, watching them and how they engage.”

It’s not just the recruitment process which has changed due to COVID, the entire selling process has moved away from physical pitches as professionals learn to swap the boardroom for the spare bedroom. This has forced salespeople to develop a brand-new suite of skills to master the art of virtual pitching and social selling

Today, these new skills are paramount to success, and those who excel in face-to-face interviews may not live up to expectations when selling virtually. So, another benefit of the online graduate assessment day is the ability to discover how candidates perform in a remote environment, allowing companies to gauge just how much training and development they will need to invest in each graduate.

At Pareto, we’ve been hosting graduate assessment days for over 25 years, and with over 2,000 graduates placed every year, our results speak for themselves. Discover why we’re the UK’s number one choice for graduate sales recruitment solutions and get in touch to view a virtual assessment day in action.

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