Replacing a member of the sales team isn’t easy – and doing it discreetly can be difficult, especially when sales staff work closely together or are regularly monitoring one another’s progress.

When you search for a new sales team member, it’s important to do it without damaging the productivity of the team member who needs to be replaced. How can you navigate this delicate situation? Keep these tips in mind:

  1. Stay quiet. Tell as few people as possible about the search for a new candidate. Resist the urge to correct any rumors or to provide information to employees. Not only will you be able to conduct the search more discreetly, you’ll also prevent information from becoming warped, distorted, or blown completely out of proportion as it makes its way around the office.
  2. Establish and document the reasons for termination. Before you mention that a sales team member will be terminated, make sure you have all the documentation needed to establish the reason for firing. Even in an “at-will” employment state, having the data available to demonstrate that the team member is underperforming or is a regular source of conflict among their co-workers is essential to reducing pushback from employees – and to protecting the company from any potential discrimination claims.
  3. Choose an off-site location for interviews. No matter how quietly you perform the search or how carefully you document, sales team members will realize something is up if you’re inviting new candidates into the office for interviews. Protect the privacy of the candidates and the search by interviewing off-site. Choose your location carefully to provide privacy and preserve the candidate’s impression of your organization.
  4. Work closely with your recruiter. Your staffing partner can help preserve the confidentiality of the search by taking the lead. Work closely with your recruiter to explain what you’re looking for in a replacement candidate. Your recruiter will search for candidates who meet those criteria and who offer a good cultural “fit” with the company and the rest of the team. Moving the search out of the office by placing it in your recruiter’s hands can cut down on information “leaks” while also improving the quality of recommended candidates.

At SMR Group, our recruiters specialize in matching medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies with the best sales and marketing talent available. Contact us today to learn more.

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