4 things that great FMCG brands get right when they hire field sales representatives

Making a hire in field sales is a make or break moment for any brand, and there are 2 points of failure: hiring the wrong person, or not hiring fast enough and missing a busy season. Here we’ll walk through a speedy, modern and empathetic hiring process to get this position filled ASAP. 


Great job descriptions

This position isn’t worth going through recruiters for so we’re going to have to write the job advert ourselves. 

A good starting point is to look at other field sales jobs that are being advertised and collect ones that you really like, and ones that you really dislike. Figure out why you’ve picked these, and let the reasoning guide you on how to write your own. 

Your job description shouldn’t be a snooze-fest.I mean, your brand isn’t boring and vague so why would your job listing be? 


Once you’re done, try and circulate this with some friends who aren’t in the FMCG space and ask for their advice. This will help you weed out some of the esoteric language that may have crept into your writing, and would put people off because they don’t understand some aspects of your advert. 


Build an amazing candidate information pack

A candidate information pack is what you’ll give people after they’ve passed screening. The aim of this is to give your candidates the best chance of securing the job and to get them excited about the prospect of working with you. 


This should include:

  • The structure of the team they’ll be working in. Who’s their manager, who are their peers going to be? Are there plans to grow or change the team over the next 12 months?

  • What the team works on. Is it finding new stockists, increasing volume, helping with activations, finding new territories or genre of venue to sell into?

  • Their contribution to the business. Tell them why this role matters, why you decided to hire for it and how they can make a real difference to the organisation.

  • Where field sales reps progress within the business/industry. When looking for more junior roles, people are concerned about how it narrows down their careers later down the line. It’s important to point to people like heads of sales, grocery buyers and other aspirational roles and show them their career paths from being a field sales representative. 

  • What the interviews will be about, and how to succeed in them. 


Revealing interview questions

When we’re speaking with people who have little work experience, we can’t ask them for examples of how they’ve done things in the past. The point of these interview questions is to understand their mindset and attitude, plus how good they are at talking to strangers (as that’s the critical part of their job). 

  • What makes this brand special?

  • Who are the target customers for this brand?

  • What do you like about field sales? 

  • Can you describe a time when you’ve chosen a brand that you haven’t tried before, and what led you to that choice. 

  • Tell me about a time when you’ve had to overcome a challenge on the spot.


Always leave things on a positive note 

No matter the outcome, make sure to send your candidates off with a smile. Even if they don’t join you, leave them feeling pumped about your brand. 

Ask other employees what a great “no” looks like when they’ve been job hunting. This is critically important, because this could turn the unsuccessful candidate into a superfan or a net detractor. 

Replying with something like “We really liked you personally, and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting you throughout the interview process. However, there was another candidate who was less hesitant around answering difficult questions about our product and so we’ve chosen to go with them this time. That being said, you will be a great addition to whichever team you end up joining.” 



Are you hiring right now? Why not download our guide on how to hire and train field sales reps?

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