Hiring sales people in China does not have to be so hit and miss. With right thinking you can have great sales people and even a great team.
12 Steps to Hiring Sales People in China and Keeping Them
1. Clarify what and how you need the salesman to sell. (Most companies do this pretty well.)
2. If you have no entity in China, then determine how to legally hire. (We can help you here.)
3. Find and recruit candidates from similar industries. (Most companies start to falter here- good organizers of records usually make bad recruiters.)
4. Interview to find out in detail what they really have done. Avoid resume perfection focus (The vast majority of companies fail here as well. HR and hiring managers do not have the heart or energy to dig deep enough considering other issues around them.)
5. Consider and interview to get to the character of the individual. (This is critical and very hard to get done. I know of no one who is doing this well in house- thus I started my company to fill this gap as well as professionalize the overall process.)
6. Background check as salesmen can tell a very good story. (Background check effectiveness is nearly zero in companies in China. You have to do a lot of work to get it done correctly, and no one in house really has that time or skill to give.) See also this infographic
7. Determine if you need to sign a non-compete with the candidate and what kind of confidentiality agreement and training agreement you should require. (This is critical and often not faced.)
8. Determine how to incentivize this candidate. (very valuable – hard to achieve flexibility here though. Also you do get exactly what you pay for.)
9. Stay in solid touch after you make offer. (Who has time for this?)
10. Do excellent initial training to get them to be part of your team (about 50% of good companies get this done well enough).
11. Consistently hear their thoughts on their position and understand what their complaints mean. Give them solid feedback at least once a month (yearly feedback is uncommon actually).
12. Fulfill all your promises promptly.
I hope this helps. You can find and retain Great Chinese salesmen. I have done it and attest it can be done. We work to make the Recruitment Process work seamlessly here within the steps listed. Hiring Sales people in China does not have to be like rolling for 11. To keep your workers, you first must hire the right ones. Your thinking must get past their resume (which likely is not true), how much can they potentially sell (it is easy to say $5m in new sales) , or even how you can use them. You need to know their character. We know the way to know.