The Evolution of Marijuana Legalization: What Hiring Managers, HR Professionals and Sales Candidates Need to Know

Here’s what we know so far about the changing legal nature of marijuana:

As of early April, 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of medical marijuana. 8 of those states have also decriminalized recreational use of marijuana. All the same, it is important to note that marijuana is still illegal and classified as a drug on the federal level.

Company Policies on Marijuana Use:

Because of the differing federal and state laws, sales companies have a lot of leverage in deciding what their specific drug policy will be for their company. They are well within their rights to deny employment should a sales candidate’s drug test indicate marijuana usage, even if marijuana is legal in the state. This is allowed, because they can choose to abide by the federal laws. For companies who have maintained a zero-tolerance drug policy, they will likely embrace the opportunity to keep their drug policy the same, regardless of changes in state laws. In this case, it is suggested that employers clearly explain to their employees that, even if recreational marijuana is legal, if they are found to be using marijuana, they can still lose their job.

However, many other companies are opting to remove marijuana from pre-hiring screening, based on new state laws. Yet, they are within their rights to terminate employees for underperformance or if found to be working under the influence of marijuana.

This remains a murky area, but one thing most experts agree upon, is that each company needs to have a clearly defined drug policy. In fact, some states mandate that employers have a written drug-testing policy, wherein the company states its specific position regarding the use of marijuana in states where it has been legalized.

Legalized Marijuana and Sales Candidates

Sales candidates would be wise to understand the exact drug policy of a company they are seeking to work for. Assuming that pot will not be an issue in drug testing—in states where recreational or medicinal marijuana has been legalized—is a dangerous gamble. Failing to understand what is expected of you as a sales candidate, only to have a drug test which is positive for marijuana prevent you from being hired, will be a waste of everyone’s time.

Sales Recruiters Help Hiring Managers & Sales Candidates Prevent Confusion Over Drug Policies

At Grapevine Targeting Sales Recruiting, we take the guesswork out of drug testing policies for candidates. During our pre-screen interviews with candidates (before we forward candidates to hiring managers), we verbally inform candidates of the background check and drug testing requirements that specific companies have. This is done to address any potential issues pro-actively, so neither hiring manager, nor HR professional, nor the sales candidate is unclear on what is allowed, and what may be prohibited.

Andy Wright is the owner and an active recruiter at Grapevine – Targeted Sales Recruiting. Andy began his recruiting career in 2003, and has a proven track record of helping companies both large and small increase sales team retention and productivity through recruiting top talent. Prior to launching Grapevine in December of 2011, Andy held key leadership positions for two Twin Cities-based search firms, training and managing teams of recruiters while developing new business and managing national account relationships. Visit, call 952.856.2371 or

Sales Rep Reviews: Tips for Providing First Rate Performance Reviews

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By Adam Vortherms

As a Sales Manager or HR Manager charged with providing performance reviews of your sales professionals, your reps are counting on you to conduct a fair, thoughtful, and helpful analysis of their work. From recognizing strengths, to providing constructive criticism, Sales Managers and HR Managers need to know how to conduct sales rep reviews that will leave team members encouraged and inspired to continually improve.

The following best practices should be used by Sales Managers or HR Managers so that your sales pros receive reviews that make them want to keep shooting for the stars.

  • Inform and Educate
    Make sure your sales rep is aware of how their performance will be evaluated. This includes educating them on the specific criteria which is being used to assess their performance.
  • Create an Atmosphere Conducive to Open Communication
    Setting a tone of collaboration, where your sales rep knows that the review isn’t a lecture, but is instead a discussion, will open the lines of communication.  This is particularly beneficial to sales reps who have questions or concerns, but may otherwise be afraid to ask or address them.  By making it known that this review is a two-way discussion, you’re liable to get your reps to open up and share their ideas or ask questions freely.
  • Encourage Self Evaluation
    By urging your sales professionals to honestly examine and evaluate their own performance, your reps have the opportunity to illuminate their strengths and weaknesses as they see them.  This way, a collaborative plan for improvement can be created.
  • Keep It Concise, Direct, Factual and Detail Oriented
    Performance reviews are not a time for generalizations.  Cite specific examples of areas needing improvement, or recognize specific accomplishments, goals achieved, etc.  This will demonstrate your personal attention and dedication to helping them build upon existing strengths, thereby reaching new levels of success.
  • Choose and Document Your Words Carefully
    It is vital that all points discussed in a performance review are documented. It is also crucial that you pay attention to the language you use in documentation, to ensure that the words cannot be misconstrued should an employee file a grievance.
  • Stay Focused on Setting Goals
    The desired outcome of any performance review is to establish new goals for your sales rep.  New benchmarks could be clearly spelled out, so that expectations are understood and agreed upon.  All newly created goals should be documented and discussed thoroughly before the review is finished.

At Grapevine Targeted Sales Recruiting, we understand how crucial it is to have the very best sales managers and sales reps on your team in order to reach your sales goals. As part of your strategy for attracting and retaining the best sales professional in the business, you’ll need to make sure that you put personal attention into each performance review you provide.

If you’re in need of top sales reps or sales managers to join your team, contact us today. Grapevine Targeted Sales Recruiting helps businesses from diverse industries to maximize sales, through providing premier sales recruitment services.

Adam Vortherms is a recruiting manager at Grapevine – Targeted Sales Recruiting. Visit , call 952.856.2371 or email

Hiring Sales Reps in The New Year: An Interview Checklist for 2017

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By Adam Vortherms

It’s no secret that sales companies do a lot of hiring at the start of the New Year. With that in mind, here is a valuable checklist Hiring Managers can refer to, in order thin the herd of candidates, come hiring time in January.

  1. Did the sales candidate come prepared?

Readiness is a sign that a sales candidate takes this opportunity seriously—a good omen for a future hire. Did the candidate come prepared to professionally engage with your hiring team? Did he or she bring a hard copy of their resume or portfolio? Did they dress appropriately and professionally? Do they show a basic understanding and knowledge of your company and your goals? Well-prepared candidates are easy to spot—they are more engaged and can directly relate their own experiences to your expectations and goals.

  1. Did the sales candidate ask appropriate questions?

At the end of most interviews, most Hiring Managers will likely ask potential candidates whether they have any questions. Oftentimes, this prime opportunity for a candidate to show preparedness and interest in a company is sorely missed. The wise candidate will ask questions to signal to Hiring Managers that they’ve thoughtfully considered the position they’ve applied for, with queries along the lines of: What’s the company culture like? Are there opportunities for growth? What’s typical management style?

  1. Did the sales candidate relate their own professional experience to the role he or she is applying for?

The most successful sales job candidates are ones who can specifically and concretely relate their prior professional experiences to what’s required in the potential position. Any candidate can profess to have a host of positive attributes—hardworking, dedicated, etc.—but thoughtful candidates won’t stop there. Instead, they’ll use examples from their professional experience to demonstrate said attributes, and prove how they will help your company to reach your sales goals. Even if their prior experience isn’t directly related to your specific industry, top sales rep candidates can still illustrate strong sales acumen by relaying past successes.

  1. Is the candidate someone I would buy from personally?

This is often the x-factor that pushes successful sales candidates over the edge compared to their competition. A long list of prior experiences pales when the candidate comes off as unlikable or as someone you wouldn’t want to work with on a daily basis. Use the interview to assess the candidate’s personality and likeability—are they making an effort to connect on a personal level? Are they displaying the right mood and temperament for an interview setting? Do they seem genuine and trustworthy? Is the sales candidate a good listener, as well as a likeable conversation partner? After all, people buy from people they like and trust.

At Grapevine Targeted Sales Recruiting, we understand how crucial it is to have the very best sales managers and sales reps on your team in order to reach your sales goals.  If you’re in need of recruiting top sales performers to join your team in 2017, contact us today. Grapevine Targeted Sales Recruiting helps companies across all industries to maximize sales, through providing a comprehensive and selective recruitment process to ensure that an outstanding sales professional is available to you for hiring.

Adam Vortherms is a recruiting manager at Grapevine – Targeted Sales Recruiting. Visit , call 952.856.2371 or email

What Your Potential Sales Rep’s Social Media May Reveal: A Guide for Hiring Managers

Recruiting potential candidates. What to look for on their social media accounts.

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By Samantha Neumann

60% of employers use social media as a means to screen potential job candidates, according to the recently released 2016 Social Media Recruitment Survey conducted by After polling some 2,000 hiring managers and Human Resources professionals, along with over 3,000 American workers, the study found that the majority of those responsible for bringing in new talent spend a significant amount of time scoping out social media pages for insight into a candidate’s digital life. Case in point: 49% of hiring managers and HR professionals reported that what they found on a candidate’s social media pages actually caused them to pass on the potential employee.

So, what’s the merit of a using social media to screen a potential sales rep or sales manager? Frankly, in this day and age, there’s a variety of meaningful information to be gleaned from a candidate’s online life. What might not be apparent on a sales rep’s resume or in an interview setting can be readily discovered by doing a quick online sweep. Make no mistake though, screening social media is not just about digging up dirt on a candidate. On the contrary, searching social media can corroborate an applicant’s professional qualifications and allow hiring managers to screen for future sales success.

In fact, results from the survey revealed: “Most hiring managers aren’t intentionally looking for negatives. Six in ten employers who currently use social networking sites to research job candidates (60 percent) are “looking for information that supports their qualifications for the job.”

This begs the question:  If you’re a hiring manager or HR professional in charge of bringing in sales superstars, why wouldn’t you use a candidate’s digital presence to best understand the potential of a new team member?

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you review social media pages of sales candidates:

1. Look for Posts That Showcase Personality

If you’re in charge of hiring for a business where fitting into the company culture is a big plus, then scoping out a sales candidate’s profile to get a sense of their interests, tastes, and personality can go a long way in determining if he or she will fit well with the rest of your sales team.

2. Watch for Red Flags

Social media can be indispensably informative when it comes to weeding out candidates who’ve posted inflammatory or discriminatory material online. A candidate is not likely to divulge questionable behavior during an interview, but it may be apparent on his or her social media pages. This sort of background sweep can save you a lot of headaches in the future.

3. Check in on Communication Skills

How a sales professional presents him or herself on social media conveys more than just hobbies and personality, it can also reveal clues to a person’s communication skills. Sales candidates who convey a professional image in their online presence are likely to represent your company well.

4. Confirm the Facts

Lastly, social media sites can provide incredible access to previous employers to verify the material that a potential sales rep has listed on their resume or portfolio. This is necessary, because according to a 2015 CareerBuilder study of 2,000 HR professionals and hiring managers, an incredible 56% of higher managers found lies on candidates’ resumes.  To prevent falling prey to fraudulent resumes, a quick online confirmation, particularly through sites such as can help you easily weed out unqualified candidates who resume pad and would otherwise waste your time.

All in all, scanning the social media pages of a candidate for a sales position in your company, can be a valuable tool in a hiring manager’s arsenal when hunting for the perfect person to fill a position. As the influence of technology becomes more deeply engrained in our hiring processes, hiring managers and HR professionals can put the internet to good use in making wise, well-informed, and confident hiring decisions.

If you’re looking to recruit outstanding sales performers to join your team in 2017, contact us today. Grapevine Targeted Sales Recruiting has helped countless companies take their business to the next level by providing a painstakingly selective recruitment process to ensure that an outstanding sales professional is available to you for hiring.

Samantha Neumann is a professional sales recruiter at Grapevine – Targeted Sales Recruiting. Visit , call 952.856.2371 or email

6 Budget-Friendly Ways to Engage Your Employees

andydiversityThanks to an improving labor market, people are feeling more comfortable exploring their job options – which means companies are having to work that much harder to retain top talent and keep them engaged.

As the CEO of a staffing firm, I know there are countless reasons for staffing firms to keep their recruiters engaged and happy, not the least of which is the fact that the recruiting industry has a notoriously high turnover rate. It’s also been found that longer recruiter tenure leads to better relationship development with clients and candidates.

There are extravagant ways to keep employees engaged. Though my advice draws from my own staffing-specific experience, what I’ve found to work for us can really work for any type of business.

Here are six of my tried-and-true tips:

1. Set the tone.

It’s not all about offering free lunches or half days on Fridays. Rather, it’s about the culture and ensuring employees feel valued and respected. If you develop a culture of hard-working, driven people, make sure your recruiters fit that mold. Invest in them early, before they even start contributing. Encourage them to attend conferences and seminars. Show them there’s always room for improvement and more to learn about this business, no matter what level they’re at.

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