Attracting Quality Sales Talent in a Competitive Job Market
Top sales reps are in high demand and the competition for hiring them can be fierce. It’s hard to spot a great salesperson before the interview process, and it’s even harder to convince great sales reps to join your team once you’ve found them. Why? Top sales talent is in high demand.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLT) released a report in March 2022, which stated that there were 11 million job openings in the U.S. economy in December and only 6 million candidates were looking for jobs. In fact, amidst the pandemic, employers were faced with candidates who had no problem walking away from great job opportunities and even signed offer letters. So, how do you beat out the competition and attract the best sales talent to your organization?
We know of a few strategies that work!
Build a Company With an Attractive Work Culture and Values
Phil Libin, CEO and Founder of Evernote said, “We try to have the kind of a culture that doesn’t value excuses in the sense that when you’re supposed to accomplish something, and you’re at a high level, then your job is to accomplish it, in spite of difficulty. And you’re rewarded for dealing with that.”
Modern salespeople want to work for a company with an attractive work culture and company values. They don’t just want to just show up for a commission, they want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Your company’s culture and values should reflect this change.
Some specifics you can consider to build an attractive work culture and values include:
- Promote a healthy work/life balance
- Encourage employee development and growth
- Offer competitive benefits and compensation packages
- Be transparent in your communication
- Foster a collaborative environment
Create a Referral Program for Your Employees
Compelling fact, more than 45% of the employees that were referred to by their colleagues stay in an organization for more than four years, while only 25% of the candidates hired through the job boards completed two years in a company.
This means that your employees are your best recruiters. When they’re happy with their job, they’re going to tell their friends, family, and acquaintances about it. And when those people are looking for a job, they’re more likely to apply to your company. And let’s not forget, employee referrals are four times more likely to be hired.
You can take advantage of this by creating a referral program for your employees. For every person they refer who gets hired, they get a bonus. This not only helps you attract top talent, but it also helps you retain your best employees. Make sure you promote the referral program widely so that everyone is aware of it and knows how to take advantage of it.
Invest in Employee Training and Development
93 percent of employees would stay with a firm longer if it invested in their learning and development. When you invest in employee training and development, you’re not only helping your employees grow in their careers, but you’re also showing that you’re committed to them. This is a major selling point for top sales talent, because so few organizations invest in sales training.
Additionally, more than three-quarters of people (76%) would learn new skills or retrain in order to stay employable. There are several ways you can invest in employee training and development, such as:
- Offering online courses and webinars
- Offering OnDemand self-study
- Providing mentorship opportunities
- Making use of sales coaching
- Organizing in-person training events
By investing in your sales reps’ training and development, you’re showing that you’re committed to your employees’ success. This is a major selling point for top sales talent.
Create a Killer Job Description
Don’t be lazy with your job description. Too many job descriptions sound the same. If you want to attract the best talent, you need a high impact listing. A great job description can help you firm stand out and attract the best sales talent.
Here is how you can go about that:
1. Include the Perks!
What are the benefits of working at your company? Do you offer a great work/life balance, flexible hours, or the ability to work remotely? Compensations, bonuses, and other financial incentives can also be huge selling points, so make sure to include them in your job description.
2. Offer Opportunities for Growth
Salespeople are ambitious and always looking for new opportunities to learn and grow. If you can offer them a role with room for growth, they’ll be more likely to jump at the chance to work for you.
3. Highlight Your Company Culture
Millennials and Gen-Z both appreciate a company with a great culture. If you have a positive and supportive work environment, make sure to mention it in your job description. It’ll make your company more attractive to top sales talent.
4. Be Clear About the Requirements
Be upfront about the skills and experience required for the role. Candidates will appreciate your transparency and it’ll help weed out those who are not a good fit for the job.
Show Candidates Their Role Has Purpose in Your Organization
Today’s employees, especially millennials and Gen-Z, want more than just a paycheck. They want to know that their work has a purpose and is making a difference. When you’re recruiting sales talent, make sure to show them how their role will have a valuable purpose in your organization. If you can show candidates how their work will have a positive impact on others, you’ll be more likely to attract top talent.
Get to Know Your Candidate Well
If you want to get the best sales talent, you need a vetting process that is thorough and objective. The first step is to get to know your candidate well. When you’re recruiting salespeople, take the time to get to know what their goals and aspirations are. Do you know what motivates them? The more you know about your candidates, the better equipped you’ll be to make the best hiring decision. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- Do They Believe in Your Company’s Vision & Purpose? If your company is selling a product or service that improves people’s lives, you want to make sure your candidates believe in what you’re doing. If they don’t, they’re likely to move on as soon as a better opportunity comes along.
- Do They Have the Right Attitude? It’s important to make sure your candidates have the right attitudes. Those with an open/growth mindset can be coached and can learn new skills. It’s much harder to accomplish this with candidates who have a closed/fixed mindset.
- Are They a Culture Fit? One of the most important factors in employee retention is culture fit. If a candidate is not a good fit for your company culture, they’re likely to leave as soon as they realize it.
- Do They Value the Growth Potential? Salespeople are ambitious and always looking for new opportunities to learn and grow. If you can offer them a role with room for growth, they’ll be excited to prove their capabilities.
Make the Hiring Process Easy and Transparent
The hiring process can be a major turnoff for top candidates. If it’s long, complicated, and opaque, they’re going to look for another job where the process is more straightforward. Especially so in a competitive job market. To make your hiring process more attractive to top sales talent, make sure it’s easy and transparent. Here are a few ways you can do that:
1. Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are several online recruiting applications available that can help streamline the hiring process. Use them to your advantage.
2. Keep the Process Simple
Don’t make your candidates jump through hoops just to get an interview. The simpler your process is, the more likely they are to stick with it.
3. Be Upfront About the Timeline
Let your candidates know upfront how long the process will take and when they can expect to hear back from you. This will prevent any surprises or frustration down the road.
4. Give Feedback Throughout the Process
Give your candidates feedback at every stage of the process. This will help them understand where they stand and what they need to do to improve their chances of getting the job.
5. Keep Your Promise
If you say you’re going to do something, make sure you follow through. This shows that you’re reliable and trustworthy, which are two qualities that top sales talent looks for in an employer.
Make Competitive Offers With Personal Benefits
When you’re making an offer to a candidate, it’s important to make sure it’s competitive. However, salary is not the only factor that candidates consider when deciding whether to accept a job. Other factors, such as location, company culture, growth opportunities, and work/life balance are also important to consider. This is especially true for millennials and Gen-Z who place a high value on these factors.
To attract top sales talent, make sure your offer includes personal benefits that are important to your target candidate. You can make personalized benefits more meaningful by offering things that are important to your candidates. For example, 67% of employees would sacrifice pay for richer retirement benefits and 42% would give up pay for added health benefits. By customizing your offers to each individual candidate, you’ll be more likely to attract top talent and close the deal.
Once you make the offer, the process does not end. Make efforts to keep in touch and ensure that the transition into the new role is smooth. This will show your candidate that you’re invested in their success, which will set you up for long-term success. Hiring top sales talent can be a challenge in a competitive market. Use these tips to make your process more appealing and close the deal with the best candidates.
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