Building Talent Pools
Are you getting the kind of sales talent you need to grow your team? Know you can do better? When you’re recruiting for your sales team, it’s easy to run into stalls, especially if you have loads of hiring to do. There’s no substitute for developing several sources of sales talent.
In fact, it’s a fundamental skill you must master in order to enjoy predictable recruitment success. Having multiple straws in the broom will give you the power you need to pull in quality candidates with consistency. The key to any sales recruitment program is to develop, build, and nurture contacts from multiple sources even before you need them.
Build a steady stream of top sales talent and keep your recruitment pipeline full with these Seven sources:
1. Former employees
Former employees are ideal recruitment targets. They walk in the door knowing the inner workings of your organization, cultural nuances, and sales expectations. They become productive quickly because ramp up time is minimal. You’d be surprised how many former employees might consider coming back. But you’ll never know unless you ask.
2. Company website
Branding is important for any organization. Companies typically invest their marketing efforts on attracting new clients rather than new employees. But more emphasis can be devoted to recruitment marketing. When potential applicants come to your company’s website, they’ll usually check out the careers page.
If they see boring job descriptions that are tired and old, they’ll just move on. Keep your sales job openings posted, interesting, and up to date. Well-written position descriptions outline the job function, skill requirements, and organizational culture. Using a friendly tone that’s inviting and warm will help you attract potential applicants.
3. Job boards
There’s a great deal of variation among job boards. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re all the same. You’ll have to spend some time measuring results and learning which job boards work best for your sales openings. Results will vary by geographic location, level of position, and job function.
4. Sales recruitment agencies
Executive recruitment agencies specializing in sales candidates can be strong sources of sales talent. Like job boards, they should be tested and used for positions that match their areas of expertise. This will vary greatly among firms depending on the level of position, geographic region, market segments served, and more.
Moreover, recruiting agencies that specialize in sales can take a lot of the time out of the vetting process, present highly matched candidates, and shorten the time to hire. Build relationships with several recruiters so they get to know the types of sales candidates you’re most interested in hiring.
5. Employee referrals
Employee referrals can be a strong source of sales talent when you’re building a sales team. If you are underusing this recruitment channel, you’ll be impressed with the results it can deliver. The key is to put a system in place and execute the program with consistency. It will be important to educate employees on the referral process and set clear expectations about participating in the program.
Without clear guidelines, you risk spending too much time with the wrong applicants. Drive employee participation by affirming and recognizing employees who generate referrals. Thank employees who refer good candidate publicly, in memos, at meetings, and never let their referrals be a secret.
6. LinkedIn profiles
LinkedIn is not only a potential resource for sales candidates; it’s the ultimate time saver. LinkedIn takes the mystery out of who you are trying to recruit and what types of skills the person has. It will prevent you from spending time with candidates who are less likely to be a strong fit for your organization.
You can quickly scan profiles and get a good idea if the person might be a high potential match. Join groups where sales candidates are members and post your openings on your LinkedIn profile.
7. Local & Industry News
Keep your ear to the ground. Always be listening for layoffs, mergers, and acquisitions. Read local industry business news to stay current about local market happenings.
You’re four times more likely to succeed when recruiting candidates whose circumstances have changed through an acquisition, executive change, or layoff than you are otherwise. Staying on top of the market will skyrocket your sales recruitment success.
Multiple Sales Recruiting Sources
In sales, you’d never depend on one source for customer leads or you’d be out of a job. Recruiting is similar. Great sales talent doesn’t come from one “magical source.” Identifying and attracting sales talent is a process that requires a variety of sources.
For best results track what works, continue adding new recruitment channels, and experiment. Combine these seven sources with consistency and the right message, and you’ll attract top sales talent, expand the potential applicant pool, and shorten the time it takes to build a winning sales team.