How do I attract top sales talent? I find this question being asked repeatedly when speaking with business and sales leaders. It is nearly unanimous that they all struggle with finding and keeping good sales professionals.
Solving this tough challenge involves selling your company as much to prospective employees as to prospective customers. Too many businesses set up all of their marketing and communications towards clients. Companies that want to win the war for top sales talent should consider expanding efforts in four key areas.
1. Marketing Your Company and Positions
Your company website is a critical piece of the recruitment puzzle. It affects your visibility on search engines like Google or job boards like Indeed and SimplyHired. Is there a well-defined section of your website for careers with updated positions and information about what it’s like to work in your company? For many companies there are significant discrepancies between the needs they have and the positions listed on their site. Either all of the positions are not listed, or the job descriptions are not clear or attractive to the type of people you want. Unfortunately, your website may be your only chance at making a good first impression or even being found online.
2. Cultivate Your Network
As you encourage your sales reps to network for new business, coach your employees and your team to network for prospective employees. Keep your current employees informed of new openings or ongoing hiring needs and ask them to spread the word to their networks on LinkedIn or other communities. Ensure all of your front line employees who answer the phone or receive emails are aware of how to handle career inquiries in a positive and inviting manner. As you build a pool of interested, qualified candidates, keep in touch with them.
3. Convey Your Culture
A description of your company culture will help attract the types of professionals that best fit in with your company. One of the biggest hurdles in getting top talent to leave their current employer is a mismatch of culture expectations. Top performers want to work in a culture that allows them to thrive. By having a clear definition of the environment you offer and the types of people that thrive in your business, you will improve candidates’ ability to self-select. It will also help the team members interviewing the candidates to clarify the requirements.
If you use external recruiters to find top talent, make sure that they are consistently conveying your message and supporting your employment brand. A good strategy is to retain a sales recruiting firm that is invested in professionally delivering a consistent message to prospective candidates.
4. Clearly explain the benefits of working for your company
To help explain the benefits of working for your company, start by asking yourself and current employees, “What makes my company better to work for than other firms in the area?” Try to find what makes your company different and what makes your employees happy and use these as selling points for potential employees. Many employers try to compete on pay, but pay is only one of many benefits that prospective candidates consider (and typically is NOT the deciding factor). If you can provide uniqueness in your employer brand, you will likely stand out as a well sought after company to work for!
Top talent drives top results for your company. If you want to be the best, you need to hire the best. To start attracting the best, you need to be attractive! Ensure you are selling yourself to prospective employees.
What actions have you taken to ensure your company is attracting top candidates?
This post is the first in a multi-part series about making your business attractive to top sales talent. In the next part of this series we will delve further into Marketing Your Company and Positions. Find out why you may not be getting potential employees to apply for your jobs.