8 years ago
April 18, 2016

How to Find the Right Candidates for Difficult-to-Fill Sales Positions

It’s notoriously difficult to hire for sales, and even harder for difficult-to-fill sales positions. Learn how to find the best candidates.

Rhys Metler


It’s already incredibly difficult to hire in sales. Though you might get a lot of applicants, the majority of them won’t be qualified, even on paper. And the ones who do seem qualified might not be able to sell when thrown into your sales environment. The fact is, most sales people don’t know what they’re doing and will fail. And when it comes to difficult-to-fill sales positions, the task of recruiting and hiring the right candidates will become even more difficult. You’ll hire many supposedly qualified people and they won’t work out. You’ll face a low retention rate and a high turnover rate. This will be expensive and it will lead to a lot of wasted time.

So how do you stop the unending turnover cycle? How do you find the right candidates for difficult-to-fill sales positions? Consider the options below.

Build Your Employer Brand

Your employer brand is critical to the success of your hiring process. If great candidates don’t know who you are and what your company does, they won’t consider applying for your sales positions. To combat this issue and build your employer brand, showcase your company’ culture on social media platforms and on your website. Make sure you have a great hiring process that puts the candidates’ needs first—these candidates will talk with others, and you want them to say positive things. Create a positive sales environment that candidates will want to work in. Make top talent want to work for you, and it’ll be much easier to hire for difficult-to-fill sales positions.

Cultivate the Talent You Need

You don’t just have to throw your hands in the air and give up on your search, blaming the skills gap on the market. Instead, you can be proactive and actually cultivate the talent you want. You have great sales people on your team right now. Consider if any of them would want to be trained and develop skills for the difficult-to-fill position. Why go with a mediocre candidate when you can create an awesome sales person internally?

Utilize Industry Trade Associations

Motivated, professional sales people go to trade shows. They go to networking events. They go to conferences and seminars. You should be there, too. It’s a great way to find the perfect candidates for those hard-to-fill sales positions. You don’t have to limit your search to online job boards. Networking is often the better option.

Expand Your Talent Search

Consider your job description. Is it way too narrow? Does it include a niche skillset that most candidates won’t have? Are there some skills on there that you could train in-house? If you limit your candidate search to only your ideal applicants, you could be scaring away great sales people who would excel at the job with just a little bit of training. Open up and expand your talent search.

Engage a Sales Recruitment Firm

If you’ve tried everything under the sun and you just can’t seem to hire the right candidates for those difficult-to-fill sales positions, then it’s time to stop wasting time and money. It’s time to ask for help—from the experts.

Partnering with a sales recruitment firm can enable you to gain access to a wealth of qualified sales people who could actually succeed in the positions that you have open. Sales staffing firms have recruiters on staff who work diligently to recruit only the top 10% in the field. They have sound hiring processes, they test for skills, they perform background checks, and they have effective interview procedures that allow them to weed out the unqualified sales professionals. When you engage a sales recruitment firm, you’ll be able to not only fill those tough positions, but fill them quicker, and with the right candidates who will enjoy the job, succeed in the job, and stay with your company for the long term.




Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.