Sales recruiting is tough. But it can be even more difficult if you’re following terrible recruiting advice. Keep reading to learn more.
Your company has so much to offer: the products you sell are exciting, you’re an innovator in your field, you have a solid sales process, you have fun sales contests, and your sales compensation plan is pretty great. So you might be surprised that you can’t seem to recruit great sales people to join your team. Try as you might, you just keep attracting and hiring mediocre sales professionals.
Your sales recruiting tactics might be the problem. Here’s some of the worst advice we’ve ever heard about sales recruiting. Beware, if you’re using any of these techniques, you should stop immediately. When you do, you’ll see better success for your efforts.
You might have heard that you should hire candidates with no experience. Experienced sales people might have bad habits that are hard to break and newbies are a blank canvas ready for training. And at least you think the newbie has potential, even if he has no experience.
But if you compromise your basic hiring requirements, you’ll lose at sales recruiting. You need to ensure that your candidates have at least the minimum requirements to get the job done correctly.
Do you think that interviewing candidates when you have no open positions is a waste of time? You’re not alone. Many hiring managers only hire when there’s an immediate need for a new sales rep in the department. But when you do this, you’ll be rushed to make hiring decisions, and in turn, you could end up making hiring mistakes or just settling for the best in the group, even if he’s not actually good enough.
You should always be recruiting in sales. It’s very difficult to find a quality sales professional who will meet quota and exceed your expectations. It’s not realistic to think that you can find this gem in a two-week window.
Too many managers hire new sales professionals because they get along in the interview and believe that these candidates will bring harmony in the workplace. But hiring people just like you isn’t ideal. A great work environment needs diversity—a variety of different perspectives and ideas. This is what fertilizes innovation. Plus, just because you like a candidate doesn’t mean he can get the job done right—you could get blinded by your emotional bias and fail to look for flaws when you love a candidate’s personality because it’s just like yours.
So maybe you never hire newbies, but do you hire only for skill? If skills and experience are all that you focus on, you probably have a high turnover rate. It’s great to find a candidate that has stellar sales skills and knows how to close, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll be happy or excel in your unique workplace. He could hate the products you sell and quit soon after he’s hired. He could clash with your management style. He could turn your entire sales team upside down, which can wreak havoc with productivity. You must recruit for cultural fit.
Employers often think that all they need to do is show up and that great sales people will just flock to get the job. But this isn’t so. Sales recruiting isn’t a short-term process. You need to build your employer brand, plant seeds and build relationships if you want to recruit the very best candidates.
If you’ve been following this awful sales recruiting advice, we recommend that you stop immediately. The way you recruit matters. So do it right.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ 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 two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.