A bad job description will attract all of the wrong sales people. Here’s how to fix the problem so your descriptions start to attract top talent.
The vast majority of job postings suck. So if yours are attracting the wrong candidates, you’re not alone. Don’t worry. It doesn’t mean that you’re doomed from ever attracting top sales people. All you need to do is learn how to transform your crappy job description into a stellar one.
Below, we’ve identified the top problems with bad job postings and ways to fix them.
Many hiring managers start their postings off with a long paragraph about their companies. Boring! Your job posting is supposed to act like a headline that attracts sales people, and blathering on about your company isn’t the way to do that—readers will quickly move on to other job opportunities.
Your job posting should grab readers’ attention and reel them in, which means it should be about what they want to hear—not about what you want to tell them. Ditch the PR mumbo-jumbo and go straight to the information that matters, like money, career progression, selling tools, opportunities, training and development, company culture, and earning potential. Address the hot buttons—the key things that top sales people really want to know when considering a position.
“The ideal applicant will have…” is not a good way to engage the reader. Your company has a unique personality, and you need to make it shine in your job description. You should be speaking directly to the talented sales people you want to hire with your own voice. If your company has a casual and fun atmosphere, make these great qualities show in your posting through a casual and fun writing style.
Many hiring managers will treat the job description as a wish list of traits they want from their ideal candidates. Unfortunately, this can sound more like an online dating profile than a job posting. And there is a very real possibility that your ideal candidate, the one with every single one of the traits and skills you’ve listed, doesn’t exist. And by writing a long, stringent list of requirements, you could be inadvertently turning away awesome candidates.
Is a college degree really necessary? Does the candidate have to have five years of experience in sales or will you also consider those with three or four years of experience? If you just provide a long list of requirements, you might scare off great sales people who might only be lacking one or two of the skills you listed—and skills that aren’t actually deal breakers. Make sure to clearly separate the two categories.
You work tirelessly to set your company apart from your competitors when it comes to the products or services that you offer, so why aren’t you applying this concept to your job description? It’s just as critical to stand out when hiring. If you offer work-at-home days, a company car, a flexible schedule, or even pizza Fridays, make it known! Show off the great benefits that your company offers so you can attract top sales people before they decide to work for the competition.
If you’re not setting expectations for the hiring process, you’re likely wasting your candidate’s time as well as your own. If your hiring process includes acquiring samples or a portfolio and conducting an initial phone interview and two in-person interviews before following up with candidates and making final decisions, make that clear in your posting. You don’t want to lose great candidates because they get frustrated with your hiring process. When you set expectations from the beginning, then candidates can know what they’re getting into and decide whether or not to apply. In addition, make it as easy as possible for them to apply—no overly complicated processes.
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.