Five Sales Recruiting Tips

BY C. Lee Smith
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By any measure, recruiting continues to be a challenge for employers this year. You may need some key sales recruiting tips to get ahead of the competition because industry operators like Monster are reporting steady growth in job postings for sales and related occupations.

Sales Recruiting Tips

Practice the following five sales recruiting tips and you’ll find the process of locating and onboarding your next successful rep will be less stressful than usual. And you'll likely save time.

  1. Always Be Recruiting
  2. Expand Your Network
  3. Be Flexible About Location When Recruiting
  4. Reduce Reliance on Automated Tracking Systems
  5. Use Psychometric Assessments

Always Be Recruiting

Since candidates may not exactly be rushing to apply for your open sales position, you’ll have to turn yourself into a ninja recruiter. Some managers are of the mindset that they should always be recruiting and that's a strategy you should consider. Our research shows that when it’s time to hire, 30% of managers recruit candidates from vendors, partners or clients – an indication that they’ve been watching certain individuals. And over 50% rely on networking to find possible candidates.

Expand Your Network

As a busy sales manager, you may tell yourself you don’t have time for the sales recruiting tips in this post, especially the one about expanding your network. Maintaining relationships, whether in person or virtually, takes time. But you can’t afford to skip this step. The secret to success is being efficient and targeting which organizations to connect with.

To be efficient, devote an hour or two each week to expanding your horizons and your contacts. If you sell primarily to local clients, you’ll likely want to hire local talent. Are you supporting your local chamber of commerce? If not, join the organization and attend a meeting or two to increase your visibility and get to know people.

Managers at companies selling on a regional or national level can become more visible and credible by joining trade associations or organizations. Posting articles to the social sites of these organizations and making positive comments on others’ posts allow you to develop credibility. When you post an announcement for an open position, a wider audience will notice.

Be Flexible About Location When Recruiting

You may be determined to have warm bodies in every cubicle of your office space. Your sales candidates may have a different idea about where they want to work. The latest research shows that up to 25% of all sales and business development jobs are now performed at locations other than the home office. To attract candidates, your job description should mention that the position can, at minimum, be worked at a hybrid location.

The next step in location flexibility is geographic. Today’s workers want to live in places that suit their personal needs – ranging from great school systems to outdoor recreational offerings. With today’s technology, you may be able to recruit a geographically remote individual who fits your organization’s needs.

Reduce Reliance on Automated Tracking Systems

One goal of automation is to improve efficiency. That’s likely what the designers of automated tracking systems had in mind when they introduced this technology. But if you fail to adjust your system’s parameters to accommodate changes in the marketplace, you won’t see many candidates for your open positions. “The longer and more complicated the job description, the more people get weeded out by the automated systems,” writes Kathryn Dill for the Wall Street Journal.  If you’ve been using this kind of system to automate recruiting and hiring, profiles of good candidates may not be reaching hiring managers.

Use Psychometric Assessments

An appealing candidate located through your network is available to start working for you immediately. It’s tempting to make an offer and move on from the hiring process, isn’t it? Don’t let your impulses drive your decisions. Like many sales managers, you probably experience turnover that exceeds 35% in your department. Since hiring continues to pose a challenge, you should take your time to vet the candidate completely, and that means asking them to take sales skills and psychometric assessments.

The assessment results will expand your knowledge of your candidates. You may learn the candidate is better suited for a different type of sales job in your organization. Or you may find that the individual has a few gaps in relevant education but possesses great experience with the kinds of customers you want to sell to.

Recruiting to fill any position is a challenge, but when you follow these sales recruiting tips, you may find potential candidates in places you never expected.

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