Are you struggling with sales rep recruitment, too? Smart Places to Look When Hiring Sales Reps
Whether you’re managing a small startup or a growing sales department, here are the best places to look when hiring sales reps:
Job boards on sites like LinkedIn or Monster.com really can work… if your job description is up to the task. Take the time to do it right by assigning the ad copy to your best in-house copywriter/marketer, or by hiring a freelancer. A good job description for hiring sales reps should be accurate, engaging, and representative of your company culture.
Accuracy means clearly outlining your qualification criteria and expected job duties. Get specific! This will help you discourage bad-fit candidates from cluttering your inbox. (Choosing the right jobsite is also a key consideration if you’re worried about resume overload. Craigslist, for example, targets a younger demographic and is notorious for yielding hundreds of applicants per day.)
Engaging means using language that grabs attention and piques interest. If your goal is to attract smart, busy professionals, your ad needs to quickly set itself apart by explaining what makes your open position unique, enjoyable, and lucrative.
Representative of your company culture means that your job ad should be honest. Don’t ask for a “sales ninja” with “kickass cold-calling skills,” if you expect to find someone who gel with your suit-and-tie environment. Conversely, don’t talk about “the ideal candidate” or her “consummate professionalism” if you’re looking for a player who will also join the company dodgeball team.
Referrals from Current Reps
We are the company we keep. And sales “closers” tend to run in circles with other closers. So when you’re hiring sales reps, start by requesting referrals from your top producers. Chances are good they know some strong candidates from their school days, past roles, or social networks.
It might even make sense to set up a referral program that rewards employees for successful hires. Give your advocates some talking points by creating a quick presentation that explains why yours is an ideal sales position. Talk about your inside sales opportunities, how well your marketing engine generates qualified leads, your rock solid support team, and other noteworthy perks. (A ready-made presentation is a tool your recruiters can leverage, too.)
Yes, recruiters are expensive. But when it comes to hiring sales reps, you get what you pay for. The best strategy is to establish one trusted partner—someone who knows your company culture and understands the gaps you need to fill.
Recruiters also provide the advantage of speed, which is essential when shopping for sales talent. Proven reps aren’t on the market for very long. Commissioning a dedicated person who can find, engage, and pre-screen prospects for you is almost always worth the investment.
Job Poaching Sites
Ever heard of Poachable.co? It’s a website where employed professionals (including sales reps) can passively advertise their openness to new job opportunities, while remaining anonymous and providing nondescript resume details. Before you dismiss this site as a shady, online version of old-school poaching, check out some of the companies using Poachable. It’s another resource recruiters could use on your behalf, and it’s certainly less awkward that phoning your competitors’ sales department.
Keep in mind though, if you’re sales positions are perpetually unfilled, you may not have a hiring problem; you may have a sales compensation problem. Check out this free guide to learn how bad compensation plans can contribute to sale rep turnover.
And please share your thoughts/experiences when it comes to hiring sales reps. We love hearing from you!