With job vacancies and the number of people employed both hitting record highs in the UK this year, skilled staff and talented graduates are both becoming valuable commodities for companies looking to fill vacancies or expand their operations. Your sales recruitment process therefore needs to be cutting edge if you want to stand out from the crowd and attract the best in the market. When was the last time you reviewed how you approach candidate attraction?

Many companies are still relying on old-fashioned methods to source and recruit staff- and with 70% of recruiters citing the talent shortage as one of the biggest upcoming challenges facing employers, these outdated sales recruitment process could mean you risk missing out on the best talent in the market.

So how can you tell if your recruitment strategy is up to scratch? Here are some warning signs that you might have a broken sales recruitment process;

You’re struggling to recruit people

It might be an obvious point, but an ongoing struggle to attract great talent is a clear sign of a broken sales recruitment process and flaws in your recruitment strategy. If this is the case, it’s time to take a strategic look at all the parts of your recruitment process. Talk to people internally and find out what they think could be improved. For instance, find out how long the recruitment process takes- especially given that 27% of employers agree that lengthy hiring practices are one of the top obstacles to increasing headcount.

Take a look at the roles that you’re recruiting for, and how they fit into a market that many agree is rapidly becoming candidate-driven. Consider how competitive you are in the sales employer market: what’s your professional reputation like? Should you be more flexible with the demands of the role? After all, by expanding your criteria, you may well be able to attract sales people who can bring a new line of business with them.

Candidates keep pulling out of your process

If candidates are consistently dropping out, you need to look at every stage of your recruitment process. Is it unnecessarily long? Where are people pulling out? Recruitment is changing: the influx of millennials into the market means that many companies are shortening their application processes to avoid drop-off from this influential demographic.

You should be doing the same. Outline every part of your recruitment process, what it helps you achieve, and whether it’s truly necessary: how many interviews do you need to establish that a sales person is the perfect fit for your workforce? Is creating a five-step application process really necessary if the information candidates enter can also be found on their CVs?

Quite apart from the length of the application process, you should also take a look at your interviewers: with more than two-thirds of job seekers turning down a job if their impression of the interview is below par, it’s crucial that you assess your interviewers’ abilities and add training to bring them up to scratch if required.

You’re not getting enough applications

A lack of applications could be down to your visibility online, or it could be something more. Start by tackling your advertising channels, especially on social media: with almost 500 million professionals on LinkedIn, it’s a goldmine for potential star candidates, but they have to know that you have vacancies if you want to attract them. Job descriptions and adverts can also be a potential minefield: they need to be relatively short, engaging and appeal directly what the candidate wants.

Top sales candidates want to feel like they’re working for a progressive, growing company- and one where they can make a difference. Accordingly, you should take the time to consider the impact of your employer brand and how it fits into your recruitment strategy. Could you be selling yourself better to potential candidates? With 92% of candidates admitting that they would leave their current position for a company with an excellent reputation, developing this reputation should be top of the list when attracting ambitious sales people.

It takes a long time

Though the UK industry average time of hire is 24 days, this can vary wildly depending on job function, sector, region and of course the seniority of the people that you’re hiring. But regardless of this, it’s something to keep tabs on: the longer your interview process takes, the more likely it is that candidates drop out. If it’s significantly longer than a few weeks, take note: review processes, organise feedback, and look at blocking out peoples’ diaries in order to ensure the process is completed as quickly as possible. After all, the faster you can onboard a new hire, the quicker they can start making sales that will benefit the company.

You can’t agree internally

Internal disagreements only make recruitment more difficult. Whether it’s an RSM and a director disagreeing about the skills and experience required from a candidate, or HR and the sales team arguing about relevant processes, it’s something that you need to resolve quickly if you want to create an efficient, frictionless recruitment process. One way to do this is by sitting down at the start of the process and deciding together what kind of candidate you want to find, and what the hiring process should look like. Agree to a service level of expectations: it’ll make the entire process much easier to manage.

Kick-start your recruitment process with BMS

At BMS Performance, we go the extra mile to connect the best candidates with the best recruitment opportunities. If you’re in need of recruitment support, don’t hesitate: contact us today, or have a look at our blog for more sales-related insights.