It’s inevitable that the new year will result in changes for your business, including ever-dreaded resignations. As new year’s resolutions take hold and team members look the pastures new, you’ll likely be kept busy with the task of recruiting new sales stars as well as setting new sales targets for the year ahead.

Don’t underestimate the time and effort that recruiting and inducting the right sales people can take – you’ll want to find candidates who are as close to perfect as you can get, and also a good cultural fit for your team. However, every month that goes by with inactivity on patch makes it harder for you to hit your sales targets. Ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible by avoiding the following recruitment mistakes:

You’re not reacting quickly enough

Your organisation’s time to hire is a crucial KPI in determining how efficient your sales recruitment process is. According to data from Workable, it takes an average of 47 days just to fill sales vacancies, let alone train and onboard someone to be an effective member of your sales team. Every one of those days without someone covering territory will cost you money in lost sales. And while there are some time-consuming elements of the sales recruitment process you can’t avoid, it’s important to act as quickly as you can to secure the best talent on the market. With 25% of sales candidates having at least one interview within their first week of looking for a job, the market is clearly candidate-driven and you can’t afford to be slow to react when resignations come in.

Signing off any job takes time, even if it is a direct replacement for a departing sales person, and other administrative tasks such as getting briefs, finalising job descriptions and agreeing terms with internal teams can all eat up time that would be better spent getting out on the market searching for the right person.

You have too many stages

Not only will you miss out on candidates if you react slowly to resignations, you’ll also lose viable sales people if your recruitment process is overly complicated and involves too many steps. It all starts with the application, which up to 68% of candidates will quit due to its length, according to iCIMS. Even when you streamline the initial online application processes, too many recruitment stages thereafter will undoubtedly turn away great candidates, particularly at this time of year. January has the highest number of Google searches for jobs out of any month, and candidates spend less time on the market. Good sales people are always in demand, and as new year resolutions to change jobs take hold, you’ll likely find yourself competing for qualified candidates against a variety of rival organisations.

If you have multiple stages lasting months at a time, most candidates will look elsewhere and go off the market. Not only will sales people lose patience with you, but you’ll also send them a message about your organisation. Sales people are hungry, and many may not want to work for a company that is so process- and administration-driven. Every time you miss out on hiring a potential sales star, you also lose out on the revenue they could have brought in, so simplify your process where possible.

You’re not willing to compromise

The sales recruitment process is something akin to buying a house – you have to compromise, as the perfect sales candidate at the right time usually doesn’t exist. And with 90% of recruiters believing the market is candidate-driven, it’s clear that being overly fussy when it comes to selecting your dream candidate can cause you to miss out altogether.

Avoid this recruitment mistake by rethinking your sales candidate wish list. Don’t go onto market with an exhaustive guide of what you think your ideal candidate must have. Instead, put your feelers out and see what’s available in your market, location, price range and at the time you need someone. Rethink the level of industry experience a good candidate must have, and instead focus on sales DNA – if someone can sell and is a good cultural fit for your team, then market and product knowledge can be taught.

You’re not paying enough

Every recruiter will tell you that you’re not paying enough – but it’s not about what you think a role is worth, but rather what the market rate is (something that recruitment professionals have a very good idea of). It’s important to understand how you pay compared to competitors, factoring in your bonus scheme and other benefits you offer your team as well. Sales people will carefully weigh up not only annual salary but the amount of bonus they could achieve, how easy it is to meet target and reap the financial benefits and how frequently it’s paid out. You’ll need to understand what your company offers and how this can be used to attract people to join your team, and reasonable remuneration should play a part in this.

Your employer brand is poor

Your employer branding is more important than you think. According to LinkedIn research, a strong employer brand can result in a 28% reduction in your organisation’s turnover as well as 50% more qualified applicants, both of which can save your company money when it comes to recruitment. It’s the key to getting people through your door, yet not enough organisations take it seriously. Navigate this by doing an audit of your social media presence, including what others are saying about your company and employment process online. Glassdoor is particularly important, so monitor your account and be proactive in responding to reviews and sharing information about working with you. Ensure your website features an up-to-date careers section where you highlight features of your company culture, as well as employer testimonials and videos.

You’re not selling the opportunity enough

As we know, the market is competitive and candidate-driven, which means you need to be constantly selling your opportunity to sales people throughout the recruitment process. Tap into what you know about sales people’s motivations for changing roles – for example, career progression and salary – and highlight what your company can offer to appeal to them. Attracting and securing a candidate is a two-way street, and you need to do everything you can to make your offer as compelling as possible. It can be a frustrating – and costly – process to lose out to someone at offer stage because they’ve accepted a role elsewhere, so make sure you stand out as an employer of choice.

Get help from the experts

The above tips should help you to avoid making critical recruitment mistakes that could cost you money, but there are many other ways you can secure the top talent you need to push your sales team forward. Contact us here to see how we can help.