Any sales vacancy that’s not immediately filled is a ticking revenue time bomb. While good sales people can be hard to find, a vacancy that is constantly unfilled may suggest a problem with your recruitment technique as opposed to a complete lack of qualified candidates. And with unfilled vacancies costing the UK economy more than £18 billion every year, the financial imperative to close the gaps in your staff line-up is stronger than ever.
So how do you approach your recruitment strategy for unfilled roles? Check the following three key areas to ensure you’re giving yourself every opportunity to attract the eye of your next sales star.
Sorting out your job description
A templated intro to your job description is the default option for most companies, but does that opening paragraph really appeal to all the different people you’re trying to reach out to? The aspects of your company that might appeal to someone from a Finance or Marketing background are unlikely to be the same as someone looking at them from a Sales perspective.
Ask your current sales team to describe your company and construct an opening gambit out of what they tell you. It’s more likely going to consist of your latest and greatest products and current standing in the industry than it is your company history.
The way you describe the actual role needs close attention. Telling people exactly what they will be expected to do suggests inflexibility in how someone would be able to put their own stamp on things. ‘Responsibilities’ are much more appealing to prospective applicants than ‘Tasks’.
You might also want to consider relaxing some of the less-necessary candidate requirements you’ve listed. Do you really need a first class degree and three years’ experience for a Junior sales role? You’d be amazed at how many people rule themselves out of a job they’d be perfectly qualified to do, so don’t stick too rigidly to ‘must-have’ requirements.
Just like newspapers, many people skip straight to the end, scrolling to the bottom to read through the benefits. If these don’t appeal, then whatever you’ve put prior to this may never even get read.
Stating a ‘competitive salary’ is pretty much standard these days, so companies need to sell themselves in more inventive ways to stand out. While it’s tempting to list every single benefit your business offers in a long succession of bullets, going into greater detail for the best two or three will be a much better use of the reader’s time. And don’t forget that ‘competitive’ really does mean competitive. Compensation and benefits are more important to sales professionals than other staff, according to one LinkedIn survey, so make sure the salary you offer is in line with your competitors.
Your company brand isn’t attractive
One of the most visited parts of any company website is the jobs section, however it’s also often one of the most neglected. Take the time to update this with relevant facts about your company and what you offer staff, along with key pieces of information on your ever-important company culture.
Potential new salespeople will be interested in the development opportunities they’ll get when they sign up, and the best way of demonstrating this is via personal experiences. Find those in your company who have been around for the longest, with interesting stories of how they’ve gone from the mailroom to the boardroom. Quotes from these people will be considerably more powerful than an explanation of the training courses or mentoring programmes available to employees.
Your social media presence is an important factor in this with people just as likely to take a peek through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as they are to type in your www. address. Glassdoor plays a big part in this, so encourage your existing salespeople to use it to endorse your company.
Set up a monthly spot-check of all of your public profiles to ensure they’re showing your company off in a good light and that you’ve posted some recent information about what you’re up to.
You’re not getting recommendations
The promotion of your organisation doesn’t all take place within work hours. Your employees will talk about what it’s like to work for your business publically on social media, via private messenger chats, at industry meetups, in the local pub or outside the school gates.
These are all sources of potential new hires, as long as the positives of working for your company come to the fore rather than the negatives.
Looking after your current salespeople is one of the best ways to attract new ones. Incentivising referrals is one thing, but offering a genuinely nice environment in which to work is going to get others queuing at your door.
If you take the time and effort to address the above areas, you’ll likely find hard-to-source vacancies will become increasingly easier to fill. For more assistance on finding the perfect candidate for your next sales role, get in touch with us here.