With the unemployment rate in the U.S dropping (3.7% as of August 2019), the competition for top talent is fierce, especially here in Massachusetts (2.9% as of August 2019). Every high-growth company in the technology sector, including software, SaaS, and market research, is vying for a team of superheroes. The best sales candidates are in control, weighing multiple offers from a bevy of suitors.
So, as one of those company suitors, how can you best position yourself to hire the next big talent?
Explain clearly and precisely what differentiates your company from the pack.
Be able to light the opportunity on fire. Not just the responsibilities of the role or the superlatives about your product or service. Answer boldly why you, why now. Branding at its best, starts internally. It’s how you talk about your company mission, vision, what you believe in, and what you value. Describe for the candidate how that manifests itself in your company culture, and what you uniquely offer as an organization. A prospective candidate should feel transported.
Put yourself in the candidates shoes.
We have worked with a broad range of companies over the years. They offer compelling business solutions. They are global. They are start-ups. Some are deemed best places to work and have strong leadership in place. Yet, when we ask hiring managers to describe their company’s key differentiators, they struggle to articulate. Or they’re stumped outright. Every sales candidate knows selling yourself is part and parcel to winning the interview. It’s a direct reflection of how they would perform on the job. Now put yourself in their shoes. As a candidate (in high demand) wouldn’t you expect a Vice President of Sales or sales team lead to deliver a powerful and persuasive narrative about working at your company?
Highlight growth, perks, and benefits.
Let’s face the truth – money motivates. The best sales professionals are driven to hit their goals and make money, otherwise they would likely be in another profession. That said, the vast majority of our candidates care deeply about perks and benefits as well as income. They’re very important criteria to consider when comparing one opportunity over another. Detail health insurance coverage, premiums, 401k contributions and the like. If your team or company supports working remotely, then highlight your flexibility early on in your conversations. Your organization may offer strong future growth potential, including regular promotions or the smooth transfer between departments. Many accomplished salespeople envision their pathway now. Some want to work for a company where they can aspire to SVP of Sales. Others would like to get the chance to manage a team. Sharing all this information clearly and early on will go a long way to influence a candidate’s final decision.
Stay engaged with your sales candidate or they’ll slip away.
No one can afford to lose a great candidate. Who wants to be back at square one? And what if you’re competitor is up by one? We can’t stress enough how important it is to remain continuously engaged and communicating with candidates. Hiring sales talent can be (but shouldn’t be) a drawn out process, particularly when you have a few strong candidates in the running. Not keeping top candidates excited while final decisions are in the works is a big issue befalling some hiring managers. Candidates do not like to be strung along and don’t have to sit around and wait. They are not on the same timeline as your company. They like to feel wanted. Staying regularly in touch with your best candidates will help ensure they feel you’re eager to bring them on board, shows you respect them and their time, and decrease the possibility of them slipping away.