Sales Hiring in the Current Candidate’s Market

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

GOOD NEWS! Companies are hiring sales people again…
Not so GOOD NEWS, it’s harder to find them.

Many managers are agreeing that this is the toughest hiring market in 10 years. The time to hire metric is expanding beyond a comfortable time frame.

Some ask, how can this be since our national unemployment rate is still above 7 percent? Many labor economists believe that the true unemployment rate for candidates with a Bachelor of Science Degree and more than two or three years of experience is actually 3.5 percent. This number is even lower in industries that are growing and rapidly evolving.

Sales performers have many more choices in today’s market. Just last year McCandlish Group provided three to five candidates for each position within ten days and most searches were completed at that stage.

Candidates are taking advantage of this situation in different ways:

  • By accepting a position, then leaving after only the first few weeks due to accepting another offer from a past interview that came in late.
  • Candidate pools are drastically reduced before the end of process. Most companies have long interview processes and hiring managers are struggling to keep good candidates in play. When this happens it drags the process out further.
  • Candidates are negotiating better compensation packages upon recognizing supply and demand.

So, how does one respond to current market conditions that strongly favor sales candidates?

  • Consider a shorter interview process. No one is suggesting a snap decision or bad hire, simply make hiring more of a priority. Find ways to streamline process. Could you review, qualify, or schedule the first call any faster? Having resumes in house but not reviewed may provide a false sense of the quality and quantity of potential candidates.
  • Emphasize the urgency to respond to viable candidates with your hiring managers. Delays can often happen among field managers with personal sales goals that are not compensated to secure an interview.
  • Ensure that your job requirements are consistent with what you are truly are looking for. Does the position REALLY need someone with a bachelor’s degree?
  • Revise job descriptions that focus heavily on your company or its presence in the marketplace. Advertising your company or to hire a candidate require two very different strategies. Hiring is about the talent—their needs and their opportunities for growth. Remember, “better” is in the eye of the beholder. Be careful not to confuse corporate branding with an appropriate sales approach necessary to attract and secure the right talent.
  • Deliver a consistent elevator speech to candidates. Prior to interviewing, discuss with your team the importance of providing a clear, brief message or commercial about your company to anyone they interview. This includes who you are as a business and why someone would want to work with your company.
  • Ask your hired talent how you could have done a better job in their hiring process. Those that have experienced your interview process can provide some of the best insights; you may be surprised what you hear.

Although the selection for qualified candidates may be reduced and candidates have more choices than ever, implementing these tips will help your business attract the right hire. The McCandlish Group is the expert in recruiting for these positions and has the resources to find those quality candidates fast. We won’t stop working until you have the perfect fit for your company.

Comments are closed.