Noticeable Trends in Candidates & Recruiting Sales Talent Over 17 Years

Thursday, May 19th, 2016


As we, enter into a political climate that is focusing less on substance and more on how much presidential candidates offer to “GIVE AWAY” or “PAY TO” US citizens who vote for them, I can’t help but notice a similar cultural shift in thinking with sales candidates in just the past few years.

Our firm speaks to hundreds of job candidates every week and we’re noticing a mindset of entitlement and compensation guarantees from candidates across the board in the job market. The further we branch out to both coasts, the more obvious it becomes.


Of course, this is America, and candidates should negotiate whatever they feel is appropriate to accept a job offer. Many have responsibilities of family, education, safety and better living, but, to negotiate for more without the support or research to justify their desire, it becomes MORE just for MORE sake.

When I founded The McCandlish Group 17 years ago, if someone received more than one week vacation, it was rare. Now it is common for executives to get a month’s vacation with free lunches, free dry cleaning pick-up and someone feeding them grapes on the beach on Fridays. (Just kidding about the grapes…)

Whatever happened to working on straight commission opportunities where someone can build their own legacy by sales achievement? Or how about take a little less base salary and have the ability to earn high commissions by performance?

There is always some discussion over expectations of a sale’s person annual goals and what those are based on. Interviewing sets the stage to discuss what the new rep should sell annually and the daily activities that generate those sales. Companies need to communicate clearly defined goals up front to allow candidates to buy in or not in advance based on their knowledge of the market and abilities to meet those goals. They should ask themselves if the company set realistic goals to achieve and if the potential compensation would be worth the effort.


We’ve also noticed over the years, in most cases, that the candidate who is MOST prepared for an interview gets the job. Simply wanting it doesn’t work.

Before technological advances, recruiters had to preform manual research and cold calls all day to ensure results. Now, there are great tools online to research new employment opportunities. Ask the recruiter, Google for news releases, try Hoovers and D&B. Research is always necessary, if for no other reason than to make sure it’s the right match for the candidate.


As far as negotiating their own offer, sales candidates often inflate their worth because they have many success stories that prove their sales abilities. This false sense of security happens because selling yourself is challenging when it comes to personal valuation for compensation discussions. It’s difficult to “price” yourself to a prospective new employer when you don’t know their history, philosophies around compensation plans or budgets.


From numerous interviews through assessment profiles, anything to lengthen the process seems to be the new norm, but we’re working through it. 45 days start to finish used to be the industry average, but that process has definitely gotten longer.

Comments are closed.