Sales recruitment in the 21st Century
The majority of businesses regularly need to fill sales vacancies; in a global competitive market the need to hire the best sales people is increasingly critical to business success. In this first article in the series we take a look at the different options, the respective costs, the time to recruit and the probability of success.
Direct hiring ‘ small and medium sized business managers and owners frequently take on the recruitment process in an attempt to minimise cost, however without human resource management expertise and qualifications, they are often at risk of failing to make impartial decisions and ultimately being in breach of the plethora of employment legislation. Effective evaluation of a sales person’s competence and suitability to sell a specific product or service in a specific country and to fit the culture of the organisation is a complex process and one that line management all too often get wrong, unfortunately past performance is no guarantee of future success.
Direct recruitment can still be successful provided a few basic steps are taken, make the process consistent by using a standardised set of questions at each interview. The questions should test the person’s competence at each stage of the sales process, this is best achieved using situation based questioning and by making sure that the question is fully answered and the answer recorded for comparison against other candidates. The use of psychometric testing can add value and objectivity to the hiring process, as can tests for numeric and verbal reasoning, this decision is mission critical so why not minimise the risks.
You have chosen to go down the direct hiring route, but in this highly competitive market finding applicants for sales positions is increasingly challenging. The number of unemployed people in many western markets is at an all time low and many successful sales people are enjoying high levels of success, how are you going to get you sales job noticed? The choices include placing an advert in the local paper, national paper, specialist publications, unfortunately the response rates can be depressingly low, producing few if any suitable applicants. Print media is still an expensive from of advertising and with such poor response can prove expensive and futile.
Online recruitment has become increasingly popular alternative to print media; a quick search on Google for “sales jobsites” reveals over 5 million results worldwide, so where do you begin in the challenge to find an appropriate online source of sales candidates for your sales job? As with many things recommendation and referral are a good place to start, but this is not a night out, do you know anyone else with experience of recruiting sales people online? whether or not you can get advice on which site or sites to use, there are some important tests that you need to carry out before choosing your online recruitment partners. You can be fooled by thinking biggest is best, in the UK the two largest jobsites, Total Jobs and Monster have less than 7% market share, are they going to attract the right selection of sales people to fill your sales job? I doubt it, in my next article I will explain the various means of assessing if a jobsite or website is likely to meet your specific needs.
Copyright (c) 2007 Louise G