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Four tips for successful recruitment this year

By Jamie Hoobanoff


Business owners looking for different ways to restructure or expand their organization will need much more than luck this month. For many HR professionals, the hiring process can be cumbersome.

Where do they start? How do they find the right sales talent? What should they, as an HR professional, know about their organization’s sales team? Although there are several moving parts involved in hiring and onboarding, it’s not impossible. Here are four ways HR managers can streamline and redefine their hiring efforts in the new year.


Have a plan

When hiring for new roles, HR managers must create a thorough hiring strategy. Even before candidates are assessed during the hiring process, HR managers must define the skills, experience and knowledge needed from salespeople in their sales organization. 

Does the team need a hunter? Or will the sales organization require a farmer? Understanding whether or not a company needs a salesperson who is experienced in gaining net new business or someone who has the ability to take over existing accounts is extremely important in building a sufficient plan for hiring. Ensure the HR team incorporates and outlines the skills, experience and ultimately the DNA that an ideal candidate possesses into the hiring strategy. The job description, strategic plan and recruitment efforts will be built around this information. 

Having a plan also involves pipeline management. In collaboration with sales leaders, ensure enough candidates are being reached within the market. Once the number of hires to be made has been clarified, map out the target volume. How many candidates should be reached? How many should be interviewed? On average, to make one great sales hire, employers must have five active candidates and make a hiring decision from the top three candidates of that pool. 


Know the business of sales

In order to streamline the hiring process and attract the right talent, HR professionals need to learn and understand the business of sales. Sales leaders within a company should provide support to HR leaders and teams. This will allow HR departments to complete their job effectively and hire top talent. Sales leaders, such as a VP of sales or an account director, must communicate what type of seller they need, the required selling experience and criteria for being a cultural fit to the HR team. 

Ultimately, HR will be carrying out the recruitment and hiring processes, and therefore need to fully understand the hiring profile and role itself. HR professionals should understand sales metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs) and the overall business model. Talk to sales leaders, understand their standards and expectations, and get a sense of the complete line of business. Spend time on the sales floor to learn the sales landscape. Key members of the HR team should shadow a few sales calls so they can really see what it takes to succeed in sales and who the company is competing against. First-hand experience will provide HR with a thorough understanding of the day-to-day responsibilities of a sales person, allowing them to search for the right people. 


Attracting top talent

Once HR understands the line of business, they must find and attract top sales talent. Top talent, and more specifically top performing sales people, can be picky when it comes to making a move to a new company. It usually takes a lot for a top sales person to choose a new employer. If they are hitting and exceeding their sales targets, it is likely they are being compensated accordingly. 

Typically, top performers are with a company that values them and maintains a high company culture. This is why ensuring a company’s employer brand is communicated effectively to top talent when recruiting them for a role is critical. Candidates always evaluate a company’s brand before applying or considering a position with the company. HR departments need to position their company as a market leader, showcasing the company’s core values, testimonials and success stories, and be sure to maintain a consistent candidate experience from start to finish. 

Additionally, be transparent about compensation and career progression. Top sales talent seek high-growth companies and are more likely to make a move for a company that is on its way to the top. 


Prioritize urgency 

Urgency is a priority or at least it should be. When it comes to recruiting top talent for a sales organization, HR must act urgently. This doesn’t mean rushing the recruitment, interview or hiring processes, but rather being urgent in the hunt for top talent. Urgency is currency when it comes to sales recruitment. 

The sales profile that HR is looking to hire is probably the same profile as other companies. For top sales professionals, there is an abundance of opportunities for them. They likely are approached by other HR professionals and hiring managers daily. If a company’s sales role peaks their interest, the response time needs to be fast. Minimize the time to conduct a call or interview with them in order to keep engagement high and the hiring process effective.


Jamie Hoobanoff is founder and CEO of The Leadership Agency.




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