Google the phrase “talent shortage” and you get nearly 32 million results. It’s a serious problem that’s plaguing countless industries, with sales feeling the full impact.
“Close to three-fourths (73.9%) of employers say there are, ‘too few qualified candidates,’” explains Michael Guta of Small Business Trends. Moreover, “77% expect a shortage of applicants in the coming year for qualified applicants.”
This is a topic I addressed in a recent post where I mentioned that sales jobs are in high demand, but talent is limited. I also briefly touched on how you can appeal to top talent in the current sales recruiting climate, but I’d like to elaborate on that more in this post.
So on that note, here are some surefire sales recruitment strategies to help you overcome talent shortages and ensure you have a winning team of professionals.
Start By Promoting In-House
While this won’t necessarily be viable for all companies, it’s definitely an option for some. If you’re looking to fill a high-level role such as an account manager, it may make sense to promote a salesperson from within who’s been with you for a while and who is vetted rather than looking externally.
This kills two birds with one stone because it A) gives you instant access to talent where there’s built-in rapport and B) many salespeople will appreciate having the opportunity for career development. Promoting from within has proven to be an effective way to boost staff loyalty and increase retention. In fact, one study found employees who were promoted internally within three years of being hired had a 70% chance of remaining with their company, while those who were not only had a 45% chance of staying.
So promoting in-house can be a good starting point for combatting talent shortages.
Adjust Your Hiring Criteria
One trap I see many sales recruiters fall into is using the same narrow set criteria to find sales candidates that they always have. In my other post, for example, I mentioned how a lot of recruiters still focus solely on finding candidates with extensive industry/product experience. They’re reluctant, however, to give someone a chance who lacks this formal experience but shows signs of great promise.
I’m personally a proponent of hiring salespeople that possess core selling comptentices, such as desire, motivation, and coachability, even if they don’t have a ton of direct industry/product experience. And I think taking this approach can pay dividends for many sales recruiters because it’s a great way to find some of the best and brightest sales reps — especially younger ones that are just coming out of college.
While you don’t want to hire just anyone off the streets, now is the time to adjust your hiring criteria if it’s gotten too rigid and outdated. Keeping an open mind and being willing to give someone an opportunity can have a huge payoff.
Double Down on Remote Work
Having at least a partially remote salesforce is nothing new and something many companies have embraced in some capacity, especially in the SaaS industry. But if you’re continually struggling to find talent, remote work is something you’ll want to focus on more intently. There are three main reasons why.
- A larger talent pool – If you’re only hiring salespeople to work in-house at a brick-and-mortar office, you have a small talent pool of individuals in your immediate area. But if you’re recruiting digitally for remote sales positions, you can hire reps from all over the world.
- COVID-proof infrastructure – Although we’re a long way from the COVID trough and conditions have improved dramatically with vaccinations, it’s still a concern and will likely remain one for the foreseeable future. The bottom line is many people are uncomfortable working in a physical office because of the threat of COVID, but working remotely solves that, which should make your business more appealing.
- Flexibility – Being able to work remotely is an enticing proposition for many salespeople because of the flexibility it offers. The chart below shows that an overwhelming 98% of people would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their career. So needless to say, this can be helpful from a recruiting standpoint.
Offer Childcare Benefits
One area where COVID has been particularly disruptive is with childcare. Although most schools and daycares have reopened, many parents still struggle with childcare — especially when it comes to dropping their kids off and picking them up because of the nationwide bus driver shortage. So offering relevant benefits can be a great way to entice many salespeople.
Women, in particular, who often bear the brunt of childcare responsibilities are interested in employers that offer these benefits. The Harvard Business Review chimes in saying, “Employers could tap into this vast talent pool by partnering with providers of day care, after school, and drop-off/pickup services to help employees with children juggle their work and home schedules. Yes, it might also involve some out-of-pocket investments, but think about it this way: How much is the lost revenue or higher attrition rate among your workers costing you?”
If your business is the one among your competitors that offers amazing childcare benefits, this has the potential to give you a massive edge in the recruiting battle.
Ensuring You Have the Talent You Need
The past couple years have been challenging to say the least. Today’s companies have had curve balls thrown at them that were impossible to anticipate, with COVID and talent shortages being two of the biggest. But like finding success in any other branch of business, staying ahead largely boils down to adaptation.
By following the right sales recruitment strategies, you should be able to get your company back on track and ensure you’ve got A+ talent, regardless of market conditions.
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