It takes, on average, 36 days to fill a position. So, if for whatever reason one of your salespeople quits, their position may easily sit vacant for over a month. All the while the collective performance of your sales team will likely suffer because you don’t have adequate manpower to cover the workload.
This, in turn, can result in longer lead response times, lost sales opportunities, staff burnout, diminished profitability, and more.
But what if there was a straightforward way to resolve this problem, while reducing both your time-to-hire as well as your cost-per-hire? Enter continuous recruitment.
What is Continuous Recruitment?
Simply put, it’s making the process of searching for talented salespeople a part of everyday operations. Rather than only recruiting when a position is vacant and your staffing needs are high, you’re always on the lookout for quality candidates. It’s a proactive approach where you’re on the offense rather than the defense when hiring.
Why is Continuous Recruitment Important?
As I just mentioned, it usually takes over a month to find a new salesperson. And that doesn’t include other steps like training and onboarding, which take even longer. Not to mention, studies have found it takes most salespeople around 9 months to become fully competent to perform and 15 months to be a top performer.
When you put that all together, it can take an incredibly long time to truly get a new salesperson in “the groove.” But by taking a proactive stance with continuous recruitment, you can attract top candidates year-round so you’re not left scrambling at the last minute if a key sales rep parts ways with your company unexpectedly.
Val Matta of The Huffington Post articulates it perfectly with this quote. “Having and leaving open vacancies can have a big impact on a company, costing time and money and impacting current employees in a negative way. Although it may seem like overkill, a company that continuously recruits builds what is called a ‘talent pipeline,’ or a community of qualified, interested candidates with the skills and experience to meet your organization’s unique needs.”
In turn, this can have a massively positive impact on your company, which brings me to my next point.
How Effective is It?
Continuous recruitment offers several benefits. But there are two that stand out above all others — increased hiring efficiency and lower cost. According to research, “55% of those who continuously recruit throughout the year say this reduces their time-to-hire and 42% say it reduces their cost-per-hire.”
Instead of having to wait over a month to find a new salesperson, you can seamlessly bring quality talent on board and avoid having any lengthy gaps. That way you don’t have to deal with the stress and headaches of having to find a replacement on short notice.
And let’s be honest. You’re far more likely to make good hiring decisions when you’re not rushed. While “desperate situations yield the quickest results,” as Michael Scott of The Office would put it, it’s not a place you want to be at when trying to find great sales talent. In fact it can be quite detrimental.
However, having a talent pipeline dramatically increases your chances of having an A+ sales team at all times, regardless of what curveballs come your way. “Instead of feeling rushed to find and hire someone, you can choose from a pool of applicants you already know are a strong fit,” Matta adds.
And this has arguably never been more important than it is today with the widespread talent shortages that are happening in sales. With younger talent being more reluctant to get into sales, many companies are struggling to assemble qualified sales teams. While continuous recruitment can’t ensure you never have any issues, it can go a long way in preventing a talent shortage from affecting your business.
In terms of reducing cost-per-hire, the fact that 42% of companies say continuous recruitment has a noticeable impact is highly encouraging. Given that hiring a salesperson typically costs around $15,000, plus an additional $20,000 training, being able to cut down on this can be a huge help for boosting your overall profitability.
Getting the Competition Edge
Here’s what I found really interesting. Despite the immense benefits of continuous recruitment, not many companies currently use it — only 38%. It seems that many businesses still have the antiquated notion that you only need to recruit when there’s a vacant position. But as I mentioned before, in today’s ultra-competitive landscape, it pays to have a talent pool to tap into before you actually need it.
By leveraging continuous recruitment, you’re basically putting yourself ahead of nearly two-thirds of the competition and ensuring you have a sustainable team of top sales professionals ready to roll. So if you’re looking for a proven way to win the talent war, this is an effective way to do it, and it can really strengthen your brand identity over time.
Being Proactive With Your Recruiting
The traditional mindset for many sales recruiters has been to wait to hire until a position becomes vacant. But this isn’t usually the best way to go about it. In fact, it can be downright toxic to your sales team and hurt your bottom line because it increases both your time-to-hire and cost-per-hire — neither of which are ideal.
As more and more companies are finding, continuous recruitment can be a true gamechanger, with 55% saying it reduces their time-to-hire and 42% saying it reduces their cost-per-hire. So this is definitely a strategy to consider and can be a valuable arrow in your quiver.
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