Simple Ways to Automate Sales Recruiting Without Sacrificing Quality

On average, it takes sales recruiters 41 days to fill a position. Without some type of strategy in place for streamlining things, the process can be incredibly time-consuming and clog up internal resources. Fortunately, there are several ways to automate sales recruiting that can save you a massive amount of time without sacrificing quality.

Here are some specific techniques I suggest.

Use a Sales Recruiting Platform to Rapidly Fill Your Talent Pipeline

One of the most time-consuming parts of sales recruiting is simply filling your talent pipeline with quality candidates. Between creating job descriptions, finding job boards, posting on job boards, filtering through candidates, and so on, this can quickly eat through your workday and can be especially problematic for smaller businesses that lack a formal recruiting department.

A great way to get around that is to use a technology sales recruiting platform like HireDNA.

With HireDNA, you create an ideal candidate profile based on your specific hiring criteria. Then, using cutting-edge technology, it identifies both active and passive candidates who match that criteria to fill your pipeline. From there, HireDNA screens and assesses candidates to pinpoint the ones that are most likely to succeed and delivers the cream of the crop to your inbox. At that point, you simply choose who you want to interview.

Rather than meticulously moving through the recruiting process like had to be done in the past, HireDNA offers an ultra-streamlined approach that helps you find elite talent, essentially serving it up on a platter for you.

Companies that use it are able to cut their hiring time in half, with 96% of suggested candidates reaching the top of the sales force within their first year.

Send Pre-Screening Questions and Automate Candidate Ranking

Most of today’s applicant tracking systems (ATS) have robust features that can help a great deal with automation. One of which is pre-screening questions where you create a handful of key questions and send them to promising candidates. After a candidate provides answers, they’re automatically scored and ranked based on customized criteria. That way you can quickly take filtering one step further and trim your list of candidates back to the best of the best.

If you currently use an ATS, check to see if it offers this feature, as it can significantly reduce the time you spend looking through resumes.

Automate Candidate Reminders and Status Updates

Keeping candidates in the loop with interview reminders and status updates about where they’re at in the hiring process is important for providing a positive experience. But if you’re doing everything manually like sending email or text updates one by one, it’s can be a huge time drainer. Not to mention it can eat up a ton of “cognitive bandwidth” having to remember who you need to reach out to and when.

Another way to automate sales recruiting is to provide candidates with reminders and status updates with software like Pipefy.

One of the core features of Pipefy is workflow automation where you can set it to automatically send status updates and follow-ups. You can, for example, use email templates for outreach based on different scenarios. Information is pre-populated so that it’s customized for each candidate and the position they’re applying for. And when used at scale, companies have been able to reduce their time-to-hire by up to 80%.

Use One-Way Interviewing

Interviewing candidates is obviously a critical part of the sales recruiting process. But I think we can agree that it’s also one of the most time-consuming. With many interviews easily lasting 30 minutes, this can quickly eat through your day, especially if you’re interviewing several candidates at a time. Besides the actual interview itself, you also have to prep, assess the results, and more.

An absolute godsend for automating this part of sales recruiting is one-way interviewing where candidates record answers to a series of questions for you to look over later on. Not only does this allow you to get the critical answers you need from candidates, it lets you move through the process much quicker, and you can batch your reviews to accelerate things even more.

There are several platforms you can use for one-way interviewing, but one of my personal favorites is Tribepad, which features:

  • “Unlimited multi-media questions
  • A searchable template library
  • A drag-and-drop interview builder
  • Heaps of configuration and branding”

Record Your Training Program

For my final strategy, let me first say that even the best-recorded training program probably won’t be able to match a one-on-one or even a group training program led by a sales manager. And while you may not be able to cover all the intricacies and nuances, a recorded training program can still be highly effective for explaining key points and getting reps up to speed.

It’s just a matter of being realistic about what you can adequately cover in a series of training videos and properly executing. For example, giving new sales reps an overview of how to use your CRM software or project management solution can usually be efficiently done through recorded videos. So can going over scheduling, company culture, expectations, and other topics you would cover in a welcome packet. An added plus is that your reps have a dedicated resource they can reference at any time whenever questions arise.

As for platforms, I find Loom to be one of the best if you just need to record some basic videos.

Automate Sales Recruiting While Maintaining the Utmost Quality

Recruiting a talented team of sales professionals is a necessary precursor to success. But it can also be a big time drainer without the right plan in place. Luckily, technology has been a game changer for sales recruiting, and there are numerous ways to get more done in less time without it compromising the quality of your hires. In fact, it’s often the opposite where brands that intelligently use automation see better results than those that don’t.

To see HireDNA in action, reach out to us today for a free demo.

The Most Important Information Sales Candidates Want When Job Searching (Based on Concrete Data)

There’s no denying that 2022 is a candidate’s market. With a huge demand for high-level talent and a diminishing number of young, qualified job seekers, many sales companies are struggling to maintain adequate manpower. While there’s a lot that goes into winning the talent war, a great place to start is creating quality job ads that include the specific information sales candidates want to see.

For this post, I’ll explain exactly what those things are based on concrete data, along with a real-life example of a job ad we created.

The Top 5 Pieces of Information Sales Candidates Want

An in-depth job search study analyzed what “job seekers want employers to provide as they research where they work.” While it varies somewhat, the data found that five pieces of information stood out above all else and include the following:

  1. Details on compensation packages
  2. Details on benefits packages
  3. Basic company information
  4. Details on what makes the company attractive
  5. Company mission, vision, and values

Now let’s fully unpack these findings.

Details on Compensation Packages

Compensation information being first on the list comes as no surprise. Research has found this is hands down the most important thing for job seekers, with 74% wanting salary information. For comparison, that’s 13% higher than the next piece of information on the list, which is benefits at 61%.

One of the things I mentioned in my last blog post is that today’s massive inflation rate of 7% (the highest in 39 years) has created a bidding war where many companies are willing to pay elite salespeople top dollar to join their sales force. So it only makes sense that job seekers will want to see salary information front and center.

If you look at one of the job postings we made for our client MPOWER Envision, an Illinois-based software company, you’ll notice we included both the base salary range and total compensation range so, at a glance, job seekers could see what they’re working with.

Ideally, compensation information will be located at the top “above-the-fold” of a job ad so sales candidates can see it without having to scroll down.

Details on Benefits Packages

As I just mentioned, 61% of sales candidates want to know what types of benefits a company offers. That’s also unsurprising as sales companies can differ widely in terms of benefits and perks. If it comes down to a job seeker choosing between two companies with identical pay, nearly all will opt for the company with more robust benefits. So you’ll want to be crystal clear about what you offer.

In our example featuring MPOWER Envision, we included a fully fleshed-out list of traditional benefits, such as health, dental, vision, 401(k), and so on. Besides that, we also mentioned that employee wellness is a priority, there are ample career development opportunities, and employees can provide input and be a strategic voice.

Basic Company Information

While you don’t necessarily need (or want) to go into great detail about your company, data shows that providing a quick overview is important for helping sales candidates get their bearings. Going back to our example, we point out the essentials like when MPOWER Envision was founded and how many employees it has.

We also mentioned a bit about them, that they’re backed by a 30-year-old well-established sister company, who uses their platform, and more.

Again, you don’t need to go overboard. But offering a succinct overview helps get your foot in the door with sales candidates and ensures they don’t have to struggle to get a feel for your company.

Details on What Makes the Company Attractive

I’m a firm believer in developing a great unique value proposition (UVP). With so much competition out there, it’s never been more important to differentiate yourself from other companies. In line with that, it’s important to let candidates know what makes your company attractive.

For MPOWER Envision, we noted that they have a 4.6-star G2 rating and a perfect 5-star Glassdoor rating to instantly impress sales candidates right off the bat.

Leveraging social proof like this is always a good strategy for establishing value and showing your company is respected.

Besides that, we mentioned that the job is remote, which is highly appealing for many of today’s sales candidates in our post-COVID world.

Company Mission, Vision, and Values

Culture has always played a role in who sales candidates want to work with. But that’s never been more true than it is today.

As Natalie Baumgartner of the Harvard Business Review puts it, “candidates are seeking workplaces where they can intertwine their beliefs with those of the company, and work together on a common vision of purpose and success.” Therefore, things like mission, vision, and values are critical pieces of information sales candidates want when considering applying.

When writing the job description for MPOWER Envision, we clearly articulated this information, saying what it’s like working there, what the company’s mission and values are, and more.

Making Sure You’re Including the Important Information Sales Candidates Want

Most sales companies are up against some stiff competition in 2022, and you need to bring your A-game in all aspects of sales recruiting. One of the best places to start is to understand what sales candidates want to see in a job description and strategically hone in on those areas. That way you can grab the attention of more rockstar sales reps and fill your pipeline with strong candidates.

Looking to hire better sales talent, faster? See how HireDNA uses cutting-edge features like intelligent matching and science-based assessments to connect sales companies with the best and brightest. Brands that use HireDNA cut their hiring time in half, and 92% of suggested candidates are top achievers within their first year.

Only 16% of Salespeople Have Skills for Current and Future Roles: Why You Should Focus on Long-Term Sales Recruiting

When you break it all down, there are two fundamental approaches to sales recruiting. One is to bake turnover into your recruiting strategy where you only think short-term and continually replace salespeople with little to no potential for internal growth. The other is a long-term sales recruiting strategy where you focus on finding quality talent with the end goal of internal promotion, providing a framework for rock stars to rise through the ranks.

For this post, I’ll explain why long-term sales recruiting is usually the best option, especially in today’s current sales recruiting climate. I’ll also provide specific tips on how to successfully adopt this approach.

Illuminating Data from Gartner

In a 2020 HR and recruiting study, technology research firm Gartner uncovered that only a small number of new sales hires are equipped with the skills for long-term growth. “Organizations are struggling to hire quality talent as only 16% of new hires possess the needed skills for both their current role and the future,” Gartner explains.

This means that for every 10 sales reps you hire, less than two will realistically have the ability to level up in their role and take on a more demanding position such as a sales manager or account executive. While that may be fine if you’re only looking for salespeople for limited roles and aren’t concerned with internal growth, it can be quite vexing if you’re hoping to create a rich culture with an emphasis on internal promotion.

In other words, this data shows that many companies end up “spinning their wheels” where they’re unable to successfully move salespeople up the ladder. Instead, they often get stuck in an endless cycle of hiring entry to mid-level reps who hang around for a while and eventually leave with no major progress occurring. As a result, these companies struggle with turnover and basically plateau without reaching their full potential.

So what’s the solution?

Taking a Long-Term Sales Recruiting Approach

It boils down to making a fundamental change in your sales recruiting approach. Rather than simply finding salespeople who match what you’re currently looking for in an entry to mid-level position, you need to think long-term and look for candidates with the potential for serious growth.

“To hire quality talent, recruiting leaders must shift their strategies from replacing the workforce to instead shaping the workforce,” Gartner writes. Recruiters “that excel in these workforce-shaping behaviors see a 24% increase in quality of hire.” And “high-quality talent can have a significant impact on business outcomes, including individuals who successfully perform in their roles 20% faster and teams that get a 19% boost in their ability to meet future challenges.”

For the rest of this post, I’ll explain exactly how to go about that.

3 Key Strategies for Long-Term Sales Recruiting

1. Clearly Define “Big Picture” Skills

It starts by first creating a robust sales candidate profile that focuses on both short and long-term objectives. Here’s an example.

Say you’re currently looking for a talented salesperson who possesses fundamental skills like establishing and building rapport with customers, successfully performing product demos, resolving customer complaints, and so on. However, you’re also looking for someone who has the talent for long-term growth as a sales manager later on down the road.

In that case, you would want to add additional skills to your sales candidate profile such as strong leadership, strategic planning, comprehensive CRM knowledge, and analytical abilities. Here are some other examples.

That way, whoever you hire should be equipped with the skills to grow beyond their initial role and be a bigger asset to your company.

2. Expand Beyond Your Traditional Talent Pool

Another way today’s companies get themselves in trouble is only targeting sales candidates using their traditional talent pool. But this approach can be limiting, especially in our globalized world where remote work has become ubiquitous. If your current sales recruiting strategies feel a little stale, it’s time to expand beyond and tap into other resources.

HireDNA, for example, is a helpful tool for filling your pipeline with qualified sales candidates at all levels. It uses innovative techniques like sourcing top talent from a massive network of top-level candidates, intelligent matching based on 20 key data points, and science-based assessments involving 21 core selling competencies.

Instead of limiting yourself to a small, local talent pool, HireDNA can help you connect with elite salespeople from all over the country.

3. Create a Strong, Adaptive EVP

In a recent blog post, I explained how to build a rock-solid employee value proposition (EVP). Simply put, this is a mix of the benefits, rewards, perks, recognition, support, and overall value you offer to your salespeople. And an EVP is something that’s absolutely vital to maximizing retention and creating an atmosphere for long-term growth.

If you haven’t done so already, I recommend reading that post to learn the ins and outs of constructing a winning EVP. Also, be sure to continually adapt with your EVP, ensuring it’s responsive and nimble enough to change as the sales recruiting climate inevitably changes.

Winning at Long-Term Sales Recruiting

I was personally a little surprised to find out that only 16% of new hires have what it takes to expand into future roles. This lack of talent and skillset in the vast majority of candidates imposes inherent limitations on sales recruiters and shows that the current game plan many companies use is insufficient for promoting strong internal growth.

By implementing the three strategies listed above, however, you should be able to create a better pipeline of sales talent who can grow alongside you.

Want to know more about how HireDNA uses cutting-edge technology to find A+ sales talent? Reach out to us today.

4 of the Biggest Sales Recruiting Challenges in 2022 (And How to Overcome Them)

Let’s be honest. Finding quality salespeople has never been easy, and sifting a pile of resumes (the average position receives 118 applications), can be onerous. But 2022 has its own unique sales recruiting challenges that must be addressed.

In this post, I’ll break them down one-by-one based on recent data and provide actionable strategies on how to overcome them.

An Overview of the Top Sales Recruiting Challenges

In a joint study between LinkedIn and Jobvite, experts pinpointed a list of specific sales recruiting challenges based on feedback they received from recruiters. Here’s what their findings looked like.

Now let’s unpack the data from top to bottom.

1. New Hires Lacking Soft Skills

Above all else, a lack of soft skills among new hires is the number one challenge sales recruiters face in 2022 at 89%. This is something I covered in detail in my last post where I mentioned that hard skills are fairly easy to identify and quantify. But this isn’t usually the case with soft skills. In particular, soft skills like communication, collaboration, empathy, and rapport-building have been historically difficult to gauge.

Up until recently, most sales recruiters have simply relied on basic behavioral assessments and reading body language to analyze soft skills. But, unfortunately, that’s not always sufficient. Some ways to address this issue, however, are to first identify a handful of vital soft skills and make them your key areas of focus when recruiting.

There are also a few pieces of technology you can use to objectively analyze candidates. One example is eSkill which is ideal for assessing emotional intelligence such as communication and collaboration. Another is a sales recruiting platform like HireDNA which analyzes “sales DNA competencies” including emotional control, supportive beliefs, and the ability to handle rejection.

From there, HireDNA will provide you with a list of qualified sales candidates that are interview-ready.

2. Hiring Salespeople Who Didn’t First Appear to Fit

The second biggest challenge involves selecting candidates that didn’t initially seem to be assets to a company. According to the study, “77% of recruiters go back and hire candidates who at first didn’t appear to be a fit.” The issue is coming up with an effective way of pinpointing individuals who slipped through the cracks at first and incentivizing them to come on board.

As I mentioned in another article, there’s a small window of just 10 days on average in which you have to hire elite talent. After that, most have already found another position. So to be fully transparent, there will be many cases where the ship has already sailed and it’s simply too late.

That said, reaching out to quality candidates as soon as you realize their potential can sometimes lead to a hire. I also suggest focusing on the following incentives, if possible, as data shows they are the main things that attract candidates to new organizations.

3. Candidates Changing Their Minds

Here’s one of the sales recruiting challenges that can really drive companies crazy. You find A+ talent and get something lined up only to have a candidate change their mind at the last minute. And it’s an issue that happens more than you may think with 75% of sales recruiters saying they’ve experienced it at some point.

While there’s no magic bullet for ensuring this never happens to you, there are a few ways to reduce the likelihood of candidates changing their minds. First, be sure you have adequate incentives in place — ones that specifically zero in on what attracts candidates to a company (see the graphic above I just mentioned). Next, provide candidates with a clear outline of what the onboarding process looks like and make it as streamlined as possible. Third, maintain close communication with candidates from the start, making sure to “read their digital body language” so you can address any potential problems before they escalate.

Besides that, it’s helpful to have at least one backup in place just in case someone drops out unexpectedly.

4. Finding Quality Entry-Level Sales Reps

Finally, there’s the issue of attracting entry-level candidates, with 41% of companies saying these are the hardest positions to fill. Two main reasons why it’s notoriously difficult are because 1) entry-level positions don’t usually pay as much as more experienced positions and 2) candidates often lack the ideal skill set and experience a recruiter is looking for.

So what do you do about it?

When it comes to the pay, I suggest thoroughly analyzing what your competitors are offering for similar positions and either match or exceed it, if possible. You can find more information on current salesperson salaries here.

If that’s just not possible, here are some potential workarounds:

  • Offer plenty of advancement opportunities giving entry-level salespeople the chance to progress
  • Create an amazing culture, and emphasize it in your recruiting
  • Offer flexible work schedules and remote working opportunities as this tends to be effective for recruiting younger reps

As for addressing the issue of limited skill set, it’s all about finding the diamonds in the rough. This, of course, is easier said than done as many candidates will have minimal experience, but there are tools that can help. HireDNA, for instance, can come in handy here because it can be used to objectively screen candidates and predict their likelihood of success. In turn, it’s much easier to identify candidates that will thrive in your specific sales environment.

Overcoming Today’s Unique Sales Recruiting Challenges

To recap, here are the top challenges for sales recruiters in 2022:

  • Candidates lacking soft skills – 89%
  • Hiring candidates who didn’t first appear to fit – 77%
  • Candidates changing their minds – 75%
  • Filling entry-level positions – 41%

While these can be tricky to navigate, each problem has a corresponding solution, and implementing the right one should help your company thrive in today’s recruiting climate. To learn more about how HireDNA can help you select elite talent in your industry, get in touch with us today.