In today’s market, you should still “Always Be Recruiting”
Let’s call it what it is – the past 2 months, with all of the changing times and items from the Covid-19 pandemic, have had their challenges and changed our personal and work lives in various ways going forward. I’m not here today to write about Covid-19 and its impact (I feel like we have all been hit with so much information and resources on this topic that we’re ready to move past it and are already starting to move past it in a lot of ways). I am here to talk about what you should be doing when it comes to recruiting and hiring new salespeople and other roles into your organization right now and going forward the rest of this year.
I can already hear what’s going through your mind about me writing about recruiting and hiring with all that’s been going on right now:
- “But Shad, we are being conservative with spending the rest of the year and not making any major investments, including hiring”.
- “Shad – we’re on a major hiring freeze to control costs because we’re doing ok with revenue and expenses, but we don’t know how long the slow economy is going to continue”.
- “There’s no way we can do this! We’re doing all we can to keep the company going right now and we just laid off or furloughed employees at the start of this!”
I am here to tell you that, contrary to popular belief, now is a great time to be recruiting and hiring. Yes – I just wrote that and I’ll repeat it:
NOW is a great time to be recruiting and hiring.
Ok, now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about how you are doing recruiting.
Just because there are a lot of great prospective candidates in the market, it doesn’t mean that a lot of great, qualified candidates are just going to come find you (unless the name of your company is Google, Salesforce, or another big brand name). That means you’re going to have to not only post a hiring ad online in multiple places, but it’s going to have to be one that stands out and “identifies” with the types of candidates that you really want, not just attracts a lot of unqualified candidates. Oh, and you need to be asking everyone you know for intros and referrals to great candidates that they know.
Let’s say you got the hiring ad right - are you just going to start interviewing the ones that have a well-written resume, have good industry experience with your competitors, and look really good on paper? How do you know if they’re really a good salesperson? Can they sell in your company’s environment? Are they really motivated and committed to sell more and improve as a salesperson? Do they have some bad beliefs that are going to keep them from getting decisions and closing more sales faster? Do they have the skill sets needed to sell consultatively and truly qualify an opportunity before just quoting and hoping it will close? Can they even sell on value vs. price and differentiate themselves from the competition?
These are a lot of important questions and points to leave to chance.
The true cost of a bad sales hire was recently estimated by Harvard Business Review to be as high as $300,000. Are you really not going to be more objective in your hiring to ensure that you don’t waste $300,000 by making a bad hire? If so, better make sure that you have some sort of an objective hiring assessment tool focused for sales that is predictive that you’re using to make sure this doesn’t happen. (Objective Management Group’s sales hiring assessment tool is one of the best ones out there for this.)
Now we’re into the actual interviews. Are you just asking the old standard tried and true questions that you have always asked or are you asking questions that really uncover candidate’s experiences, strengths, and skills? Do you even know what these types of questions would sound like? Are you taking surface-level answers from candidates or are you asking more questions and digging in to find the truth from them? (Hint – there are a lot of “professional interviewers” out there. You better know how to distinguish the real candidates from the fakers.)
You finally found the perfect salesperson and made them a great offer that they accepted. Your recruiting and hiring work with this person are now finished and now you can crack open an adult beverage and bask in the success of the next great sales producer on your team and ride off into the sunset, right? WRONG! Now the real work begins! You’ll have to have a strong onboarding plan in place that begins before the candidate even gets to their first day of work and continues for the first 2-3 months in order to get them up to speed quickly and effectively. Even the greatest salespeople need a guidance plan to get them started off on the right path to be effective for your organization.
Once again, the true cost of a bad sales hire was recently estimated by Harvard Business Review to be as high as $300,000. Are you really going to “wing it” or do it “the way you’ve always done it”? Good luck!
If you need help with making your sales hiring easier and more predictable, reach out to a Lushin consultant to discuss your current recruiting process and how it can become more effective.