What if we told you that according to our State of Sales Hiring Research, it takes 100 applicants just to fill three sales positions? The easy solution for many sales leaders who need to fill more spots might be: let’s just get more people to apply. After all, the faster you increase your applicant pool, the faster roles get filled. In theory, at least.
The reality is that more applicants doesn’t always mean more quality in return. In many cases, companies who increase their options still end up with open sales positions and bad sales hires.
Below are eight practical strategies to expand your applicant pool without sacrificing quality:
1. Promote from within – It’s so easy to look externally for qualified applicants. But don’t overlook internal candidates who might be seeking a new challenge. Success in sales has a lot of perks, including higher pay and flexibility, and that can be very attractive to some people. So don’t be afraid to advertise internally.
2. Revisit your job postings – We’re often guilty of re-using job postings because the job title or role has not changed over the years. But if you’re just copying and pasting job postings from 2015, then you’re probably hurting yourself. Look through those posts and choose your words more carefully. For example, there used to be a tendency for sales to be dominated by ex-male jocks. Clearly, times are changing. So if your language suggests an overly male or aggressive culture, you could be limiting your applicants. Revisit educational and experience requirements that may not be necessary for an entry-level SDR job. Furthermore, ensure your compensation package is competitive – Cash matters, so ensure your base On Target Earnings (OTE) and mix are competitive. If you can pay at or above market, then include salary ranges and OTE in your job posting. List inclusive benefits such as paid parental leave, fertility/family planning, childcare assistance, PTO, workplace flexibility, tuition reimbursement, etc., and encourage diverse candidates to apply. Be sure to reference your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
3. Test and track your best candidate sources – Just like marketing, you should know your best sources of leads and should be constantly trying new sources. This includes job boards such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter, but there are other niche boards like the AA-ISP Career Center, SalesTrax. and other industry-specific job sources. Constantly test these, then invest in the ones that consistently deliver the best candidates.
4. Create an Employee Referral Program – According to our survey, referrals are the best sources of sales candidates. Incentivize your employees to refer quality candidates they know, and actively promote the referral program as a benefit to all employees.
5. Enhance your employer brand – It’s a buyer’s market, so your employer brand matters. Consider having a dedicated recruiting site with peers telling their stories about why the company is so good. Include career possibilities, progression, etc. Talk about your charitable causes, too. Believe it or not, but people want to belong to organizations that do good.
6. Consider non-traditional candidate sources – Our State of Sales Hiring Survey Reveals 24 Surprising Sources for Recruiting Quality Sales Talent.
7. Test your hiring process to reduce applicant dropout – Applying for a job should be easy. If your process is overly complex, time-consuming, or confusing, then identify and fix the problems. We wrote about this recently in our top causes of application abandonment.
8. Invest in AI-enabled screening tools – Many people worry about scaling back requirements because they might attract too many unqualified candidates. That’s only a problem if your screening process is not effective. For example, there’s a fear that screening out good candidates or screening in too many unqualified candidates creates an interviewing nightmare. But new tools, such as the Sciolytix Sales Performance Predictor, take much of the pain out of screening by putting candidates in a simulated environment similar to what they would face on the job. Doing this early in the hiring process enables you to screen out 95% of the bad candidates and screen-in 87% of the top performers.
What are you doing to improve your sales hiring process?
For B2B sales organizations needing to minimize the risk of bad hires and move fast to land the best applicants, the Sciolytix Sales Performance Predictor (S2P2) is a next-generation talent assessment that quickly and accurately predicts quota attainment while delivering an engaging, differentiated experience for candidates.
Traditional hiring assessments are usually better than gut instinct, but like any tests, candidates hate taking them. Furthermore, traditional assessments only predict potential and not performance. S2P2 puts candidates into realistic selling situations with 3D avatar simulations, scores their interactions with virtual prospects, and through AI, predicts their expected quota attainment.
S2P2 gives your managers insight to avoid bad hiring decisions, improves hiring objectivity and consistency, and shows candidates you are a forward-thinking company that takes their development seriously.
Bottom line, we are revolutionizing the way organizations hire, onboard, develop talent, and create a fair hiring process for all. Predictive simulations are the latest enhancement we’re adding to that arsenal of products.