Hiring is tough. It’s time consuming and expensive, and you’re not guaranteed a successful outcome. Many startup companies simply don’t have the resources available (the people or the money) to hire effectively for their sales teams. And even established companies sometimes need to hire on a budget.
But this doesn’t mean you have to accept less-than-optimal results from your candidate search. There are resources out there that can help your company hire on a budget and still source top players for your sales team.
Your Personal and Internal Networks
Always start here. The personal networks of C-suite members, hiring managers, or employees can go a long way to finding the right candidates. It’s also an easy ask. Research has shown that anywhere from 50% to 80% of jobs are filled through networking. And the average employee will have 150 contacts on social media networks (that’s 15,000 contacts if you have 100 employees).
Empower your team to leverage their networks. You may be surprised at the breadth and reach of your collective networks. This is especially true of sales professionals, who are skilled networkers and rely on networking for their success at work.
People that interview from employee referrals often tend to be very successful hires. It’s no ales professionals are the most hired position from employee referrals.
Paying for employee-generated referrals that lead to a successful hire is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to build your sales team. It’s a way to gamify hiring, make it fun and competitive, and it incentivizes employees to reach out to their networks to the most qualified people.
Be sure to base the referral fee on a successful timeline (i.e. the employee has to be in good standing after 90 or 120 days in order to receive the bonus).
Employee referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate (7% apply but they account for 40% of all hires). Referral hires also have greater job satisfaction and stay longer at those companies.
Make sure your social media presence is updated regularly. Post your open roles to the social sites that you get the most traffic from. Invest some time in building up your social media through creative posts, interaction with clients and customers, and new followers, so that you can increase your reach when you do post a job. Encourage your employees to also use their social media to find sales team candidates.
LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor
These platforms all have freemium services (a pricing model where you receive a free version of a product with limited features), but you can also pay a daily rate to promote your job. Make sure to refine your job description before posting. it’s important that it is attractive and well-worded, but also specific in the requirements, so that you can attract the right candidates immediately. Time is money, and most small businesses don’t have time to weed through hundreds of candidates to pinpoint the best ‘fit’.
Finally, make sure you have a defined process to manage your recruiting. Set up a specific email where the applications will go (like firstname.lastname@example.org), and assign someone to monitor these applications or forward them to the sales manager. Otherwise, you may become overwhelmed with the responses to your search efforts.
You can also take steps to become a company that attracts great salespeople: learn how to attract top talent