How to Make Top Talent Want to Work for You

If sales is hard (and we all know it is) then recruiting great sales people is even harder!

As I tell our clients all the time, even a mediocre salesperson can sell themselves really well. It is the one product they have literally known all their lives. That said, just as in sales where referral deals are the best, in recruiting the best candidates are the ones that want to come to you and not the ones you have to find or steal away from the competition.

Even when the economy slows or when it reaches its lowest points, great sales talent is a hot commodity and attracting candidates takes a constant effort. But how do you flip the equation and make your company the kind of place that top talent seeks comes to, rather than the place constantly in need of better talent?

Here are some tips for making your roles better than the competition and getting the candidates you want to apply.


1. Remember your target audience in all communications.

It’s obvious but is often overlooked. You have to get inside the head of your target sales people and make sure the items you highlight on your company page, the videos on your YouTube channel, and posts on Facebook or LinkedIn all speak to their interests, career goals and job satisfaction factors.

2. Connect with what is important to them.

Sales skills come in all different types of people. For each role, level of experience, and generation of worker you are targeting there will be a different set of core values. Don’t overlook the importance of connecting with their local community, philanthropy, sports teams or other outside interests when you are trying to attract them

3. Be consistent.

This is in your messaging, your social profiles and in your interview process. Start with a job description that portrays your corporate values, how your team fits into the organization and what potential is in it for them

4. Make sure your company values the sales team – above all else.

This will be key in your social communication and other interactions. We tell people that we have built Acquirent one brick at a time and we mean it. Each of those bricks are our sales team members. Without them, we would not have the company we do today and this sentiment is key in attracting top talent. Make sure the whole company sees and knows the value the sales team brings no matter how big or small they are in your overall organization.

5. Invite feedback and criticism.

Use the new social sites and resources like Glass Door to encourage your current team to post anonymous feedback on how you are doing. Then monitor those sites and stay tuned. When issues arise, if they are real, you will be able to address them. No company is perfect and candidates know that. But if you have a great response time and address issues, you will have more positive than negative comments

6. Leverage your #1 asset – your team.

When done well, referrals will be your best way to attract new team members without you having to go searching for them. Reward excellence and reward it well and your current team will bring their friends, former co-workers or any other great sales people to your doors. Plus, when you hire them, they are loyal and hard working so they do not make their friend, who referred them in, look bad.

Note: If you have openings, but your team members aren’t toutingfriends for the job, that may indicate that you have not created a fulfilling, rewarding work environment. If people love working for you, at least a few of them should be bringing friends into the fold.

Poaching is a dirty word in recruiting but it’s going to happen. When you poach someone out of a role and convince them to join your team you are selling them on the move.

Instead of this direct approach, which sometimes can cause some bad blood in the market, take a look through the tips above and see if you can accomplish the same end game through a different means. The sales executive will still have to be sold on the opportunity, but leveraging your reputation will make them feel like they made the decision and not that it was made for them.

Happy Hunting!