I have a pretty good track record in attracting sales talent. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I am a sales person. The saying “It takes one to know one” is the absolute truth. Recruiting is sales. Most good managers are also great recruiters. After all, you can’t be successful if you don’t have the right talent surrounding you. Great managers and leaders live and breathe recruiting.
I can’t always get the best of the best available. I would venture to say that you are pretty arrogant if you think you can hire everyone you want. There are always circumstances. Timing is everything. Family, health, salary, job duties are all factors in making a decision. Candidates are sometimes in great situations and to make a move isn’t their top priority at the moment.
There are other times, however, when you do have the job that the candidate is looking for and you can help with their decision making. I put changing a job right up there with life changing events like moving into a new house, moving to a new city, or going through a divorce. It just isn’t easy. Even when you feel like you have all of the answers you need, it is very difficult to make a change sometimes.
A recruiter in today’s world can be seen as a “Realtor” or “agent”. This is a bit different than we were perceived a decade ago. Knowing a good recruiter is like having a banker, lawyer, or dentist. You just need to know one. You also need to know a damn good one. If you are a candidate, they will introduce you to some pretty cool opportunities and if you are a manager you need to know one to help you build your team and YOUR NEXT team when you change jobs.
As a recruiter, I know your career is a journey and it is constantly evolving. This isn’t an era where you will stay with one company for your career. As a sales recruiter, I see a majority of candidates changing jobs every 2-3 years. I do go after candidates with longer tenures and frequently I talk to candidates with 10 plus years with an organization. I also don’t discount candidates who switch jobs and take risks with roles.
So how does Bulls Eye Recruiting do it? How am I able to attract some of the best available? Well, I can’t give you all of my secrets, but I can say this is what differentiates our organization from the masses. If we are going to be on target, every time we have to be on our “A” game.
- Tell a Story– Every good recruiting effort has a good story. I want to be the press. I want to get a lot of questions answered before I do business with an organization so I can articulate to the candidates why this would be a good move for them. Why did you join the company I will be representing? Why do YOU believe in what you are doing? Where do YOU see the organization going? What kind of people do YOU want to work with? Candidates will respect this and will feel an emotional attachment.
- Know Details About the Company– There is nothing worse when a recruiter calls a candidate and doesn’t know specifics. How is the company doing financially? How many people have you hired this year? How are you different from the competition? Was there a person in this role before?
- Make Them Feel Important– Like I said earlier, I am a sales person. I want to be treated well. I want to feel important and I know sales candidates want to feel important also. It is doing the little things that separates the good from the great, so that is what you need to do to get the best of the best. Return calls, answer e-mails promptly, and give good, bad, and constructive feedback. It all is appreciated.
- Get to the Bottom Line– Sales people want to know what they will make. You can dance around the topic for a while, but eventually, money is one of their primary drivers. If you can’t meet the compensation expectations, then really there is no reason to continue the conversation. If you are close, you need to put your sales shoes on and articulate why your opportunity is better than another.
- Find Some Common Ground– Sales 101 right? I’m not saying go into their office and if there is a golf club tell them how you played at Augusta. Be sincere. I’m saying get personal with them. Ask about their family, ask them about their college. I don’t care what it is, but connecting with candidates is so important. You don’t want to be just another recruiter.
- Be Understanding- Like I said earlier, we can’t win them all. If this isn’t the right job, there may be another job that fits better. People will change jobs. Leave a good impression and maybe you can do business together in the future. Better yet though, they will give you a reference of someone that will fit in the role you are trying to fill.
I promise you this, these things will help you land the best sales talent for your organization. I’ve been doing this for 20 years. E-mail me and I’ll help you land your next hire at firstname.lastname@example.org.