Why employers miss out on hiring top sales talent

10 September 2021

By Ursula Colman

Why employers miss out on hiring top sales talent

It’s a fact - great sales people are scarce, and they don’t hang around on the job market for too long. Whilst an uncomfortable truth for some, employers with lengthy and often cumbersome recruitment processes miss hiring the best sales talent.

When selling products or services, companies automatically look at how to reduce the time lag between signing contracts and ‘going live’ – so why is this principle not being applied to the recruitment process?

A recent example, in the time taken between a first interview and a job offer of comparable employers, ranged from a three-day turnaround to a staggering eight-week hiring cycle. The longer the process takes, the more likely a candidate will lose interest in the job, secure employment elsewhere, and leave a negative impression of that employer.

The relationship between business performance and hiring the best talent is dramatic and should not be ignored. Top talent is over eight times more productive within a business and this is even more so when it comes to employing the best sales people. Yet, according to a McKinsey’s report, the vast majority of business leaders surveyed admitted that their companies did not recruit enough talented people and even questioned if their own recruitment strategies worked.  

When hiring sales teams or hiring sales directors, those companies who take action to ensure that their hiring processes are time efficient, informative and create a positive candidate experience will inevitably fair better.

By improving the flow of information between all stakeholders, cutting out bureaucracy and reducing time slippages will positively impact your ability to attract the best and enable you to hire sales talent from the widest pool of candidates. In addition, maintaining legacy ways of hiring sales candidates will inevitably impact your bottom-line performance, and getting this right in sales recruitment, is business-critical.

Three top tips to speed up processes
1 - Do Mention the Money

Ensure the earning potential for the job is agreed upon and understood by all parties, including the basic salary range, before interviewing candidates. There is no point going through the hiring process only to find a mismatch between the candidate’s salary expectations and the salary you want to offer. Ensure the candidate's salary, benefits, and OTE will be acceptable before starting the interviewing process.

2 - Face to face vs video interviewing

Opting to hold the first interview by video is the best way to reduce lost time and speed the process along to the next stage when you want to hire salespeople. Organising a face-to-face interview with a candidate will require the candidate to book a morning or afternoon off work, often adding an additional week from the time the candidate was invited to attend an interview and that interview taking place. It’s far more time-efficient for a candidate to arrange a free hour in their day to attend a video interview.

3 - Get all your ducks lined up

Identify in advance who in your business needs to be involved when hiring sales staff and at what stage. Encourage all stakeholders who will need to interact with the candidate, to set aside several free diary slots, which will reduce time delays during the recruitment process. By organising the recruitment cycle, the processes and timeframes effectively can save weeks of wasted time, resources and money.

Those employers who mistakenly put more emphasis on the candidate’s first day in the job rather than improve their processes for hiring sales talent do this at their peril. Understanding these pitfalls and getting them right from the start will dramatically increase your ability to hire the best sales candidates, increase business profitability and prevent losing out on the best candidates to your competitors.


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