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Help Wanted in Sales? Get in Line

The Great Resignation brought enormous change to the business world as record numbers of employees clocked out of their ...


The Great Resignation brought enormous change to the business world as record numbers of employees clocked out of their jobs for good. Now, it’s a whole new era of recruiting and hiring, which requires employers to pay close attention to job seekers’ expectations. Successful recruiting relies on understanding and adjusting to a new job market in which the talent runs the show.

A new era

Millions of jobs remain unfilled, and competition for talent is fierce. Sales is among the most in-demand areas for recruiters and business owners, and standing out to candidates is essential to finding the right people to fill your company’s open positions. In 2022, sales hiring trends are already emerging in several areas. Tech sales are in high demand, with software companies leading the way in terms of growth. Competition is so intense that software companies are hiring sales talent from other industries to compensate for the expected 0.5% labor market expansion.

Lockdowns forced many companies to rethink work dynamics and create remote workforces — and employees liked it. Progressive HR and sales leaders are paying attention and offering flexibility in work schedules and workplaces. Low supply and high demand, coupled with the highest inflation rate in decades, has companies offering pay increases to retain their current sales representatives and draw in new talent. And job changes are also up, with “better compensation” the number one reason employees give for leaving for new jobs, so turnover looks likely to continue increasing in 2022.

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New expectations

Job seekers have different expectations today than they did even a few years ago. What will motivate candidates to choose your company over others? Do sales candidates have new expectations? To attract new talent, consider whether your company meets applicant expectations for:

  • Flexibility. 65% of candidates want remote work options going forward; 76% see flex work as the top reason for staying with their current employer. Your company should be comfortable with remote work and flexible schedules, and be clear about remote policies throughout recruiting and onboarding.
  • Clarity. Candidates report frustration with a lack of transparency and clarity in job postings and interviews. Be clear from the start about what candidates and new hires can expect from the recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding processes. Offer straightforward information about compensation, benefits, equity, and salary.
  • Growth opportunities. Employees leave companies that lack career development and advancement opportunities. Make internal mobility and learning and development (L&D) availability clear early in the recruiting process. These are critical qualities candidates use to compare and consider their job options.
  • DEI. 67% of job seekers consider solid diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies an essential deciding factor in their career choices. Incorporate DEI policies into onboarding processes, and communicate DEI initiatives clearly during recruiting. It’s imperative that recruiters and hiring managers be empowered to address any questions or concerns from candidates.
  • Variable pay plans. These incentive plans motivate employees by awarding bonuses based on specific, predetermined performance metrics tied to company, team, and individual goals. Independent of base pay, variable pay programs keep employees interested in company performance and invested in its success.

    What are the keys to successfully recruiting sales talent going forward? Hiring and keeping salespeople isn’t always easy under the best circumstances. Increased turnover, high replacement costs, and no readily available talent pool for sales positions — all magnify the hiring concerns every business is confronting today. The best way forward is preparation.

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Get ready

Follow these steps to prepare for attracting, recruiting, and retaining a talented sales team:

  • Standardize your hiring process. Ensure every candidate faces the same applicant procedures and questions, so you can compare their qualifications objectively and fairly. Create a detailed hiring profile of your “ideal” candidate, one who can meet the needs of your company and your clientele, and use it to craft a job description of your open sales roles for job postings. Be as specific as possible in job descriptions to make your needs and goals clear.
  • Showcase your online profile. Attracting candidates is a multifaceted endeavor. Your company needs an active, well-reviewed, and attention-grabbing online presence. When listing job openings, be transparent about pay, benefits, and perks. It will attract job seekers and ensure those who apply already have some understanding of the culture they can expect in your organization.
  • Focus on your brand’s success. When you talk to candidates, show them your enthusiasm for your brand. Job seekers want to know about your mission, values, brand success stories, and personal stories of growth and success in the company.
  • Commit to clarity about money. Like most of us, salespeople are interested in how they will be compensated for their time and energy. Applicants are responsive to signing bonuses, quota incentives, and flexible compensation via variable pay programs. Be sure you can deliver on your promises, and provide dependable information about compensation.
  • Provide the tools your sales team needs. Hiring is only the beginning. Retention efforts are also key to a solid, dynamic sales team. Start with a well-planned onboarding process, provide talent with the right technology, and offer training and development programs to build the foundations of a strong team.

Hiring and retaining sales talent is an ongoing challenge, and compensation transparency is a key contributing factor. To learn about the benefits of an accessible, transparent, and secure sales compensation management solution (SCMS), schedule a demo with SalesVista today.

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