Why Attracting Experienced Sales Professionals is Such a Challenge
Garvan Cerasi, 06/12/2019
With a rising number of Sales positions available across all sectors within the market, I amalgamated my thoughts on what is actually motivating candidates to explore or not, alternative employment opportunities. Some of the common considerations that both passive and active candidates may consider before applying for a new job may include;
- Company Reputation - the rise in popularity of employer review websites has highlighted the perceived importance of a company's reputation. Core concerns can include how the staff is treated by management and colleagues, along with general working conditions, moral attitude and business scruples.
- Marketing Mix - How does the market view the company with regards to its products or services, pricing, marketing, customer care and the availability of supply.
- Career Development - Does the new opportunity offer further progression or will it help achieve your career goal?
- Role Limitations - Will the new role restrict you from accessing opportunities within specific territories or prevent you from selling products or services that are important to your success?
- Unrealistic Expectations - Is the target achievable based on the company's actual ability to deliver the service?
- Long Term Prospects - Concern of long-term job security following the short term ‘brain drain’ of existing sales knowledge.
- New kid on the block syndrome - Reluctance to endure the learning curve, where you must quickly familiarise yourself with the products, systems, procedures, personalities and business culture etc. whilst being under the spotlight to immediately deliver.
- Business Strategy - Does the company have a defined strategy, how often is it reviewed, by whom and is it achievable based on the inputs available?
- Financial Concerns - Is the business profitable with sufficient access to cash flow? Is it over-reliant on a small client base, how secure is this business and how would the loss of a large account impact on the business?
- Internal-Support - Are there sufficient, adequately experienced, internal support resources available to allow you to focus on your core responsibilities?
- Security & Loyalty - Employment security can be hugely important, depending on personal circumstances such as age, status, dependents, financial commitments etc. Loyalty to an employer who provided support during hard times is also a consideration.
- Access to Talent - Are there individuals within the business with a reputation for creative, innovative thinking where new methodologies and skills can be acquired?
- Autonomy - Will the new role provide readily available access to decision-makers along with a real ability to influence change and outcomes?
- Technology - Is there a policy of continuous investment in IT within the business?
- Working Conditions - Is there a welcoming work environment with colleagues who are known as helpful and engaging? Is there a sufficient training and induction programme? Is management supportive and encouraging with a reputation for honouring agreements?
- Location - What is the peak and off-peak commuting time as well as the potential for congestion on the route to be travelled?
- Remuneration - Does the package significantly reward, to warrant the emotional and social upheaval? Are benefits comparable and is there a guaranteed review schedule?
Employers who acknowledge and address these factors have significantly greater potential in attracting the required talent into their organisations.
With an increase in competitor opportunities and limited availability of the “ideal candidate” i.e. direct market knowledge along with existing sales leads, employers know it will be hard to source a replacement, leading to an increase in counter-offers to retain the knowledge.
A counter-strategy is to consider upskilling Internal Sales and Field Sales Exec’s from both related and unrelated industries. Whilst both require time and resources with no guarantee of success, a structured screening, assessment and interview process with commercially orientated candidates can produce a strong pipeline with a high potential for success.
About the Author
Garvan is both a marketing and logistics management graduate. He has over 20 years experience within the supply chain industry having worked within freight forwarding and logistics before launching The Logiskills Group in 2004 as a specialist recruitment provider to the Supply Chain industry.
Is your social media activity affecting your job prospects?
Garvan Cerasi, 27/11/2019
Having a social media presence is a bit like staring in your own, self-directed, self-promoted ‘bragathon’ TV show. For the most part, its fun trying to keep up with the Kardashians, posting the perfect selfie, portraying a fun-filled, enviable lifestyle. Some of us prefer to go all political, non-conformist, adopt a bit of s**t stirring, enjoy some Boris Belting, Trump Trashing or just happily vent all our frustrations on life itself. But who's watching us and our antics, are we getting five-star reviews or a thumbs down with sad/angry emoji responses?
Social media is fast becoming a key, go to, consideration for employers within the hiring process. So whilst you may be a big believer in your right to free speech or being a non-conformist, the reality is, unless you use a pseudonym, most of us can be easily identified online. What you feel may be “nobody else’s business” suddenly becomes someone's business. It sounds obvious, but if you make something publicly available on any site, then anyone can see it. Sure your account may be private and available to a select few, but a quick screen-grab and control is lost along with your reputation.
In 2018, CareerBuilders Recruitment Survey identified 70 per cent of hiring managers were using social media accounts as a screening tool. When it comes to employers eliminating a person as a job contender, 57 per cent passed over candidates after reviewing content that caused them concern.
So what are the red flags prospective employers generally look for online? Inappropriate or provocative content, posts about using drugs or drinking and discriminatory comments. Also, grammatical or spelling errors can raise a red flag.
Companies are utilising Artificial Intelligence in this space with the likes of IBM’s Watson Personality Insights service enabling software applications to derive insights from individuals social media postings. As these solutions become more mainstream and accessible, the more they will become a standard check within the hiring process.
After you are hired, don’t think the scrutiny stops. 48 per cent of employers continue to monitor employees’ social media activity not to mention your curious colleagues who want to know everything about the newest arrival. The nice to meet you chit chat in the staff canteen is nothing near or as juicy to what a quick online search can reveal in 2 minutes.
Before you go and delete your social media account in despair...wait!....There's the flip side to all this sharing and here it is... The absence of a positive online presence can raise questions no matter how innocent the reason. The CareerBuilder Recruitment Survey found that 43 per cent of employers hired someone as a result of seeing something posted in relation to professional qualifications to favourable attributes.
A well balanced social media profile can differentiate you from the herd, showcase your skills, networks and interests, along with demonstrating the fact that you’re really savvy with social media. The CareerBuilder study also found that 50 per cent of prospective employers want to ensure the candidate has a professional online persona and 34 per cent want to see what other people are posting about the candidate. So what if your social media accounts have some questionable content? Cleaning up your social media profiles is important at the start of your career with prudent consideration for all postings thereafter.
So less, maybe of the pictures of questionable clothing, afternoon party updates, off your trolley poses or expressing strong controversial views whilst not in full control of your faculties.
In reality, most employers aren't scouring the internet looking for reasons not to hire you but its best not to give them any excuse not too.