Guess Why You Struggle to Find Top Sales Talent – Contingent Recruiting is DYING!

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

If you haven’t noticed it already, 2012 was a difficult year to find fantastic sales talent. There are two reasons for this recruitment challenge:

Your recruiter is only ½ motivated

Honestly, how much time and effort do you really think your recruiter is placing on your candidate search? Until you’ve been inside a recruiting firm, it’s difficult for a VP Sales to understand that it’s exactly like their sales floor. Recruiters will stack rank your recruitment opportunity in order of “Potential Return-on-Effort (ROE)”. Clients with a simple hiring process (which is not a VP Sales thinking they’re the world’s greatest judge of talent) mixed with great fees – will win their time. This is the simple law of human nature that even recruiting firms are susceptible too. Add to the mix a client only willing to pay contingency fees AND allowing for multiple recruiters on the project. Think of the ROE for a moment:

1. You are seeking a sales rep for a $50,000 base salary

2. You place postings on Workopolis, LinkedIn + invite 3 recruiting firms to identify talent

3. You hardball the recruiting firms to a 17% fee (meaning $8,500 IF THEY ARE SUCCESSFUL)

4. The recruiting firm now has a less than 33% chance of success (calculate weight of $2,800 for fees assuming risk %)

5. Throw in variables like internal promotions, budget cuts, M&A, etc… put less stock in the $2,800 fee really happening

6. If successful, the recruiter then has to split with team (house and others on the account)

How appealing does that sound? No wonder VP Sales that create barriers to the hiring process (long timelines, tests, and hire-by-committee) have recruiters place that account into the “afterthought” pile.

You Are Reactionary to Talent Generation

Here is the larger problem. Someone leaves your organization and you’re forced to identify a sales rep. What do you typically do? Throw out a few job postings and start looking for talent. For top talent, you can expect a lead time of 60 days once the process is started. You are trying to find talent like a bad broker tried to time the stock market. You hope that talent is available at that given moment in time, looking for you??? Never going to happen.

Absolute failing model – can you imagine running your sales pipeline in this model? You only look for leads when the pipeline gets sparse?

Why are you not paying attention to Social Recruiting?

Top sales organizations have embraced Social Recruiting. This is a model of nurturing and attracting sales talent in the EXACT same manner you generate prospective sales leads.

  • Develop brand awareness that attracts talent like a magnet
  • Demonstrate your brand is world-class and different – top sales reps don’t care about the job 3x recruiters call them about. They are interested in the closed-door opportunities that THEY can select as valuable to them.
  • Build a talent pool that you own for life, and can always nurture

What Does This Look Like?

Have a LinkedIn and Twitter database of top sales reps in your industry (or could be attracted to your business one day) at your finger times. These prospects are seeing your thought-leadership, growth stories, events, awards – in a nurture track. You are never left empty handled looking for talent, with outdated file folders of old resumes. Social Recruiting is database of saved LinkedIn profiles filled with talented sales reps that have been learning about your business for 3,6, 12 months.

If you don’t want to be left behind the 8 ball – you need to start to take action. Check our blogs on social selling and recruiting. If you are really looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific candidate check out the below downloadable guide – 42 LinkedIn Inside Sales Tips

LinkedIN Sales Tips


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