No matter which industry or company you’re in, everyone eagerly awaits “the next big deal” coming through the door. From a recruiter’s perspective, that “big deal” is the perfect candidate—you know, that person who embodies all of the qualities, skills, and expertise you’re looking for to fulfill a role—and has a dashing personality to top it all off! But, how do you source and find this rare (read: more-often-than-not mythical) person? And, more importantly, how do you set your company apart from other companies that are vying for this perfect candidate’s attention?
Sam East, VP of Sales at Entelo, answers just that. Sourcing candidates, and in particular, sales candidates, can be tricky due to the hefty competition in the sales job market. But as a longtime veteran in the sales world, Sam has seen his fair share of what works and what doesn’t and is excited to share his insights with you.
With that said, here are 5 ways to source sales candidates to ensure you have a leg up on the competition:
1. Leverage Your Sales Leaders
Take a moment to think about how you’re leveraging your sales leaders, such as the VP or Director of Sales, other sales execs, or even the Chief Revenue Officer. Your sales leaders are leaders for a reason. They’re seasoned members of the greater sales community who have accumulated much experience and know-how over the years. With this in mind, it’s your job to make sure that your company is working to position them as movers & shakers in their industry, whether through networking events or social media. Through these methods, your sales leaders can build their own brand and presence in the industry. Their increased visibility will lure top sales talent to your organization since they’ll want to be associated with the best of the best. So, make sure you’re using their visibility to help attract great candidates
2. Encourage Internal Referrals
It’s important to reach out to your teams internally to explain the importance of referrals. This is one of the best ways to lure strong candidates. Why? Internal sales team members already have a feel for the company’s culture and expectations, so they can more accurately vet potential candidates they know to fill vacant roles. And on the flip side, these same employees can serve as your company’s biggest advocates. Not only can they speak about the company’s sales landscape better than anyone, but prospective candidates may be more swayed by their word since they see them as more relatable and trustworthy.
3. Initiate Team Sourcing Parties
Once a month, organize a sourcing party either during lunch time or after work where employees from all departments gather in a room, laptops in hand, and hunt down potential candidates through their personal social networks. Do this for open positions, but also surf around for outstanding prospects to keep on stand-by for the future. That way, you’ll already be equipped with the right names when the time comes to fill the next set of open roles. Sam notes that the cultural benefit of sourcing parties is really fantastic because it truly makes the team think about who they want to bring onto their team. It makes them realize that recruitment does affect them, and so it’s in their best interest to contribute to the process.
Side note: Don’t forget the incentives—pizza, drinks, rockin’ jams—or whatever makes your co-workers’ eyes widen!
4. Create a Compelling Message
The harder the role, the more challenging it is to fill since there are fewer and fewer prospects—and suitable prospects—to choose from. Sam says that with these types of roles, it’s imperative to differentiate yourself from competing companies so that you are sure to grab the attention of that (small) handful of prime candidates.
So, ask yourself—what makes your company unique? Lead your sourcing communications with this message so that prospects don’t have to figure it out on their own, which can lead to inaccurate assumptions. Take control of the message and candidates’ perception of you.
And always remember to A/B test various email subject lines so that you know which messages work and which don’t for enticing prospects to click. This way, you can ensure that your sourcing efforts are optimized at all times.
5. Register Your Sales Team Members for Networking Events
Try hosting regular events where they bring in 2-3 experienced sales leaders who present on sales thought leadership-geared topics. This type of professional event brings in like-minded individuals who aren’t just looking to network but are also looking to expand their knowledge base and skillset. And these are the type of candidates most companies are seeking! So, keep an eye out for these events in your area and be proactive in registering your sales team members for them. They will have potential candidates at their finger tips and be able to thoroughly engage with them in person, which then allows them to easily refer fitting candidates to you.
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