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Hiring top talent remains a top priority for businesses today. Or it should – especially during these uncertain times. The whole “good to great” concept applies. Great sales people can bring your company much greater returns, because when you hire the top talent they’re not just a little bit better than the others, they are a lot better. Once you get the right people on the bus, your company (sales office, sales division or region, etc.) can be great, not just good.

And if you aren’t willing to invest in your future when things look cloudy, how can you hope to profit from new opportunities that will surely emerge with a sunnier business climate? Economic uncertainty continues even as business race to emerge from the pandemic. You can’t afford not to get the best people working for you ASAP.

Get Help, and Get It Right

A seasoned recruiter can help you find top-of-the-line new hires you won’t find on your own. If you’re looking for the best of the best, it stands to reason that you need the best resources when it comes to discovery and overt recruiting. Finding impressive candidates has always been an art as well as a science – after all, we are dealing with human beings here. And now that competition for the strongest candidates is tougher than ever, the process requires especially savvy navigation skills. Resourcefulness. Tenacity. Creativity.

This is no time to skimp. You need specialized help because, good as your team may have been at recruiting before, there is no “business as usual” these days:

  •         How you define “top talent” has probably changed
  •         Candidates’ priorities have definitely changed
  •         The workplace itself is forever changed

Today’s Top Talent, Redefined

It’s time to reconsider your entire recruiting strategy. What will still serve you well going forward, and what has to change to reflect new realities? Are your processes as efficient and digitally-driven as they should be? With everyone still concerned about physical separation, online tools eliminate the need for in-person meetings and can greatly streamline recruitment, interviewing, and onboarding.

Reconsider which traits and skills top candidates will need in the future that may not have been so crucial in the past. Proven, sales-specific success is a must, of course. But what about work habits? If you plan to allow (or require) working from home, not everyone is well-suited for that. To be great in this environment requires strong organizational, self-discipline, communication, and time management skills (even in the face of at-home distractions). It requires comfortable use of collaborative apps necessary for remote teams and enough technical skill to fix technology problems that may arise.

Now, truly great candidates are those who have proven work-from-home experience. The good news is that the past year has given everyone a chance to hone those skills. Along that same like, top leadership candidates with prior experience successfully handling a business crisis may serve you best.

Maintaining candidate relationships is more important than ever now, especially since companies large and small are likely trying to lure “your” prospects their way. So stay in touch with prospects you have been nurturing. That shows you care. Genuine employer caring is now key to attracting – and retaining – top talent because employees require greater flexibility to handle the challenges of a new lifestyle, particularly if they have children.

Some candidates may be more open now to making a move that secures their financial future, if you can reassure them their health and safety and need for flexibility will be protected. Can you bring on that top candidate as a contract employee in the near term, even though a full-time position isn’t in the budget cards just yet? If so, you can start reaping the benefits of their skills now, rather than losing them to some swifter-acting competitor.

Personal Priorities, Redefined

As the pandemic set in, Shopify’s founder and CEO Tobias “Tobi” Lutke prophetically announced, “Office centricity is over,” declaring his company had become “digital by default” thanks to COVID-19. Companies across many industries are now following suit, converting to all-remote or hybrid work models.

Sales is the type of position that lends itself nicely to remote work, and top sales professionals have discovered first-hand the benefits of working remotely.

Benefits for employers who adopt a primarily work-from-home approach include savings on office space and overhead and the ability to hire the very best candidate for the job, regardless of where they live. For companies suffering from devastating pandemic economics, the ability to save significantly now and long-term could have make-or-break consequences. And having a broader ability to recruit and attract exceptional candidates? That could have make-or-break consequences as well.

On the other hand, if you do expect team members to come into the office on a hybrid schedule or for the occasional meeting, how will you assuage fears lingering in the minds of your top candidates that they can confidently (safely) make a move to your working requirements?

Hiring a Recruiter Boosts Your Prospects in Every Way

Your in-house team may be well-qualified and experienced, but they are juggling many other critical challenges just now. Lifting the recruiting burden from their shoulders will reduce their workload and stress while boosting your access to top talent.

The best recruiters track industry challenges, trends and best practices, so they can do their best work no matter the circumstances. Old recruiting and hiring truisms just aren’t true anymore. An experienced recruiter knows what works now, and they bring new insights to your talent search. They not only know where and how to find talent that will top the charts at your company, they know how to market your company as the preferred employer for the candidate, now and on into the future.

Making that Right Match Will Save You Money

Why? Because one of the greatest hiring costs for companies now is “ghosting.” You spend untold resources to hire and train someone, only to have them leave. Or worse, they accept your offer but never appear when it’s time to go to work. Ghosts are not only frustrating, they are expensive in terms of churn and lost productivity.

You can actually compute the costs of ghosting, by using the worksheet below. Once you do, you will see why hiring a professional recruiter who knows how to find the right candidates is not only more effective but more cost-effective.

  1. We currently have _______ salespeople.
  2. They produce approximately $________ in total revenue.
  3. We hired _____ salespeople in the past five years.
  4. _______ Salespeople have either left or been “released” during this period.
  5. OUR TURNOVER PERCENTAGE (D/C) x 100) is ______.
  6. Before hiring those individuals we probably interviewed ______ people.
  7. Each interview probably lasted about _______ hours.
  8. I value my time at $______ per hour.
  9. COST OF INTERVIEWING (F x G x H) $_________.
  10. We paid each new hire a base salary of $______ a month.
  11. The salespeople who are no longer with us lasted an average of _____ months.
  12. COST OF PAYROLL (D x J x K) $________.
  13. RECRUITER FEES PAID $____________.
  14. Personal time invested in training, managing and coaching one-person ____________.
  15. COST OF PERSONAL COACHING AND TRAINING (N x H x D) ____________.
  16. MONEY SPENT ON TRAINING (Sales, Product) (P x D) $_________.
  17. Costs of Leads provided $______________.
  18. Approximate total of phone bills run up by these people from prospecting $___________.
  19. Cost of Lease used on these people $______________.
  20. Advances, Commissions paid in advance on accounts not collected $____________.
  21. Cost of sales calls, travel, etc. $___________.
  22. Reimbursed expenses $________________.
  23. HARD COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH GHOSTS (Sum of Q through V) $_______________.

COSTS OF GHOSTS (SUM of I+L+M+O+P+W) $__________.

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