Why You Need to Speed Up Your Hiring Process to Compete for Top Salespeople

David Vigliotti, Vice President
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These four easy tips will help you jumpstart hiring to keep your sales team operating at peak performance

The unemployment rate is at 3.9 percent – the lowest it’s been in over 50 years – and as unemployment has decreased, so has the average “sales cycle” for hiring. While hiring managers used to take, on average, six weeks from meeting a candidate to making an offer, that time frame is now significantly shorter – more like 2.5 weeks – in order to grab the best candidates.

Not only that, most qualified candidates are now receiving multiple offers, and companies that are still taking 3-4 weeks to make an offer are missing out. In other words: you snooze, you lose.

Staying Agile in a Competitive Market

In an increasingly competitive job market, companies need to be flexible and adjust to changes. Those that don’t match their hiring practices to the speed of the market will be left behind. Asking candidates to go through three rounds of interviews before making a hiring decision? That’s no longer going cut it. You’re risking top candidates rejecting your offer and/or leaving positions unfilled for significant amounts of time.

How to Speed Up Hiring Without Sacrificing the Vetting Process

Successful companies know their people are their greatest assets, yet oftentimes, their hiring practices don’t reflect it. They may be reluctant to adjust their hiring practices to keep up with the changing market because they fear making a bad hire if they move too quickly or don’t go through multiple rounds of interviews to vet candidates. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that you’re hiring quality candidates – while they’re still available. Try these ideas:

  • Create a candidate open house. Invite in 5 – 10 candidates in for pizza and soft drinks for a couple of hours. Have hiring managers and Human Resources managers available to chat and mingle. Invite a couple of the candidates you’re interested in back the next day for more formal interviews and be prepared to make an offer on the spot. The whole interview process takes 2-3 days, virtually eliminating the competition.

 

  • Skip the phone screen and go straight to the in-person interviews. Phone screens are becoming obsolete for companies that need to hire good talent in a timely manner; however, many hiring managers are reluctant to give them up because they don’t want to waste their time, or the candidate’s, by having someone come in just to realize it’s clearly not a fit. If you’re concerned about that, use a specialized recruiting firm that does it for you. A good recruiter meets, screens, and presents only appropriate people for the job.

 

  • Maximize your time. There’s no need to have a candidate come back three times. Make sure you have multiple people on the interview team available and scheduled to meet the candidate while he or she is on site.

 

  • Keep your timeline tight. Hiring the right person should be a top priority, and if you drag out the time between scheduling interviews, you’re virtually guaranteeing someone else will interview (and possibly hire) your candidate while you’re still trying to free up your calendar. A week is practically a lifetime in today’s market, so get people in as quickly as possible.

Employers are in a dog fight to hire the best sales people in a candidate shortage market. If you want to win it, you’ve got to make sure you’re in it. All sales teams want to shorten their sales cycles – and the hiring process is no different these days. To be successful, you have to “sell” prospects on why they should want to work for you – and do it quickly – to get a jump on the competition.

If you need help staying competitive in hiring the best sales people, Sales Search Partners has local networks and flexible solutions to assist you with all your recruitment needs, from finding the qualified applicants, to screening potential candidates, to advising you all the way through the hiring process. Contact us today to talk to us about how we can help.