It’s becoming increasingly hard to find talent. That’s what full employment means for the UK and it’s going to get harder
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the number of people in work reached another all-time high, climbing by 181,000 to 32.13 million between May and July. This is the highest it has been since records began 46 years ago. The employment rate has reached 75.3%, the highest since records began in 1971.
Vacancies are at 774,000 this is well above the highest levels seen before the 2008 financial crash when they reached a high of 704,000.
So what does this mean to my business?
Put simply, It’s going to be even harder to find experienced sales people for the vacancies you have. Pressure is going to build on your salary budget as you will be expected to pay more to keep the people you have, even the ones who you think don’t deserve it. You will lose some of your best people unless you reward them and look after them. So if you are recruiting…
Just how good are the sales people that are applying to your roles?
Our clients tell us that it’s becoming increasingly harder to find ‘good’ sales talent from traditional methods of recruiting. The fact remains that every CV from an experienced sales person should be excellent, they are in sales after all. The problem is most of the experienced people applying are not other companies ‘stars’, these stars are being 'loved and rewarded' so they stay. So the belief is that the majority of experienced salespeople that are in the market are there because perhaps they are struggling with the demands and pressures being placed on them by their existing employer to increase their performance
It’s a risky business…‘sales recruitment is like a box of chocolates….’
However, there are some good people out there. Problem is ‘you never know what you’re gonna get…’, they look the same as the rest. It’s only much later, after you have recruited them, and after much expense and much loss of expected sales revenue that you realise they are not as good as they said they were at the interview.
Now you may say ‘it’s always been the same, that’s the way it is’. Well, our clients are telling us that it’s getting worse, and in addition the problem will become further heightened in the UK as we continue to experience full employment.
So what do you do? What options do you have?
There is an alternative, and sure we’re biased, because it’s what we do. You completely re-think your recruitment strategy but you focus on exactly what it is that makes great salespeople, find those people, then grow and develop them to become ‘yours’.
How would you describe the best salesperson you’ve ever worked with?
Are you using words such as, work ethic, desire, determination, resilient, solves problems, wants to earn money, has goals, achiever. These words describe character, not sales proficiency. We agree, we believe this is what makes the difference. Of course, product knowledge, industry knowledge, presentation skills, these are important but these are trained or learned. However, our clients look for new salespeople that have exactly the right characteristics and drive, and they rely on us to provide the sales skills and coaching.
So how do we help with this challenge?
We have a proven track record and 20 years plus experience of solving these challenges. We have seen this before, and we are ready for this again. We look for talented people at the early stage of their career, no bad habits, a blank sheet of paper with no preconceived ideas, graduates with a passion for sales. People who have the character and talent that will enable them to become your next sales stars, it’s then we enable them with the sales skills they need so they quickly become a real asset to your business.
Are you thinking…’Graduates, really?’
We are continuously meeting and assessing talent to find those graduates that are what we are looking for. It’s tough as the vast majority of graduates are NOT right for us, there are, however, great people out there. They come with the character and talent, they need to be trained and they need coaching to grow this talent into a sales asset. Furthermore, you would be amazed at just how quickly this process starts delivering results.
Should I be worried about full employment?
Our clients are! If you are serious about growing your sales team then we believe it’s going to get tougher than it already is. If some of the ideas we have expressed here have intrigued you, or even if you remain sceptical but understand the need to be open minded to deal with future challenges, then make contact we’d be happy to talk.
A final thought - Have you talent within the business, just not currently in sales?
Have you talent within your business that could thrive in a sales environment? That have the potential to become a real sales asset for you? We regularly train and coach our clients existing people, from a range of backgrounds (the warehouse, customer service) that have the desire to be successful in sales. After all if you don't nurture them, someone else will.