The war for talent is so often associated with finding tech candidates (engineering/product/design talent) that organizations frequently forget many of the same hiring complexities apply to finding great salespeople. At any growing company, building out a strong sales team is central to bridging the gap between the product you’ve built and the people who need it – bringing in revenue.
Onboarding salespeople can take time, so it’s important to take a lot of care in your processes for hiring them. Understanding the product, knowing how to build great champions and decision makers, and mastering the environment they’re selling in can take anywhere between three months to a year. Because of this, the hiring risks are much higher – any success takes time to transpire.
How can you minimize risk and find the best salespeople for your organization? I recommend these six questions to help you identify strong candidates.
Unfortunately, there are still too many instances of recruiters mass-blasting form emails to candidates these days, often for jobs that don’t make sense for them. While we encourage taking the approach of being hyper-personalized with every reachout, there are successful tactics you can employ to get the best of both worlds: semi-personalized reachouts leading to the volume needed to build your pipelines quickly and efficiently.
Since starting Entelo, we’ve had hundreds (probably over a thousand by now!) of conversations with people about how they recruit. We’ve heard all sorts of interesting stories and a lot of great ideas. A recent conversation with a recruiter spurred something that’s been smoldering for a while here at Entelo.
To this recruiter, the hiring industry was getting it wrong, and that with a quick shift in the team's mindset, recruiters would find more qualified people and companies would be satisfied with their hiring team. The missing piece boiled down to one metric: the candidate response rate.
Companies in fast-growth mode attempting to fill in-demand roles in tech, sales, and marketing, to name a few, can’t simply wait for the right candidates to come to them – they need to proactively find their talent. In the industry, this is referred to as passive candidate sourcing (a somewhat weak phrase for a critical company activity, but that’s a topic for another day). Facebook does this. So does Google.
The number of responses you receive from candidates is a function of two variables:
Let’s break down each element.
At startups, pipelines are lifeblood.
If you're part of a small company, you probably have at least two pipelines right now: investors and recruiting. And many startups, especially SaaS and enterprise software companies, have a third pipeline: sales. Manage those pipelines well and you’re on the road to great success.
Over time at Entelo, we’ve talked to hundreds of companies about their pipelines (primarily their recruiting pipelines) and we’ve discovered some cool tools people are using to keep their pipelines healthy. Whether your primary function is selling, recruiting or raising capital, these are well worth looking at.
There’s been a lot of talk around hiring engineers recently, and while it’s absolutely true hiring for technical roles has gotten more difficult, there’s another type of role just as important but doesn’t get the same level of publicity: Sales.
After witnessing some successes and failures, we have started to observe some trends on what traits to look for when building out the sales team. Here are a few that have proven to be very useful for us.
Let’s get this out of the way: Interviews are by no means a perfect mechanism for evaluating candidates.
They’re highly subjective, are often biased and not very predictive of performance on the job. Having said that, there are valuable insights you can derive from interviews, especially when it comes towards catching potentially devastating red flags for how they may perform on the job.
Here are a few red flags to be on the lookout for with prospective candidates.
It’s tough to recruit engineers when you’re not technical.
We’ve all dealt with the challenge and it’s particularly difficult when you haven’t played the role or had exposure to the nitty gritty of what engineers do on a daily basis. However, that should not be an excuse to not try, and fortunately, there are some ways recruiters can rapidly improve while still providing a ton of value to the hiring managers.
Here are a few strategies for helping your engineering team’s recruiting efforts even if you feel rocky on tech-related topics.
One of the common misconceptions many companies have is that they can’t compete against the Googles and Facebooks of the world when it comes to inbound flow of candidates.
While it’s certainly true companies of that scale have far more exposure to good candidates, too many companies, especially early-stage startups, put all their eggs into other avenues such as sourcing, referrals and agencies. This strategy can work, but it’s a huge missed opportunity to avoid investing in developing those inbound funnels. Fortunately, there are some strategies for building a strong inbound pipeline that a few companies have played to perfection.
For every company, growing the perfect team is a work in progress. A push and pull. Trial and error. Hiring, and unfortunately, firing.
Identifying people who could be right for the job is a small portion of what it takes to successfully build an ideal workplace. Keeping them around for the long-run is the part everyone’s working to fine-tune. In other words, what’s the key to finding the balance between growing a happy, satisfied team and a thriving company?
If you're no stranger to the Entelo Blog, you know we share a great deal on how recruiters and hiring managers can be better at finding talent. Similarly, we're constantly working on finding our own sweet spot for hiring people.
At Entelo, we’re creating a culture excited to build a product that helps others improve the way they work. What’s our secret formula?
As of 2013, Hacker News gets about 200,000 unique visitors on any given weekday, according to TechCrunch – and we wouldn’t be surprised if that number has more than doubled since then.
While Y Combinator-funded companies are able to post jobs to Hacker News’s front page regularly, the social news site for programmers and entrepreneurs opens the floodgates for other companies on the first of every month. All non-Y Combinator companies can post jobs to the "Ask HN: Who is Hiring?" thread and best of all – it's free.
If you’re not already reaching out to the Hacker News community for potential hires, your company is missing out on a significant bulk of qualified tech talent who are actively searching for a new position.
Thanks to everyone that participated in the webinar today. We had some insightful questions and some good discussion pertaining to a variety of tools including email reminders, email tracking, pipeline management and applicant tracking systems. Just as promised, you can access the webinar by clicking below.
As recruiters, you send and receive exorbitant amounts of email. You’re reaching out to a candidate for the first time, following up, and tracking the various emails you’ve sent. And you’re doing all of this while trying to optimize the time you spend doing it. In this post, we outline some great email tools that make your email process easier and more effective.
In our earlier post, we introduced Github, the site where developers post and collaborate on projects. We’re going to do a deep dive into why recruiters should use Github, and more importantly, how to properly navigate it. You’ll want to utilize Github’s awesome search functionality to find out which developers are capable of creating great code. And you’ll find projects that correspond perfectly with what your company’s team is currently building or looking to build.