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Unemployment at an all time high: Where are all of the good candidates?!

02.23.10   |   Sales Recruiting   |   Amanda Musto, Marketing Manager at Treeline Incorporated

How many times have you stared into a fridge full of food and you can't find anything to eat? Or, how many times do you find yourself flipping through 500 HD channels to find that there is nothing on television? Today we have access to so many options in our day to day life that it is paralyzing. From what music we want in our ears to what kind of dairy product we want in our coffee, the decisions are endless.

If you are a hiring manager or the leader of a sales organization, you are probably experiencing the same issue in your hiring efforts. You get into the same mindless, robotic process that delivers the same results day in and day out. You find that you have many choices, but none are what you are looking for. At Treeline we keep a fine tuned ear to what is happening in the market and we have been hearing a reoccurring message: "Why can't we find any qualified sales people in a market saturated with them?" To answer this question, let's go back to the refrigerator for a second...

...here you stand, in front of your fridge, you're hungry. Your shelves are full of food and beverages, you're overwhelmed, and yet you keep coming back every 10 minutes. You continue with the same behavior which nets the exact same result every time. So you chose something. But, before you reach for the jalape?os, which you know you do not want but they are in arms reach, stop and ask yourself, "what do I really want and what is it going to take to get it?"

This is the key question which deserves a key answer. The answer in the refrigerator case is not just "food". You have to identify what you want and essentially need: snack or meal, sweet or savory. Should I have a jalape?o with that? You get the idea. Now apply the same questioning to the sales professional that you are seeking.

The key question needs a key answer - "What do I want?" - the answer is not "a top producing sales professional." That is the same as saying I am going to watch some TV for entertainment and you find yourself surfing 500 channels of nothing. You must dig deeper and get more specific. What is your plan? Who do you need to hire? Is it a junior sales person that you can mold or tenured sales professional with a book of business? A strategic sales person with a lengthy sales cycle and a multi-million dollar quota or an activity driven sales professional with a short sales cycle and a $500k quota? Direct industry experience or different industry experience yet selling into the same decision makers? There are so many different species of sales professionals - it is crucial to identify what type of sales person can produce for your organization.

Just because the market has a bigger pool of sales candidates does not make it any easier to identify who is a good sales person for your company. In fact, it makes it more difficult. There are still the same amount of qualified candidates out there in the market but they are now much harder to find and hidden amongst the growing number of unqualified candidates that are also targeting your company's opening. You must be able to sustain a bandwidth that will allow you to effectively screen every resume and quickly identify the qualified from the unqualified. The organizations that have identified resources that help them source outside of their own refrigerators are the ones that are able to effectively snatch up top talent from the market and build stronger sales teams. They tap into less traditional resources. They use social media and specialty boutique search firms with resources to tap into their endless network with a laser focus to find candidates that fit your criteria. This is bad news for their competitors.

Don't fall victim to the paralysis of being overwhelmed by choices. Don't be afraid of change or to try something new. Mix it up and build a new process and system that will force you to ask the key questions and find candidates that are outside of your norm. If you need help, Treeline has built a system that will help you identify the right sales professionals for your organization - try it for free by clicking here.

However you decide to build your sourcing system, if you do not ask these key questions and identify the key answers, you will find yourself staring into the fridge and eating jalape?os every time. And every time you will be unsatisfied and find yourself right back in front of the fridge, guessing and looking at the same unsatisfying options.

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