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2011 Sales Hiring Trends

02.22.11   |   Sales Recruiting   |   Sean Cashman, Senior Consultant at Treeline Incorporated

Wanted: Leadership


One of the most commonly asked questions that I get from both candidates and clients is, "How is it looking out there?" They are not asking me about the weather - but they are asking me about the climate...get it? Sales professionals are always interested in what Treeline sees on a day to day basis and how the employment market is behaving. Well here is your update:

Companies' hiring behaviors are typically relatively consistent, but for the past 2 years they have been changing with the weather and on a quarterly basis. The one thing that has been consistent throughout that time is companies' focus on hiring individual contributors who are charged with growing new business and bringing new revenue in the door. As a sales exclusive executive search firm, we talk to professionals who are at all different levels of their careers. The sales managers, directors and VP's of sales who I have met over the past few years have heard me say the same thing to them, "many of our clients are not looking to expand their executive team but instead are looking to drive business through individual contribution, companies are not looking for leadership out there." It is just the reality that we have to deal with...

...until now. Since the start of 2011, we have seen an incredible increase in leadership openings in the market place. The first 6 weeks of this year have brought in 1 new leadership role each week. This is huge news to evangelize - companies are no longer hiring one offs, which was the trend for 2009-2010. We find ourselves building sales teams once again....I'll say that again- companies ARE BUILDING TEAMS AGAIN!! That means that they are penetrating new markets, launching new sales models, growing, evolving, and pushing business forward, which ultimately leads to a growing economy.

Hold on - don't toss your confetti just yet - these are all tell tale signs that we are heading in the right direction, but we have been here before. At the start of the 2010, companies came out of the gate fast - determined to not have another 2009, they were pushing to hire in Q1 of 2010. But, by March 2010, forecasts were not coming to fruition and most companies pulled back to a more conservative approach to hiring. In 2011 companies are taking risks and they need to keep the momentum going - they can't let fear outweigh belief. I know that sounds a tad romantic, but companies who do not meet their head count will not make their quota numbers, and that will prevent them from growing.

We see it - companies are looking for strong leadership to help build strong teams and obtain strong revenue numbers. Treeline deals in all industries, but the vertical that is making the most noise is technology. There are some incredible technology developments that are being brought to market; boot strap start ups, or established organizations with the newest generation of their technology - they are all looking to grow. With that being said, this trend in hiring leadership is not limited to technology.

So that is your weather report. Keep your eyes open - if you are reading this, you may be looking for a new leader for your company, or you may be looking to land in a new leader ship role. Whoever you are, you will find value in staying in touch with Treeline Inc.

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