Selling the Sellers: Personalizing IT Sales Recruitment

Selling the Sellers: Personalizing IT Sales Recruitment

Technology strives to make our lives easier by performing tasks for us, taking the hassle away from humans so that we can do more, quicker and easier.

With technology on the rise, many positions within that industry are high in demand to fill. A variety of positions such as software engineers, developers, data scientists and sales professionals, are desirable to employers in 2019. It was discovered by Jobvite that only 9% of IT recruiters fear that their jobs will become obsolete due to the consistent industry growth.

The key to successful recruitment is to simply be human, especially when you’re recruiting for an industry that can remove humanized approaches to day-to-day activities. Often, recruitment firms are seen as a group of salespeople, selling candidates on the position and the client on the candidates that you present to them. Although recruitment companies do encompass that as part of their process, it should never be just “selling”. Successful recruiters focus on the fit between the client and the candidate, looking in the future as to the growth opportunity for both parties.

Here are some things to consider focusing on when you’re liaising with candidates so that you can create a trusting relationship during the recruitment process to place sales professionals in information technology companies.

Be transparent

It is unnecessary to communicate using a lot of smoke and mirrors. Sales professionals can typically see right through jargon, especially when you’re discussing “on target earnings” as the primary value proposition of the technology company that you are recruiting on behalf of. Selling candidates only on the potential to earn “x amount of dollars” isn’t the most effective and trustworthy way to create a relationship with candidates that you are communicating with in the search process. Make sure to explain the full scope of their role. Do they have an inside sales team working behind them? How much hunting are they doing? What are the growth opportunities? How often can they work remotely?

Keep them updated throughout the process - sales people are driven by results. If you don’t have concrete, new updates to prove them with at least let them know that. Leaving candidates in the dark, especially individuals that thrive in a fast paced environment can result in a loss of momentum. If you’re not 100% sure, never tell them an answer other than that you will circle back to your client and ensure you get the right information to present to candidates. This will not go unnoticed. People generally would rather wait longer and get the correct information over a quick response that isn’t completely accurate. Long term, this will also ensure the candidate feels that the opportunity is a good fit for them.

Personal can be professional

Individuals that work in the IT sales space understand the value in getting to know who they are selling to, to get a more accurate understanding of their wants and needs. Don’t go into the conversation thinking it has to be strictly business and metrics. Sales professionals typically love to engage in conversation, so allow them to go down different conversational rabbit holes. You will learn more not only about their work style and what they’re looking for in a workplace culture but also as to who they truly are as a person.

It’s recommended to also arrange times to have face time together when discussing the opportunity. If the search process is proving to be lengthy, consider taking them to coffee to catch up and update them on their status instead of an email or phone call. If you go the extra mile to not simply send them an email, while their own inbox is being flooded with others, it will showcase you truly care about their potential at the company you’re recruiting for. According to Mattersight, 80% of people would take one job over another based on personal relationships formed during the interview process.

Ask “why?” or “how?”

When asking questions such as, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years in your career?” A very common response among positions such as account managers, business development executives and inside sales representatives is, “To be in a manager position.” In response, ask them questions such as, “Why would you want to be in a management position?”, “How does your most recent manager manage your team? Would you use a similar leadership style?” and “What team culture would you value to establish?” By answering personalized questions like these, you’ll be likely to gain a more thorough understanding of their career trajectory and cultural fit within your company.

Software sales is fundamentally built around trust. It is essential that the buyer trusts that the technology that they will purchase will perform as they were promised. When the software seller has their best interest in mind and is successful, the purchaser will remain loyal, creating a faithful relationship. This is the same model that recruiters have to keep in mind when recruiting IT sales professionals.

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