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I Need More Candidates!

fullsizerender-20You’ve been trying to hire a regional sales rep for months.

Your internal HR team has the role posted and spammed across the interwebs. You have 55 agencies working on it. You see high resume flow, but nothing hits the spot. You’re dissatisfied. You pinged your network with little traction in return. You become desperate, pouring hours into phone screens with folks you know don’t hit the mark. These efforts have become a war on your time.

If only you had more candidates!

You’re carrying the territory yourself and travel has doubled until you hire the right rep. You stop reviewing the pile of resumes as profile relevance becomes obsolete. You have lost faith. You stop working out. Attending dance recitals, ballgames, and family dinners feel as rare as Christmas. You have a hairy revenue goal gnawing at your gut and you don’t sleep.

If only you had more candidates!

Wrong. The problem is that you are not meeting the right candidate.

Why? Throwing more fuel on the fire ain’t the solution. Bloated recruiting activity with inaccurate yield waves a screaming red flag that some dark secrets might be manifesting:
A. You’re not sure who or how to hire.
B. You’re not an attractive opportunity.
C. You have no incentive to hire.

HOW DO I HIRE THE RIGHT CANDIDATE?!
Hit the reset button and establish a discerning recruiting practice that will produce candidacy with the right people.

 

PREPARE:

1. Define a Performance Profile. What are the reasons you need to make this hire? Determine the critical experience and accomplishments this candidate must bring to the table. Cut the fluff. What are the must-haves to perform exceptionally well in this role? Require evidence of success with similar goals. This is your beacon. If you veer off course from this profile, you’ll end up at the wrong destination and a great loss to show for it.

Studies by industry management consultants reveal horrifying data to illustrate the cost of a sales mis-hire. Considering both enterprise and midmarket sales hiring, a ramp to revenue easily projects six to twelve or more months out. As you account for recruiting fees, onboarding, comp (salary, sign-on, non-recoverable draw), and lost customer opportunity, the true cost per hire can hit a whopping 15x the base salary. Topgrading and Sales Benchmark Index both have online tools to calculate the cost of a mis-hire.

2. Set the Interview Strategy. Create a plan for your interview team so they understand their role in selling and evaluating the candidate. Each participant should have a focus area and unique question sets that cover performance ability (skill) and value system (culture). All interviews should follow uniform flow, e.g. Sell, Evaluate, Q&A, Sell.

3. Invest in your recruiter partnership. Develop accountability and set shared expectations. Your recruiter serves as a direct extension of your sales force and should passionately evangelize your leadership style, team, and your company to specific candidate audiences. Do you know how well your recruiter understands and pitches the role? Establish trust and candid communication with this important partner. Encourage dedication to your hiring efforts.

4. Cease the avalanche of recruiting agencies. You may have bet that lackadaisically tossing your job to an ocean of recruiters would generate momentum, free advertising, and a pipeline of golden resumes. Dangerous idea. The mass marketing approach creates a negative ripple effect harming your brand:

“Yeah, I heard about those guys, I get calls from random recruiters trying to pitch them all the time. Weren’t they recruiting for that role last year? I see that posting all over the place. Sounds like a cattle call. Why is it still open? Why can’t they hire? What’s with the Hiring Manager? What’s wrong with the company? Have any of the reps even made their number? Sounds like a lotta churn. Nah, pass.”

If that sounds like a nightmare scenario, keep in mind – it’s likely happening now. A quick trip to Glassdoor might amplify your worry. In our age of transparency, competitors and customers are also downwind of your recruiting activity. Be discerning with the agencies you use. You have the power to stop and make it right.

EXECUTE:

1. Be excellent at phone screening. Dedicate space each week to support quality conversations. When you talk with folks, slow down, listen, and engage. Give this individual your attention. Create buffers in your calendar if you have a time management problem. Hold conversations with grace. You should know within 10 minutes on the phone with a sales candidate if he has 90% of what it takes to do the job. Provide data upfront they are looking for: comp plan, points paid on deals, territory, reason for hire, and what ghosts may be hiding in your business. Your line of questioning should align specifically with your Performance Profile and keep your call agenda on track. You should be functioning in sales mode with anticipation to ignite courtship. Candidates will either convert into brand ambassadors or light up the Internet about how much you suck. Choose courtship.

2. Improve the Candidate Experience. Candidates should be met with the same care as customers. Identify mutual ground. Create excitement. Follow up. Close the loop. Invite them to network. Lead by example and require the same from your team. Your next dynamite hire could very well be a gift from the candidate who did not make the cut but thought highly of you and his interview experience. Your Employer Brand is significantly influenced by word on the street.

3. Take ownership of your hire and stand proud. You are a Leader. So, you’ve had a couple mis-hires or you’re newer to the hiring game. You’re nervous; you don’t want to disappoint the CEO. Maybe your subconscious ego prevents you from hiring better than you. Every leader has experienced some variation of these challenges. Get over it and double-down on your commitment to recruit right. When you base long-term investment decisions on first impressions, big name company starpower, or emotions, you’re playing with fire.

As you hold yourself accountable to a discerning recruiting practice, you establish and track metrics that support your decisions. You are confident in who and how to hire. You become an attractive opportunity. You experience a dramatic decrease in resume volume. You win time back. You see a tighter success ratio from phone screen to final interview. You remove any desire to return to a bloated recruiting practice. You’re now leading great recruiting and building for the long game!

Which steps in your recruiting efforts need help?
Let’s do this! I got you.

Create Your Irresistible Resume

FullSizeRender-14Previous management teams, industry leaders, and executive recruiters know you.

They evangelize your worth and your next career role magically materializes.

Here’s the problem: you haven’t updated your resume in 10 years. You haven’t needed to update it; you are that good. Interview conversations move along and a Board Member or CEO eventually asks to see a resume. You better have it together. And this resume better showcase your undeniable worth.

Who needs a resume anymore? We’re racing into absolute digital connectivity. LinkedIn has disrupted HCM, CRM, and once static networks into always-on, hiring, buying, dynamic interactions. It’s a powerful new reality. Even more powerful is owning a flexible arsenal of personal career tools that expertly deliver your value to audience-specific targets. Your resume serves as an exclusive spec sheet of value shared in discretion with a potential executive employer.

In service to others, I’ve gutted a few resumes. I know which specific data points a hiring exec is looking to find on you. With this in mind, I’ve created a resume guide and blueprint for you.

  • A resume is a tool to secure interest. Your resume serves as a reference document for elaborated conversation and evaluation during interviews. Its purpose is not to barf up your life story and land the job for you. Sell your experience as a product. Activate the wow factor.
  • 2 pages max. Invest an hour combing through your work history to edit and update for relevance. Refrain from slapping another ‘copy & paste’ role to the top of the page. Remove bloated descriptions. If you can’t chop your stats and wins down to a clear and digestible value prop – What does this suggest about your ability to get to the point with customers and partners?
  • Sex this thing up. Offer something inviting and easy to read. Leave whitespace. Remove hyperlink lines. Reserve the use of italic and bold font for titles that draw the eye onward. Repetitive blocks of underlined type are not pleasant to read. Save your file as a PDF so it will arrive just as sleek as when you sent it out. There are many online resources if you want to invest in design time. I’ve also created a clean, minimal blueprint for you here.

Sell the greatest product ever: You. Use this blueprint to produce a resume worthy of captivating attention:

  1. Name & Contact
  2. Value Prop
  3. Experience & Contribution
  4. Skills & Tools
  5. Education & Community

Leave elaboration and juicy details for real conversation; this is precisely why we have interviews. 

With thoughtful editing and space to breathe, your resume is an accomplishment synopsis and argues why any company would be crazy not to meet you.

 

How To Resign. I Got Your Back.

FullSizeRender-153 Steps to Resign with Intention & Grace

You’ve just accepted a new job. Congratulations! Stand proud for all you’ve accomplished. That’s exactly why this New Employer has extended you an offer and eagerly awaits your arrival. Its time to graciously give notice to your boss, transfer customer activity and step forward into your next adventure.

Do not overcomplicate this. I got your back. Everyone appreciates a fist bump when faced with highly-charged personal change. Frankly, I still get anxiety when dissolving myself from a consulting job. I enjoy the folks I work with, I’d like to see them again.

1. Meet or Phone Your Boss & Notify Him: You Are Departing.

This is a 5 minute chat. Inform him that you have accepted a new job and you’re pleased about beginning the next adventure. Express gratitude for the work you’ve done together. Offer 2 weeks to stick around, transfer knowledge and hand-off customer activity. Set a quick follow-up meeting to identify exit action-items. In sales, you’re likely walked out. Beautiful, enjoy the extra days to recharge your batteries.

This is not counter-offer time for more money or a bigger territory. This is not time to expose problems or bash the product. You’ve already made the decision to leave and you’ve committed to a new role. You don’t need to re-decide, it’s already done. Your boss may not have seen this coming. Its quite alright, he’s a pro and his next step is to cover customer accounts and find your replacement. Stay focused on your exit and redirect all subsequent conversation to hand-off logistics.

2. Follow-up With a Formal Resignation Email.

I wrote a template for you. Keep it short, leave a spoonful of good vibes and highlight a couple wins. It’s a smart idea to extend formalities and cc HR for the record.

Dear (Old Boss) –  With sincere consideration, I have made the decision to join a new opportunity and I will be departing the team at (COMPANY NAME). My last date of employment will be (DATE).

I have enjoyed my role and the challenge of a few key wins:  

(Bullet point a notable deal or two, project success, or staff development. List a couple shining stars.)  

I appreciate working with you and send success. 

Sincerely, You.

3. Deliver a Class-Act Exit.

You ripped off the band-aid and gave notice, mission accomplished. This is exciting! As you exhale, stretch and smile, a couple strong points to consider. I’m not in favor of sharing New Employer details with an existing boss/team before you get out the door. Try to avoid others opinions polluting your fresh waters. Give yourself a clean break, hit the reset button and enjoy your privacy.

You’ve become social friends with your existing team? I hope so. We build solid relationships within our work families. In return, don’t pollute their waters with negativity on your way out. These guys still call the Company home and may not share your frustrations. 

I recommend this mindset: “I’m excited about my new gig and wanna enjoy it for myself right now. Let’s grab a bite and catch up once I’m settled-in on the other side.”

Now, go take care of business and celebrate victory!