A: As you look at your hiring requirements for sales professionals, you should consider what recruiters are seeing in the current employment market. Here are five important influences that we would like you to know about.
It’s a talent driven market.
Most all cities have returned to their pre-recession unemployment levels. Some cities, like Columbus, Ohio, have virtually reached full employment at 3.8%. Nationally, the U.S. unemployment rate is at 4%, which is nearly the lowest rate since May of 2007.
Some analysts view the current unemployment rate with some skepticism. As a measurement of employment, critics say that the unemployment rate does not take into account people who have given up on finding employment or people who are working part-time and want full-time work. But, the unemployment rate, as it is defined, is little influenced by these factors.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has been measuring the unemployment rate consistently since 1940. The trend is down significantly. Talent is controlling the market. No one disagrees with that. Adjust your recruiting strategy accordingly.
It’s OK to hire overqualified people.
Boomers still want to work. Many will be postponing retirement until their seventies or may never retire in the conventional manner. Unemployed or underemployed boomers are a bargain. They most likely will have a 10 to 15-year employment runway. Boomers are experienced, have a terrific work ethic and will typically reenter the workforce at a lower salary than when they left.
There is no statistical evidence that tells us that overqualified boomers, when reemployed, switch jobs as soon as a higher paying job comes along. Looking for a job when you are employed (or unemployed) is hard. Once employed…boomers stick. The average employment tenure for Boomers is seven years.
Seek out Millennials.
Millennials will soon be the largest sector of the workforce. The unemployment rate for Millennials is currently 12.8% and for non-technically degreed Millennials, it is significantly higher, maybe even 20%. Many Millennials are currently working in part-time jobs and carry a debt load of $45,000 in college loans.
If you have a good training program, hire Millennials. If you don’t have a good training program, start one. You will need to aggressively train in the near future. But, make sure you understand that Millennials stay in any one job for an average of two years. Bake the training costs into your talent acquisition budget.
Hire slow and fire fast – Old thinking.
I agree that you need to qualify candidates with multiple interviews and assessments before hiring. However, if you needlessly stretch out the hiring timeline, you are going to be in trouble. Top candidates have little patience for companies who cannot make a timely decision or have long periods of no contact. Compress the timeline. Top candidates now have several alternatives.
Is there a correlation between hiring slowly and hiring the right candidate? After spending a great deal of time on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, I find that the average tenure of employees in the workforce has remained relatively unchanged. Hiring slowly has had little effect on the length of time that employees stay on the job. Whether it has had an effect on the quality of hire remains to be seen.
If you have multiple steps in your hiring process, make sure your candidate (and your recruiter) understands the process. Stay in touch.
Companies who fire fast get a bad reputation. Take a look at company reviews on Glass Door. Occasionally, every company makes the wrong hiring decision. Before letting an employee go, make sure you truly have a person problem and not a situation problem. I have had the displeasure of firing several people in my career. It’s not fun. However, each was given a chance to improve before termination.
I only want to hire “A” Players.
I would suggest that you change your thinking, slightly. I suggest that you want to hire “A Potential” Players. Potential is much more valuable, but it’s hard to measure. Invest in a good pre-hire assessment to look into a candidate’s “DNA”.
I am sure you are familiar with the statement “Past performance is no indicator of future success.” Past performance should definitely be taken into account in making the hiring decision. However, what will the candidate’s potential be in your company? Will you create the same environment that has made the candidate successful in the past? Are you an “A Company”?
“A Potential” Players may be more affordable but just as effective. If you have not seen the film “Moneyball”, I suggest that you view it. “A” Players are expensive. If you have the budget, then by all means go after the highest performing, most expensive, players that you can find.
If not, then go after the lean, hungry and highly motivated “A Potential” players, and…grow your business.
Ken Lazar, CEO
Ability Professional Network
Experts in Recruiting Sales Professionals