Will You Actually Hire Your Competitions Star Sales Executive or Just Another Dud?

Happy New Year! We’ve certainly been told to expect quite a memorable one. I applied that notion euphemistically because I imagine you may be anxiously approaching 2023. Some companies will navigate this year’s expected strangeness by poaching employees from larger businesses.

I maintain this blog to share my unique insights developed through helping firms like yours discover elite talent for more than two decades. These exceptional years have repeatedly demonstrated that growing businesses need assistance with their recruitment strategy. Fortunately, a solution exists.

Jack Welch Said It Best

Strong brands appear to have an insurmountable advantage when hiring top talent. Still, they all have their “pot full of duds”, to borrow a phrase from Jack Welch.

Large companies that sell well-known brands are like powerful magnets. They easily attract more candidate traffic to their jobs. Meanwhile, mid-sized companies struggle to gain access to the same talent pool.

This access disparity causes the illusion that big brands hire the most talented employees. As your life experience has surely taught you, illusions, or simply misunderstanding what’s happening, can cause us to make incorrect conclusions.

Misunderstanding how to hire actual talent is a critical problem for an expanding business. It makes executives and management teams struggle to build a smart and strategic recruitment plan.

How to Develop a Strategic Recruiting Plan

Logic and data should guide growing businesses that want to turn their brands into household names. Instead, they lean into varied opinions that are usually based on conviction and gut feelings. Friend, the marketplace does not trade in such currency.

To build a strategic recruiting plan, seek an outside opinion from experienced sales focused recruiters.

Alternatively, you could take the typical, supposedly easy, path.

The Actually Not-Easy Solution that Most Companies Choose First

Unfortunately, it seems easy to fire from the hip and just plan to recruit your biggest competition’s top talent. I can tell you from vast experience that over time, this is not a sustainable recruiting plan.

In theory, it sounds easy. In practice, it is impossible to complete. That plan’s main flaw is found in its broad range of variables.

As a manager, you likely understand the concept of system entropy. You might think of it as the friction between theory and reality within an organization.

Flawed, poorly planned recruiting attempts can not only stall your company’s growth, they can trap your company in self-perpetuating cycles of system entropy for years. In that scenario, how will your brand ever be a household name? It will not, so you must take another path.

What Is Really Going on at Large Brands?

We know large brands have an advantage in attracting talent over smaller companies, but the notion that those leading brands only hire exceptional employees is a myth. As the iconic Jack Welch repeatedly told us, “every company has its duds.” Subsequently, when you make taking employees from your competition your only goal, you risk overpaying for average and subpar talent.

Many of these companies may be happy to shed these individuals to their competitors, and this becomes their winning strategy. It gives your competitors the ability to freely topgrade and make room for new talent while your organization overpays for under-producing employees. Now, that is a stellar strategy for your competition!

Become Purposeful! Ask Questions!

So, how do smaller companies build a purposeful equally successful recruitment strategy that includes topgrading and developing A-level players? A logical, sustainable growth model to attract and hire talent can be found right in front of you.

Remember, there is no silver bullet that makes recruiting easy and successful, and your gut feeling is not a strategy. So, how do you start? This process starts like every other important decision-making process. You start asking questions.

Be Detailed

As I’m sure you know quite well, smaller companies have little time and limited recruitment resources, so your recruiting plan must be specific. Accountability to the pipeline and process is critical.

Speed matters in business. And your comparatively smaller company has a nimbleness advantage over its larger competition.

Ask the Right Questions!

Now that we’ve established the ground rules, you must ask the proper questions. Speak with the top producers in your company. Find out

  • What industry did your top producers come from?
  • What are your strongest employees’ personality traits?
  • Which position did they hold before joining your team?

Identify these key attributes, and do not take for granted their ability, productivity and cultural contributions. Answer those questions and many more, and you will be headed in the right direction.

Sometimes, Answers Are Funny

I invite you to borrow from my firm’s insights and think about your answers to the questions above. The questions seem straightforward and logical, but 22 years as a recruitment company have taught us that many companies abandon these guidelines and insist they need a unicorn candidate.

Often, when asked which industry their top people came from, clients initially say, “Well, my top producers do not have the background we want.”

Take a moment and truly think about that statement. Respectfully, it’s absurd.

Your best achievers don’t have the background you want? How can that be? Why do many executives repeatedly ignore the most obvious solution to their own needs?

Ego, outside influence and assumption create the deception that your competition’s team features more talented people who will fit into your culture, grow revenue and ask for the same salary that your present producers get. Are you sure this simple recruiting plan will bring you a winning, cohesive team and culture?

What Does Your Competition Do?

Once you and your sales recruiters have conducted interviews with your employees and identified key attributes of your existing, winning team, you must ask another crucial question. What is your competitor’s recruiting strategy? Thankfully, you can deduce it with modern research.

Via your competitor’s website, LinkedIn and other online resources, you can find their employees who hold the title you are actively recruiting. The results you find will show you where these candidates worked previously and how they navigated their careers.

Play the Game Faster Than Your Competition

Earlier, I mentioned a comparatively smaller business’s nimbleness. Once you learn what your larger-brand competitor is doing, whether it works with recruiting agencies or hires through an in-house team, use your nimbleness to recruit their talent before they can.

Smaller companies’ biggest advantage is speed-hiring, so hire the workforce before your competition has the chance. Learn the companies they recruit from and the titles they target. Find this talent pool, make sure they align with your core values and move faster to make the hire.

At Every Point in the Process, Act Quickly and Logically.

This is how you beat the competition. Before you know it, they will be confused, lose focus, veer away from their strategy and work to recruit your people. Anytime that happens, you know you are doing all the right things.

The Key to Hiring Successfully

Develop a logical recruiting strategy to find people that align with your core values. Find the experience you need and the people that share the same common values and interests. You’ll know your sales recruiters have found a cohesive team when they laugh at the same jokes.

Now, you can build a long-term recruiting, topgrading and coaching strategy for continued growth and avoid the recruiting trap of hiring a big company’s pot full of duds. All recruiting company topics are covered at www.treelineinc.com.

Published On: January 11th, 2023Categories: Sales Recruiting

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