Trends and Expectations for 2013…
Knowledge, experience, and discretion can’t be removed from the candidate sourcing process; all attempts to do so have failed to live up to the promise.
First, some of the commonly used technologies are simply not consistent enough to garner a net value add for the time and money invested. For example, resume parsing technology is commonly used to acquire the data necessary to drive candidate matching and scoring. Unfortunately, simple format and program variables (e.g. .doc, .docx, .pdf) negatively impact reliability. Second, the underlying matching algorithms are only as good as the data on which they “match” candidates with open roles. The data structure that drives the process (by way of system integration or candidate entry) needs to be function specific and then scored appropriately.
When effective, technology-enabled solutions provide a truly useful presentation of candidate information and also generate meaningful matching. This is a tremendous foundation on which to then apply knowledge, experience, and discretion. It’s all about precision: speed and relevance. Technology can enable precision.
Therefore, recruiting is now knowledge-powered and technology-enabled. Trends will continue to move in this direction especially as social technologies and behaviors further disrupt legacy recruitment processes. Here are some trends and expectations for 2013:
Job seekers are paying attention to the information they are asked to contribute into technology, or social-hiring, platforms. Years of committing time to obscure online application processes have left the marketplace jaded. The current generation of “smart” profiles is leaving job seekers similarly discouraged in most cases. Increasingly, they understand that the information collected is used to create a profile or presentation. However, if job seekers lack belief or trust that the process will lead somewhere, or if the interface is confusing or daunting, conversion rates suffer. Additionally, job seekers are increasingly aware that general information simply can’t generate the outcome that hiring managers will find actionable and therefore the value equation fails.
Effective sales-specific platforms ask sales-specific questions, finance-oriented platforms should ask finance-specific questions, etc. For example, Treeline social resumes are driven by sales-specific questions. The interface is purpose-built for busy, interrupt-driven sales people. Treline provides an effective lens that highlights characteristics and the degree to which the role and candidate are naturally aligned. Treeline organizes and presents this information along with the candidate’s work history and accomplishments.
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For hiring managers, finding the perfect fit begins with defining the perfect fit. By this, we are really talking about defining the sales person characteristics which are more relevant for a particular sales roles. Yes, every sales hiring manager would like to hire the over achiever. Numbers are important. Beyond numbers (e.g. quota history, W2 history, transaction value, and sales cycle duration), sales hiring managers need to align sales person characteristics.
Here are some of the sales specific characteristics that matter:
||Value versus Volume
|Defined by the conditions that enable productivity and performance; i.e. the things on which your sales team thrives and focuses.
||Transactional versus Strategic
|Defined by the degree of complexion in terms of buyers and buyer influences, process duration, decision process, resource investment and collaboration and contract value.
|Degree of Need
||Unrecognized versus Recognized
|Defined by the degree to which the buyer or buyers of your solution recognize the need for your product or service prior to actively engaging with your sales representatives.
||Hunter versus Farmer
|Defined by the degree to which your sales representatives are calling on prospects with whom your company is not doing business.
||Assertive versus Passive
|Defined by the degree to which your sales representatives will advocate, evangelize, and enlist prospects in the value of his/her ideas, perspectives, and proposals.
||General Decision Maker versus C-Level Executive
|Defined by the organizational level at which your sales representatives are comfortable communicating.
||Inside versus Outside
|Defined by the degree to which your sales force engages and interacts with prospects beyond the phone and Internet.
|Average Sales Size
|Defined by the typical value of each contract closed.
Effective sales hiring technology solutions help across each of three fundamental components: Defining the perfect fit (which includes cascading this definition across the applicant tracking system, job posts, social communication, and interview screens); finding the perfect fit (which includes the ability to quickly spot relevant candidates without losing sight of them in a flooded email inbox); and, hiring the perfect fit (which includes the ability to streamline the process – simply put, speed matters when hiring sales talent).
Treeline (www.treelineinc.com) is a sales-focused executive search firm that has worked with thousands of sales candidates and hiring managers over the past eleven years. Named for the outdoor adventurers who “climb above the Treeline” -the altitude beyond which trees can survive- for the rush, excitement, and challenge, Treeline helps companies improve top line revenue with sales-focused professional services. Treeline can help instantiate or define your sales structure and model, staff the model, and sustain the model–including help with promoting and sustaining a sales culture of performance. Treeline is also the developer of Treeline. Treeline Resume is a technology and service that helps sales hiring managers define, find and hire the perfect fit faster and with less cost.