Best Places to Source Sales Candidates
Recruiting salespeople is probably one of the hardest parts of your job. You need time, money, and resources to help you find and recruit top sales talent. You might know some of the more well-known places to source candidates, but we curated a list to give you some fresh new ideas on how and where to recruit sales professionals. Some of these sources are paid resources, while some are “free”…but then again what is free?
Here are 14 outside-the-box tactics to source more candidates.
1. College Career Fairs/Alumni
Getting on campus and branding your company is a great way to engage tomorrow’s future sales force. If you’re hiring for entry-level sales roles or business development jobs, you should be recruiting on college campuses. You will be able to meet students face-to-face and get them excited about your sales opportunities. You can take it a step further and partner with a university, getting involved with their student organizations, clubs, and mentorship programs. You will build relationships and a pipeline of entry-level sales talent.
If you’re not on LinkedIn, it’s time to rethink your recruiting strategy. LinkedIn continues to be one of the largest online professional communities. You should consistently be growing your professional network. The more people you connect with and build relationships with, the greater your reach.
Some tips to use LinkedIn for sourcing:
- Share the jobs you’re hiring for, along with links about your company and culture (videos, pictures, blogs)
- Use the Search bar at the top of the page to search for candidates with a certain title, location, or company.
- When you are looking at a candidate’s profile, LinkedIn will also suggest other LinkedIn members based on similar backgrounds. Make sure you use that too.
- Join different groups. Once part of the group you can search members, and choose to connect with them.
- If you are a LinkedIn premium user, you will have greater Search capability and will also be able to send more messages and InMails to candidates.
*Make sure you personalize each message with everyone you connect with.
Having your company be a sponsor at a conference or tradeshow relative to your industry is a great way to source for new candidates. You know that there are people knowledgeable and interested in your company, services, and products, so they could be qualified for your sales job (ideal audience). Make sure you collect business cards. You may be there to gain new customers, but why not try to gain new employees? And as a corporate sponsor, you typically receive contact information of all the attendees of the event. When you send your email thanking people for stopping by your booth, let them know you are hiring too. Some great sales-specific tradeshows and conferences you should consider: Sales 3.0, INBOUND, Dreamforce, and more.
Facebook isn’t just a place to post pictures and status updates, it’s a place where you can connect with people on a human level. There are several ways you can use Facebook to reach potential candidates.
- You can share your company’s open sales job on your own personal Facebook page and ask your Facebook friends for some help.
- You can also use the Search Bar at the top of Facebook and type in a search. It will yield results and help you target candidates who fit your search.
- There are also groups and pages you can join to connect with its users.
5. Sales Exclusive Recruiting Firms
Recruiting firms are a great way to meet qualified sales candidates. You will spend less time searching and more time interviewing A-Player candidates. Don’t just choose any recruiting firm for your sales hiring needs. Work with a recruiting firm who will take the time to work with you and introduce the right fit for your organization. Partner with a staffing firm that:
- Specializes solely in sales recruiting
- Has years of expertise and success in the industry
- Offers sales hiring solutions for every search and budget
- Provides recruiting software to make managing the process 100x easier
- Gets the job done, with deliverable results
Glassdoor is the first place most job seekers go to check out a company they are applying to. They look at reviews of what current and former employers say about the company, management team, salary, and benefits. Make sure your company is on there. This is a place where you can really promote your employer brand and showcase your company. You can also advertise your jobs here.
7. Your Customers
Great customers aren’t only advocating your products and services, they are also saying they choose you as a brand and company. Tap into this network that already knows who you are and what you do. Let them know that you are hiring through your next email campaign. Educate them on your open opportunities and encourage them to apply.
8. Sales Organizations
Continue to connect with like-minded individuals by joining sales organizations and communities. Many of these you can find on LinkedIn, but some are exclusive and require membership. They provide educational resources, insights, and training, and also enables you to search and connect with people who are part of the organization. Some to consider: Enterprise Sales Meetup, AA-ISP, NASP.
This online community is very cool. It connects people with similar interests both professionally and personally. You find search and join certain online groups that interest you. The best part is there are local Meetup groups and like the name suggests you “meet” in person. The group organizer will plan local events that group members can attend in person.
10. Job Boards
Yes, we’re stating the obvious and probably the first go-to place to advertise your company’s open sales jobs. Job boards are by no means the best way to recruit passive sales talent, but it is a way to brand your job and promote the opportunity. There are popular job boards, and some are free and some a paid. Don’t assume that the pay-to-post approach means the perfect candidate will apply. You will still need to review each resume, set up a phone screen with candidates to determine if they are a fit.
Consider using some niche job boards to promote to a sales-specific community.
11. Google and Bing Ads
Similar to job boards, you can capture a candidate’s attention with a strong and compelling Google or Bing advertisement. This will boost your company’s brand and visibility, but remember posting a job doesn’t guarantee qualified sales candidates. Partner with your marketing team and think of creative ways you can promote your company and open sales jobs to drive candidates to apply.
Twitter can be overwhelming and a constant flow of noise if you let it be. However, you can strategically search for sales professionals on this enormous social media network.
Some tips to use Twitter for sourcing:
- Follow thought leaders in your industry.
- Search for users that have certain keywords in their Twitter profile, like job title.
- Message people who follow you and ask if they are looking for a new opportunity.
- Use the # and certain words like inside sales (#InsideSales) and see who else is tweeting about it.
- Build lists based on your followers to help you organize people based on interest and likes.
- Most importantly build relationships (comment, like, retweet).
- Ask your followers to share your open job post.
You will most certainly find people interested in open sales jobs.
Are you a startup looking for some top sales talent? AngelList is a platform that connects startups to investors. You can also post sales jobs there.
14. Happy Hours
Want to attract more sales talent? Try hosting a Happy Hour or cocktail event at a local establishment after work. You want to be where the talent is and make it easy for them to attend after work. Choose your dates/times wisely. Create the event through an easy to use platform like EventBrite. Promote it, and have sales professionals register to let you know their coming. You need to be incentivize people to come, so be willing to cover the costs of the venue, some drinks, and appetizers. You will likely draw a bigger crowd. Connect with as many people as you can at the event, and make sure you send a follow-up email after the event.
*Hint: you can also attend other companies Happy Hour events and build a network for your own recruiting purposes. Get business cards.
I’ve put together an awesome top secret tip sheet to help you source more qualified sales candidates.