The best experiences our firm has is when hiring executives are all in and willing to devote time to both us as recruiters and candidates. It’s a tightly woven process. When it comes to hiring sales leadership and independent contributor roles, there are best practices leading to positive outcomes all the way around.
What does this look like?
- There needs to be hiring impetus! This means on the hiring side leaders can’t simply kinda sorta want to hire a candidate, they need to hire candidates very soon or your job may be on the line. Now, this doesn’t mean rushing in and hiring the wrong candidates.
- Recruiter should be considered and treated as an extension of the executive team, especially when hiring for critical roles. Show them the same respect you’d expect from others. Make yourself available when possible by phone or text.
- If a recruiter brings you an excellent candidate, you must respond asap and attempt to speak with, or even better, meet face-to-face with that candidate whenever schedules sync up. If you don’t respond in what should be an agreed upon timely manner (for us it’s 24 hours or sooner), both recruiters and candidates become disengaged. Here’s an excellent article on the subject from Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2014/03/hire-slow-fire-fast …
- Quality recruiters have a reputation to maintain with candidates. It’s difficult enough to engage top candidates and if we promise an efficient interviewing and hiring process, that needs to be maintained by extension through the hiring side. What does efficient look like? Well, let’s just say the hiring process shouldn’t drag on more than 30 days.
- Top candidates oftentimes like their current roles and are hounded by recruiters daily. They may not think there’s anything better available within the market. Companies/hiring executives need to treat each candidate well and as an extension of corporate branding.
- The best CEO’s and VP’s I’ve recruited for will meet with candidates several times in social settings outside the office. Meet for coffee, lunch, drinks and/or dinner. Get to know one another and create an environment where both sides of the equation feel comfortable asking the hard questions. Let candidates know they’re wanted.
- If a leader likes a candidate, they reach out personally by phone, text, or email to maintain communication. That lets everyone know where they stand throughout the process from initial contact, follow-on conversations, offer, and onboarding.
- Make the hiring process efficient and as painless as possible. Follow through on promises with all parties concerned, because this builds trust all the way around. A lot of what hiring managers, candidates, and recruiters want to know, “Can I trust this individual?” Most importantly, this says a lot about you as a leader and whether or not you can be depended upon for clear and concise communication once the candidate is a member of the sales team.
Lastly, I wrote this in an effort to ameliorate a handful of pressing issues within the software industry as it relates to software sales recruiting.