By Kathleen Laney - April 20, 2016
In the previous blog (Part 1), I promised that I would detail how companies can improve and maintain your company’s reputation to help you attract the very best in sales talent. Just to review, in the first post we reviewed:
What sales professionals look for in an employer,
Why your company reputation is important in recruiting these professionals,
Why top sales talent do not want to join a company with a poor reputation.
In Part 2, I’ll reveal how you can start your journey to easier sales hiring through the following four-part reputation enhancement initiative.
1. Update your career web page to represent your work culture accurately. Your company website is the first place candidates go when researching a prospective employer. Make sure you have an enticing careers section that includes an ACCURATE description of your work environment, culture, benefits, and perks. Take heed that there is no point trying to make your company culture sound like you have ping pong tables and refrigerators stocked full of beer if that isn’t the case. It’ll only be a matter of time before you’re found out, potentially leading to the waste of significant amounts of time and money.
Case studies are an effective way to provide insight into your work environment and the opportunity to play up your competitive products or services and positive work environment. Write up and post an occasional case study of on one of your successful sales employees who is rising up the ranks. Include in the case study any details regarding what originally attracted the employee to your company as well as details that showcase your company provided the tools for the professional to succeed. The best sales teams all share a commitment to ongoing training that will not only likely improve their effectiveness over the long term but also provide a value add to this in-demand talent. To get your talent of choice, you need to sell to your candidates the same way you sell to your customers.
2. Showcase your products and services information clearly on your company website. The careers page isn’t the only part of your website that matters to prospective sales talent. Your website should include background on your business and details about your products and services. Clearly describe your unique value proposition and what differentiates you from others in your industry. If a candidate cannot discern what makes your products better than your competitors, then most likely neither can your prospective customers. And if that is the case, your sales team is unlikely to have much success. Not an attractive scenario for top level talent.
3. Maintain your company’s external presence on review sites. Review sites are all the rage these days. And not just customer reviews, but also employee reviews. A recent survey from Indeed found that a company’s online reviews have a significant impact on a job seeker's decision to apply for or accept a job.
Because of this, it is crucial to your reputation to respond to negative feedback. You can mitigate any damage by acknowledging the issues the reviewer encountered. Start by reassuring the reviewer and the general public that customer and employee opinions are important. You can diffuse negative reviews by describing how your company will respond to the complaint (if the claim is valid, that is). Posting such a response and engaging with the public reflects positively on your company. It demonstrates transparency, superior customer service and a commitment to building a positive culture. According to a 2016 Glassdoor survey, 69 percent of workers say their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review.
4. Provide a positive candidate experience. Your candidate experience is also something you need to consider and review. Almost every single organization could stand to improve their recruitment and onboarding experience. Think of your recruiting efforts as a PR opportunity to showcase all the positive aspects of working for your company. Once again, this should be an accurate representation. Every interview is a chance to showcase a positive culture and your organization’s strengths. Even though you will not hire most candidates, they should still walk away with a great positive image of your company. After all, we all know that good or bad, word spreads like wildfire. Especially these days.
So to attract the best-of-the-best, it is important that employers ensure they are putting their best foot forward. To get that top tier sales talent, make your reputation your competitive advantage.