It’s a Candidate’s Market, Are You Ready To Compete?

It happened – The Great Resignation gave rise to a market where there are now two sales positions open for every one qualified candidate.  Many employers are scrambling to retain their employees, others are pulling out all the stops to attract new candidates. 

Across sectors of the economy, the job market now favors employees and potential candidates. This change is leading some employers to adopt unconventional tactics. The food industry is particularly aggressive: A McDonald’s in Florida is paying applicants $50 to show up for job interviews.

Professional employers are also adopting new ways to appeal to employees. For example, San Francisco advertising agency Traction has closed its office and switched to a fully remote model. Other companies are experimenting with the hybrid model like Microsoft, which has proposed a combination of remote and in-office work.

Macroeconomic factors will only tell you so much. It is vital to diagnose your sales department’s retention & attraction situation to know whether you are ready to compete with these uncontrollable market factors.

Step 1: Understand Your Current Talent Situation

Employee Turnover Statistics. Track how your department’s turnover rate has trended since 2018. An increase in turnover can signal discontent. A very low turnover rate is a great selling point to potential candidates. 

Evidence of Career Progression. Ask yourself how many people in your department have been promoted over the last 18 months. A lack of promotion opportunities will discourage the most ambitious professionals.

Flexibility. Expecting all employees to work in the office building 9-5 Monday to Friday no longer makes sense. According to a FlexJobs survey, 96% of workers desire some remote work (either full time remote or a hybrid arrangement).

Step 2: Improve Retention & Attraction By Removing Pain Points

Based on what you learn from the previous step, there are a few different ways to boost retention and attraction by reducing problems.

Improve Technology. Did your employees complain about manual processes or repetitive tasks? For example, your employees might struggle with video calls. Equipping staff with lights and better headsets might be the best solution. Offering candidates an ‘onboarding’ bonus to get them set up for success in their home office.  

Improve Access To Leadership & Management. Waiting to hear back from managers is frustrating for employees. Ambitious candidates want to know they can ensure facetime with leadership to grow their careers.  Encourage your managers and leaders to experiment with scheduling regular “office hours” where staff can drop in to get answers to their questions.

Step 3: Improve Retention and Attraction With Recognition And Listening

There are two kinds of incentives that sales talent should consider: financial and non-financial incentives. Sometimes you may have limited ability to boost pay and benefits. In that case, use non-financial incentives to boost retention.

Offer Project Opportunities. Look for ways to give your employees more growth opportunities by participating in cross-company projects.

Encourage Networking. You can reward top-performing professionals by opening your network to them. You can also offer supplements to reduce the cost of participating in conferences.  

Step 4: Assess Your Compensation Package

The compensation package you offer is the final element to consider to boost retention and attraction.

Take Inflation Seriously. Increased inflation translates into a pay cut for employees as their dollars can no longer buy as much food, transportation, and other goods.  

Benchmark Your Salaries. Check your salary levels and see if they remain competitive with the rest of your industry. You can ask a recruiting expert like Peak Sales RPO Search for advice. If your salaries are below the median for the industry, retention and recruitment will be more difficult.

Augment Your Recruiting Strategy

Aiming for 100% talent retention is not a realistic goal. Assuming your turnover rate is reasonably close to industry averages, you can turn your attention to improving retention.

Working with an experienced recruiting firm like Peak Sales Team RPO  is essential. Rather than hoping your job posting happens to gain attention online, we can help you gain access to more high-quality candidates, including those not actively looking for a new position.

Click here to contact Peak Sales Team RPO Search today.

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