SMEs constantly look for clever and creative ways to reduce costs – one of the most significant being recruitment. Here’s how we hired our Sales Director for £25!
5 tips to save time and money on recruiting sales staff…
1. Use your contacts and LinkedIn first (after all, it was originally a recruitment site!) Not only did I put out a post for my contacts to see but I joined a few sales/professional/CRM groups and posted on there too. An unexpected benefit was that we got some sales leads from it as prospects saw we were expanding and wanted to reignite talks with us!
2. Choose a great recruitment website. News to me but an employee’s wife recommended the Indeed.co.uk recruitment website. I found it pretty ‘clunky’ to use but the quality of applicants was outstanding. We interviewed four from here and hired our new Sales Director!
3. Conduct interviews with two people. Previously it was just me who interviewed candidates but the experience of the exiting Sales Director (as he could spot someone who was great at interviews – no substance underneath…) was invaluable. He did the phone interviews and then invited four candidates for a face-to-face. On the surface, our service is a simple sales productivity tool – it’s a dictation service for sales people to keep up to date with meeting notes. Clients dictate, we transcribe/proofread them and email them back to the originator, support/PA or CRM system. However, to sell in the proposition on security and accuracy to top level decision makers and individuals isn’t an easy task and needs someone with an internal drive and initiative.
4. Universal Sales Skills Audit. I think this assessment tool is great – we didn’t have time to use it as we needed to fill the role within a week. However, it’s on my list for the next time we recruit or expand again!
5. Probation Period. All our employees are on 2-6 months, with anyone in a sales role targeted on 6 and 12 month targets. Most SMEs don’t have many in-bound sales and it takes real skill to initiate sales from scratch – there are many brilliant sales people out there but we’ve found there are far fewer who have the skill to initiate interest and sales ‘out of thin air’ with little marketing budget and only their contacts, intuition and personality, so targets are key.
I think there definitely is a role for recruitment agents - timing is key and if we hadn’t found a candidate that week we would have looked at using an agency.
Our new Sales Director has been in the role for 3 months now and has grown the business already so we’re delighted with how we recruited him!
By Kirstie White, MD of VoiceNotes, which provides a secure service that allows you to leave meeting notes and actions in one call which are recorded then typed up, proofread and emailed back to you, your PA, sales support or direct to a company CRM system within minutes.