I had the opportunity to talk with Travis Arnold, the CMO & Co-founder of Herefish. We talked about beer... and more importantly 6 steps to building a great sales team at your staffing firm.
There have been numerous posts on industry forums from staffing executives and owners about the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) salary levels. The new overtime rule takes effect on December 1st of this year (https://www.dol.gov/WHD/overtime/final2016/). Many executives are still planning for this significant change to how exemption from overtime is effected by the new salary levels. Many firms will need to either change employees’ status to non-exempt, which means paying overtime for hours over 40 in workweek; or, increase exempt employees to the $47,476 annually. One post noted that that their firms’ recruiters make ~$40,000 annual in salary and are exempt from overtime pay. The post proposed changing the recruiters to salary, non-exempt with a 60-hour workweek. It asked if any other firm was taking this approach.
A few weeks ago we shared an article on our research study to hire only A-player recruiters. That article focused on only professional recruiters. We also gathered and analyzed data for commercial recruiters. For the study, we defined commercial recruiters as those that focus on positions in light industrial, manufacturing, construction, trades, logistics, warehousing, hospitality, general labor, and so on. There were clear distinctions for high-performers depending on whether they identified as professional or commercial recruiters.
The skills gap is widening and it’s getting harder to find great internal talent. In the November-December 2015 edition of the ASA Staffing Success Magazine, staffing execs were asked, “What do you look for when searching for a great recruiter?” In addition to experience, characteristics like self-motivation, sense of urgency, being detail oriented, and people skills were included in most comments.
Interestingly we asked ourselves a similar question just a few months ago. How can we increase our chances of hiring an A-player staffing recruiter? If you’ve been a leader in the staffing industry for a while you could come up with a viable list of characteristics similar to those comments in the magazine article. But, how do you know for sure that you’re going to get an A-player? We still seem to have recruiters that just don’t perform at the level we expected when we hired them. Maybe performance isn’t to the point of being fired, but the result is our office is filled with mostly B- and C-players that just don’t produce high results.
Instead of just using our gut, we sought a scientific approach to identify key traits and competencies.
We recently shared a blog post about background checks and the notice requirements under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). A recent case settlement on this topic stresses the importance of following the FCRA regulation as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This month BMW Manufacturing Co. agreed to pay $1.6 million and offer jobs to dozens of applicants to settle a federal lawsuit brought by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2013 based on the company’s previous guidelines on criminal background checks.
Hiring a new employee is always an investment, but hiring a sales person typically requires an even greater outlay before you see a return. This is due to several factors, including the time it takes to build prospects and go through the sales cycle, familiarizing themselves with the company and its differentiators, and learning the industry and/or business vertical. On average it takes about 6-8 months for most sales people in the industry to be running at full speed and providing a return on your investment.
But there are ways you can accelerate that learning curve, thereby speeding up the time for you to recoup your costs and start seeing the benefits of your hire. Here are four things that you can do to make it easier for the sales rep to get acclimated and start making sales.
I’ve been around a lot of salespeople in my career – probably thousands. If I had to guess how they break down in terms of performance, here it goes:
Now you might think that’s a bit pessimistic that I classify 90% of salespeople as bad or just ok, but think about it. The majority of salespeople fail, which means that most salespeople for whatever reason don’t do their job very well. There are many reasons why salespeople fall into the bad or just ok categories: Lack of motivation, lack of skill, lack of training, etc. The point is most salespeople’s performance ends up being underwhelming.
Most of the staffing firms I talk with have had at least one bad experience with hiring and managing a sales rep. I tend to hear things like “they didn’t want to do what it takes to be successful” or “they had great credentials, but did nothing with us”. But what are the real reasons that sales reps fail, and how can we significantly increase our (and the sales rep’s) chances of success?
So why do salespeople fail? We hear a number of reasons, which you may have experienced as well. These include:
So you want to hire a new sales rep? Sales reps are the hardest positions to fill in the staffing industry. I equate it to picking a quarterback in the NFL draft – no matter how much research, screening, and measuring you do, you really don’t know how that person is going to perform until you bring them on board and give them a shot.
However, there are a few key things that you can do to pick the best candidate and minimize your chances of the dreaded “draft bust”.