September marks one of the busiest times of the year for hiring. Every year there is a post-Labor Day boom in activity and we continue to see strong hiring activity in the technology sector. As a matter of fact, some of you have heard me say this is the strongest market for software sales people in the past 10 years. Everyone wants to hire “yesterday” and since they are all coming to the pond at the same time, they are all chasing the same fish.
As indicated in the previous articles, there are less and less fish in that pond. Like any good sales campaign it is all about pipeline and by beginning your talent acquisition efforts for the fall. BEFORE the fall, you can set the conditions for getting who you want.
A few more things to consider, when planning to execute your team adds in September:
– Being Proactive vs Reactive: On average, it takes twenty (20) business days to find four (4) “A” level candidates in a search. So, begin filling your pipeline now. This way, when your hire is approved you have the candidate selected and you can pull the trigger.
– Pursue the Passive Candidates: For every job seeker, there is a “push” and a “pull.” For active candidates (those responding to ads, posted on job boards, in company HR databases), they have already determined their “pull” (i.e. why they are leaving their company) and now need to find the best available “pull.” With a passive candidate, the “push” is the “pull.” Many of you reading have experienced this: You were not looking, but a great opportunity presented itself and you moved on it. Which sounds like the better candidate to pursue? In our searches, we focus on the passive candidates. These are individuals we have developed relationships with (we send a “candidate focused” newsletter to 2,000 AE’s and SE’s nationwide) and trust us to bring them only the best of the best of software sales opportunities. You want A level candidates – these people want A level opportunities.
– What is Your Hiring Profile: Here we are talking beyond solid tenure and meeting/exceeding quota. Those are givens for us. These questions dig more into the soft skills, culture and a sales leader’s management style. Your hire needs to meet your style. Many sales leaders respond with something akin to “I know it when I see it,” when asked about their hiring profile. As part of our process, we regularly help clients better understand themselves and their hiring process as well as what they really need (beyond a quota busting sales superstar!).