To quote Jack Johnson- Where did all the good (sales) people go?

by Dan Barthell

Hiring in this new age of technology, where just about anything can be found with a simple Google search or a few clicks of the mouse, should be just as easy as ordering your groceries on Amazon or hailing an Uber. Right?

Not exactly. While it is true that posting job advertisements is all done online now through various Applicant Tracking Systems and job posting platforms, the quality of the candidate pool remains…problematic.

At least for the majority of businesses. The Googles, Apples and Amazons of the world (companies who are at the forefront of innovation, have excellent brand equity and tons of cash) will always attract top talent without ever posting a single job on Indeed. The other 99% have to work a little harder.

There are two primary reasons for this. First, in today’s economic environment, industry experience has become the norm for any candidate looking to get an interview. Generally speaking, if you don’t have industry experience for the job you want, you had better look elsewhere. With so much competition these days, hiring managers are less willing to take a risk on someone “outside the box.” In sales, an excellent track record and multiple President’s Club awards isn’t enough anymore. If you’re applying to a sales position in capital equipment, you better have experience selling capital equipment. If the job requires you to call on engineers, you better have experience calling on engineers. That is the reality of today’s job market, and it’s a big reason why both hiring managers and job seekers are struggling.

Second, your HR team is not leveraging today’s “search” technology. With the advent of Google, search has become a skill in itself. That skill is this: Being able to find what you want from the most reputable source in very little time. Arguably the most successful business in today’s world is built around this simple concept.

Nowhere is this concept more applicable than the recruiting process. LinkedIn Recruiter has become the Google search for the professional world. Knowing how to access and leverage its huge database of professionals is the key to finding good talent. The “Advanced Search” engine should be your Talent Acquisition team’s best friend. The terms “project” and “inmail” and “clipboard” should be part of your recruiting vocabulary.

The reason why LinkedIn is so crucial in your hiring process is because the best candidates already have a job. They don’t know about your company or the open position on your sales team. They don’t know that you’re a Best Place to Work for three years running. They don’t know about the core values your company embodies or how much growth your business projects.

Someone needs to tell them.

But someone needs to find them first.

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