On November 3rd, we met with HR and tech sales professionals. During the roundtable, we discussed what forms an effective recruitment process and how to create one.
The session was hosted by Cristina Ferreres, CEO & Founder de Outbound People and had the participation of:
- Pau Sánchez – Senior Partner Recruiter en Autodesk
- Eric Expósito – People Advisor en Lifull Connect
- Gabo Gutiérrez – Head of Relationship Managers Iberia en LinkedIn
Before we begin, what is an effective recruitment process?
All the speakers agreed on the definition of an effective process: defining an objective when starting the process and achieving it within a certain time.
We have previously explained how an effort should be made to maintain agile and concise processes. Cristina carried out a study with various companies on the recruitment timeline for a senior profile. The example was a VP of Sales for a company with 100-150 employees.
What is the average recruitment time for this profile? 6 months, sometimes up to 9 months.
What timeline did Pau and Eric recommend? 1.5-2 months and no more than 3-4 interviews, including a face-to-face interview.
In this sense, when organizing a selection process, we must consider whether we are hiring a junior or senior profile and adapt according to this criterion.
There is great competition from companies to have the best talent. Attracting sales talent becomes a race in making the candidate fall in love with your project and product, offering the most attractive offer, and being the first one to make the offer.
Therefore, if experts recommend not extending the process for more than 1.5-2 months and 4 interviews to hire a VP of Sales, how long do you think the process should take for a junior profile?
How can we ensure that we hire the right person while being as efficient as possible?
It is not a certain science. However, we can evaluate various factors when interacting with candidates to get the most out of each interaction.
Pau proposes paying special attention to the candidate’s written communication, and to the personality that they develop throughout the process.
Eric emphasized the importance of ensuring a fit with the company’s values, making sure that the person feels comfortable with both the company and the team.
Truth to be told, we can never be 100% sure that we made the right decision. As Gabo says, ‘you have to risk it!’.
How can we test their skills?
Both Pau and Eric propose using role plays to find out more about the candidate’s soft skills and not just focus on hard skills.
Eric comments that role plays help us to get to know the candidate better, to understand how they reason and how they communicate.
Pau also adds that the role play is a good opportunity to test the candidate’s attitude. Seeing how they prepare for the role play and how they deal with feedback will give us a lot of information already.
Gabo mentions that this is also a good time to assess what tools the candidate uses and how they handle themselves in a complicated situation, a situation that a salesperson will encounter on a day-to-day basis.
How can we attract junior and senior candidates?
Gabo and Eric summarize it clearly:
Senior profiles seek stability. They usually have clear ideas, so the company must be transparent and open to sharing more specific information about the position and company (business plan, the potential of the client portfolio for which the salesperson would be responsible, financial objectives in the medium and long term…).
On the contrary, junior profiles want to try new situations and are usually not so clear about what they are looking for. Probably, they won’t have as many doubts, as they’re still learning.
Pau comments that he usually shares his own experience in the company with his junior candidates. He also explains real cases of progression of other colleagues who started their career in the position for which the candidate has applied.
Eric explains that to attract junior profiles it is important to emphasise training and career plans. It is usually easier to access these profiles through profiles on social media and working with consultants.
Gabo also shared the difficulty of attracting junior profiles, while conveying to them the importance of gaining expertise on one area before being able to continue growing.
When should we work with an agency and how to choose the right one?
Having the support of specialised consultants can be especially useful when the company does not have enough search capacity, as Eric explains. This usually happens in startups when there are activity peaks that require higher recruitment efforts, although it wouldn’t be profitable onboarding a new internal recruiter, since this activity will not maintained over time.
It is also recommendable to work with consultants when we are looking for more than one profile at a time, as Pau specifies, or when we are looking for profiles with specific requirements.
It is true that we must cover the efforts of the agency with a fee, but we must not forget the hidden costs of a bad hire and the costs derived from a relaxed recruitment process.
Interested to learn more? Here’s the recording (in Spanish).
Are you looking to hire sales talent? Get in touch.
Intrigued to know more about sales teams? Read more posts.