Hiring for Your Sales Team: What Your Candidate Experience Says About Your Culture

September 26, 2018
Hiring for Your Sales Team: What Your Candidate Experience Says About Your Culture

Are you a CEO or sales leader looking to establish a healthy culture on your team? Look at candidate experience during the hiring process.

The secret to building an all-star sales team is to fill it with amazing sales reps who will make it their personal mission to help the company grow. However, good sales reps know they are in high demand, so it’ll take more than just enticing compensation packages and good employee benefits to convince them to leave their current position and come work for you.

Company culture is one of the most convincing things you can offer to top talent that might attract them to apply for your open positions. A strong company culture will make your business an exciting place to work, and this will put you firmly on people’s radar, making it easier for you to market positions and recruit the best.

However, building this culture is much easier said than done.

True cultural change requires genuine buy-in from employees at all levels and most of it takes place internally. But, especially when you’re recruiting, your company culture is visible to those outside the office.

Your candidate experience, i.e. the experience people get when searching, applying, interviewing and assuming positions at your company, says a lot about your company culture. And this can either help or hurt you whilst recruiting, depending on what type of experience you’re currently offering.

Your candidate experience will answer the following questions about your company culture, and these answers will give you an indication about where you need to put your focus.

How Much do You Care About Your Employees?

Recruiting people to your company will require more than just offering them a good salary and benefits package. It’s true that millennials—today’s largest segment of the labor force—still consider these as two of the most important criteria when choosing a job. But things such as work-life balance, flexible hours and the social impact of the company are equally as important in the job decision process.

Furthermore, people want to work for a place where there is mutual respect between employer and employee. These things can’t be faked, either. They must be omnipresent in your organization for them to be perceived as authentic.

This genuine care for your employees will filter into your candidate experience. It’s true that the interview is your chance to learn as much as possible about a candidate, but they’re also testing you out. Impress them by doing the following:

  1. Calling people back even when they’re not chosen
  2. Helping people feel welcome when they come into an interview

Demonstrating your values by treating people well throughout the entire process will cause candidates to do two things:

  1. Expect more of the same if and when they become full-time employees
  2. Increase the likelihood your top choices will accept the offers you make them.

How Far are You Willing to Go?

In today’s competitive job market, companies treat their open positions as products and potential candidates as customers. In many ways, they are trying to “sell” these positions to the most-qualified people. This is why things such as candidate experience and employer brand exist. Companies are having to push harder to make sure they are presenting themselves in the best light to potential employees.

The correlation with your sales teams should be obvious. If you’re working hard to “sell” your open positions, job seekers will know your company goes the extra mile.

Salespeople work in teams. They thrive on friendly, in-office competition to push them forward and towards new heights. By delivering a top-notch candidate experience to people, you’re showing them that your amazing company culture. This will encourage more qualified talent to apply for your positions.

Is it Easy to Fit In?

One thing many people forget when discussing candidate experience is that it doesn’t end when you make an offer. Most say the candidate experience continues until after the new hire’s first day, or whenever the onboarding process finishes.

A study by Wasp Barcode found that employees who go through a structured, detailed onboarding process are 58 percent more likely to stay with the company for more than three years.

An employee’s first day as essentially an extension of the interview process. If he or she shows up and feels unwelcome or uncomfortable, this will shape their entire experience at the company and may affect their performance and attitude. Work to improve your onboarding process by making training more fun, perhaps through gamification, and by streamlining the paperwork and other procedures, possibly by outsourcing some of this work to a professional employer organization.

How Concerned are You with Optimization?

No one, especially sales people, wants to be bogged down by unnecessary paperwork or dysfunctional systems. Long gone are the days where you could expect your employees to spend a whole day filling out expense reports or updating customer information. All of this should be as automated and optimized as possible. People can spend more of their time doing what they were hired to do this way.

Working to develop a premier candidate experience tells prospective employees that you’re serious about getting better. It’s not good enough for you to just simply post jobs on job platforms and social media. You’re out there doing the best you can to be as good as you can be. This will not go unnoticed and will help demonstrate to people what type of company they would be working for should they succeed in landing a position.

Make a Statement

It’s a job seekers market. And for you to secure the best people for your sales team, it’s important you make a statement. Your candidate experience, whether you want it to be or not, is a huge part of the message you send to prospective employee. Make sure yours is as good as it can be so that you can attract top talent and bring your company to the next the level.

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Jock Purtle in a successful entrepreneur who founded his brokerage, Digital Exits, in 2013. In the last 5 years the business has gone from strength to strength. Jock enjoys sharing his knowledge about growth, both profession and personal while working with other business leaders to ensure they have the right talent onboard.

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