Have you made job offers to highly qualified sales candidates, only to hear that they took a job with another employer? What does the other company have that yours does not? How can you turn the tables and become the employer of choice?
Exhibiting a strong, positive company identity is essential to attracting those high-Drive candidates. Providing competitive incentives is one of the top ways companies can separate themselves from the competition.
As part of a comprehensive recruiting strategy that focuses on establishing a meaningful employer brand, incentives can greatly increase the number of qualified salespeople that will seek employment with your company – increasing your odds of hiring and retaining the most Driven ones.
So what are top salespeople looking for most in their potential employers and how do you implement that in your company?
How Employer Branding Speaks to Talented Salespeople
Many people think of branding as a term used strictly in marketing. When targeting a consumer or business base, this is true.
Recruiting departments and human resources look at branding a little differently. It is the way a company markets itself to potential employees.
Employer branding generally includes:
- Company culture
- Compensation packages
- Incentive programs
- Training programs
- And additional job perks
Without a great branding foundation, many highly qualified applicants may never want to look into your company and sales employee turnover rates will likely remain high.
Branding efforts in marketing generally take up a huge portion of budget and time, but employer branding is still relatively muted.
Logically, it makes sense that a great employer brand could improve the potential to hire sales reps that are most qualified for the job, resulting in increased revenue.
Establishing an employer brand takes time and strategy, just like other forms of branding. A brand is not something you can post online that will be adopted and accepted overnight. It takes satisfied employees, a positive corporate culture and consistency to foster.
Once you have that great branding in place, you will start to see a shift in the types of potential hires that come through the screening process.
When your company establishes a strategy to start building your employer brand, the effect should snowball from within your company at first to social media and the world at large in a relatively short period of time.
Employees who receive incentives directly will be your best asset at relating the information through social media, review sites like glassdoor.com and in their own personal networks.
Using Incentives to Build Your Brand
Prevent your process to hire sales reps from stagnating. High turnover rates cost your company money and waste time. Furthermore, your valuable employees may leave when a sales team cannot find a rhythm that makes sense. The imbalance can disrupt your entire sales chain and significantly impact your bottom line.
Incorporate incentives into your recruiting campaigns and change your strategy from defense to offense. Here are some of the most effective enticements you can use to build your brand and encourage high quality candidates to pursue your company:
- Offer competitive benefits.
It may go without saying, but your basic compensation package with benefits is the first place a candidate will look for improved value. Without solid compensation, any other benefits may be overlooked in favor of another company’s offering.
- Flexible work schedules.
Flexible work schedules are a successful incentive for many reasons. There is no reason why office downtime or emails and calls cannot be handled from a different location. Individuals raising families or who may hate making a terrible commute can often work from home part of the time without disrupting the company workflow.Once you have vetted your new hires with a sales assessment test, you will know you can trust your employees to make reasonable, professional decisions regarding their flexible arrangements.
- Health incentives.
Many company insurance plans are starting to offer incentives in the form of free screenings, weight loss programs and other discounted preventative care options. Employees and employers benefit from these forms of incentives because healthy employees are less likely to be chronically ill or call out sick from work.
- Employee discounts.
This tried and true technique works in almost every sales environment. Not only do companies promote their brand through organic marketing in this way; sales reps have the ability to talk about products and services from first hand experiences. This type of sales is always more impactful and personal than relaying scripted information.
- Relaxed work environments.
Work environments should promote work, not make employees feel boxed in. Natural light, flexible or multi-use workstations and helping employees stay active can all improve morale and build your company’s brand. Include outdoor spaces and standing workstations to encourage movement in the space. Innovative designs can keep employees energetic and motivated throughout the day.
- Quirky incentives.
Some companies offer a library, ice cream on Fridays or video games on site. Employees who work long hours stay focused and motivated if they have a chance to take a break every once in a while.Social events like food gatherings can also encourage collaboration and innovation in the process. While some conversation will be social, the chance for employees to talk about work increases the more they have the opportunity to brainstorm.
- Encourage vacation time.
Whether you have a limited timeframe for vacation or you can allow your employees to take unlimited time off, paid leave is currently an unutilized benefit in many companies. Employees at some companies feel like they cannot afford to take vacation days. Unfortunately, working too much can increase the likelihood of burnout and the likelihood of illness.
- Host events.
These events are not the types that directly benefit a company’s bottom line, and they are not even the expected company party once a year or around holidays. Instead, small, casual events throughout the year encourage socialization and collaboration between different teams within a company.Companies that do not encourage socialization may find certain departments become siloed. Without comradery and company cohesion, maintaining a positive image toward new hires can be difficult.
- Improve your policy for expectant mothers and sick leave.
Like vacations, many employees may feel like leaving work for a period of time or even taking a day of rest is looked down upon. Companies that celebrate employees’ outside lives show they care about their human capital. This is reflected in the quality of work that individuals provide for the team.
Many of the above recommendations involve allowing employees to take charge of their schedules and make decisions regarding their ability to work on a day to day basis. Corporate cultures that put their trust in teams to make decisions about their workflow are often surprised at the effectiveness of those groups to get a job done and do it well.
The definition of an ideal work environment is slowly changing in the world. As competition in sales employment continues to increase, it is more important than ever to present your company as a place that treats its salespeople well.
Start implementing some of these great incentives; some do not even require a significant investment in time or money. Employees will be delighted by the change in culture and the investment of the company in their individual wellbeing, and that information will soon transfer to the recruiting process.
Your company will become more appealing and successful in recruiting quality sales reps, improving retention rates and boosting ROI.