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Home » Our Take » Talent Acquisition and Casting a Wider Net

Talent Acquisition and Casting a Wider Net

Posted on August 18, 2014 in Recruiting 101

Here at Three Pillars Recruiting we’re fond of the saying, “Great ideas are nothing without great execution, and great execution relies on great talent.” In business it is an undeniable reality that your greatest asset is your team.  Although you will face countless barriers and challenges on the road to success, your leadership, guidance and inspiration will enable your team succeed. Their ability to successfully translate your ideas into something tangible makes the difference between a dent in the universe and footnote in the obituary section. Talent is crucial!

Baby boomers are leaving the job market, and the entering millennials have yet to prove their “sales DNA”.  There simply aren’t enough sales people on the market today, and many of our clients are feeling that pinch. Get this….Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85 percent of interactions between businesses will be executed without human intervention. In addition, it is quite possible that of today’s 18 million sales people there may only be about 4 million remaining. On top of that, while I can’t cite empirical data, at any given time 85 percent of (your) employees are open to new and better job opportunities. This includes what we call “passive candidates”. 

In short, Mr. /Ms. Entrepreneur you’re in between a rock and a hard place—- driving revenue and increasing the overall value of your venture relies on your talent, especially your sales talent. And even if you can nod confidently at your sales team’s “bench depth”, the majority of them are looking at and returning our calls.

To help combat this issue, we advise many of our clients to consider how and where they can cast a wider net when building their sales teams. To do so, we recommend they prioritize required skills… Eager freshmen soon to enroll at our nation’s finest universities are often told “Good grades, Good fun, Good sleep…pick two!” Therefore it is necessary to take a more operational and clinical assessment of their sales models, distill primary execution components and adopt recruiting standards accordingly.

Complexity of a sale can take many forms—- technical complexity, sell cycle complexity, domain knowledge complexity, and social connectedness. As you start to envision your team and draft your job descriptions, take a moment and consider these areas of sales execution and decide how much each of these buckets need be filled. Perhaps your model requires experience selling complex SaaS platforms, but doesn’t require deep personal contacts in your immediate space. Maybe your model requires more of an evangelical communicator who tells a great story and knows a ton of influential people. Take an honest assessment of the “must have” and “would like to have.” From there you can define more avenues from which to pull talent.