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Finding sales talent remains a challenge for many employers. At the same time, job seekers face plenty of competition for the top sales jobs.

Specialized sales recruitment partners will bring their expertise, network and market insights to your search. They help employers find top candidates who might not be actively applying, and connect candidates to opportunities that might never make the job boards. A skilled recruiter will help both parties navigate the hiring process, from resumes to interviews to offer negotiation.

Two such recruiters are Senior Recruitment Consultants Corey Boult and Shelley Emmett, who specialize in the placement of sales professionals in British Columbia, Alberta and across Canada. With over 30 years of combined recruiting experience, here they share their best advice for employers and candidates in the sales field:

Advice for Companies Looking to Fill Sales Roles in British Columbia and Alberta

Corey and Shelley understand the challenges of building a successful sales team, and offer the following tips to help Alberta and BC companies hiring for sales roles:

1. Be Clear About the Role You Want to Fill

“There’s no such thing as a ‘generic’ sales role,” says Shelley. “Not all sales positions are the same, and the job description needs to reflect what the role actually does.”

To attract the right candidates, be clear about the job requirements, including:

  • What skills (soft skills and technical skills) are needed for success?
  • Is specific industry experience required for this position?
  • How much of this role is outbound sales (“hunting”) vs growing existing accounts (“farming”)?

If you’re working with your HR team or a recruitment firm on the position, the better you can articulate the needs the role, the more effective they will be at finding the right employee for your team.

2. Get Input from Your Sales Team

Before you post a job, talk to your team about the needs and expectations of the role—especially the staff who will work closest with the new hire.

Your sales team may have valuable insights into necessary skills for success in the role or help identify gaps within the team,” Corey says. “And if you’re working with an outside recruitment agency, allowing the recruiter to speak directly with your sales team can also be really helpful.”

Talking to your sales team may also uncover internal mobility opportunities, allowing you to promote someone into the vacant role and backfill for their job instead.

3. Be Transparent About Compensation

“Be open with candidates about the earning potential, especially for commission-based roles,” Corey advises. “Break down what they’re likely to make in their first year, as well as the long-term outlook.”

Be as specific as possible about compensation in your sales job postings. If the salary range you post is too broad, you’re likely not going to attract the right candidates.

During the interview and offer stages, it can be tempting to use the commissions of your highest performer as an enticing example to attract your top candidates, but it’s usually misleading to suggest that a new hire will achieve the same sales numbers as a more senior employee. Be realistic with your estimate of first year earnings.

4. Know How to Sell the Role & Company

“Be prepared to talk about what you do to support new sales staff in their first year. This is especially important if a candidate will be leaving a high-earning job to join your company, because it’s scary to leave security for uncertainty,” Shelley notes.

What do you offer that appeals to candidates? Think about:

  • Do you have a structured onboarding and training program?
  • What kind of mentorship do new hires get from managers or colleagues?
  • Will your new hire have active sales accounts given to them when they start, or will they have to ‘hunt’ their own?
  • Do you offer financial supports while new sales employees ramp up? (i.e. a draw, guaranteed commission, evolving commission structure, etc.)
  • Do you offer marketing support or does your sales team do their own marketing and advertising?
  • What growth and development opportunities do you offer?

Help candidates understand what your business offers as they get started, and how they may be able to build a career with your company in the years to come.

5. Let Your Top Candidate(s) Meet Your Team

Let your top candidate—or top few candidates—talk to members of your sales team. This allows them to get a feel for the culture and who they’d be working with. This strategy can help assess the ‘fit’ with the team and shows trust and transparency. It is most effective if: 1) the manager or supervisor is not present during the conversations, and 2) you encourage the team to be candid and assure them you won’t ask the candidate to tell you what they said.

How The Headhunters Helps Companies in Alberta and BC Recruit Top Sales Professionals

The Headhunters has highly specialized sales recruiters in BC and Alberta on staff. We understand the sales sector and connect companies with talent who help drive success and achieve your business goals. Our Workstyle & Performance Profile (WPP) helps businesses find candidates who fit with your team and culture.

We’re also always on the lookout for top sales talent in Canada. As recruiters, we are salespeople ourselves, and we know what makes a successful sales team. We can recruit for a variety of sales roles across a number of industries. We’ll even look at your competitors to help you land talent who can make a difference in your business long into the future.

Advice for Sales Job Candidates in Alberta and British Columbia

Don’t leave your sales job search to chance. Here are tips from expert recruiters Corey and Shelley to help you land your ideal sales job:

1. Showcase Your Quantitative Results

“Sales professionals should be able to articulate specific accomplishments for your previous jobs,” Shelley says. “Include your sales results in your resume and be ready to talk about them in your interviews.”

While some jobs are hard to describe with quantitative results, sales roles typically incorporate tangible metrics. Being able to articulate your accomplishments will set you apart as a candidate. For example:

  • Consistently exceeded sales targets by 20% over a period of 3 quarters
  • Generated $1.5 million in new revenue
  • Drove expansion into international markets, resulting in a 25% increase in global sales
  • Acquired 50 new clients in six months through targeted prospecting and relationship building
  • Maintained a client retention rate of 95% through proactive communication and exceptional account management
  • Implemented efficient sales processes, reducing operational expenses by 20%
  • Mentored and coached a team of ten sales reps, leading to a 15% improvement in their performance metrics

Practice talking about your results so you can discuss them confidently in an interview and clearly show a potential employer what you bring to the table.

2. Don’t Oversell Your Accomplishments

“It’s helpful to be able to talk confidently about your skills and accomplishments, but be careful not to embellish,” Corey says.

You should be confident and proud of your successes, and prepared to talk about them, but don’t fabricate or exaggerate your achievements. Hiring managers will likely see through this during the hiring process, or it will come to light when you begin the new position.

3. Update Your LinkedIn Profile

“Recruiters and hiring managers are constantly looking on LinkedIn for top talent, so your profile should be up-to-date and match your resume,” Shelley advises.

Review and revise your LinkedIn profile and make sure it has the same details as your resume, so there’s no question of which information is correct. Expanding your LinkedIn profile to include more experiences, skills and recommendations will help you appear in searches and increase the likelihood of recruiters contacting you about job opportunities.

4. Be Ready to Accept an Offer

“If you receive a job offer, put in your resignation, and then your current employer counters, be wary. This last-ditch effort to keep you may be tempting, but remember that there’s a reason you were looking for a new job,” Corey points out.

Studies have shown that 80% of candidates who accept a counteroffer end up leaving within six months. If your current employer makes a counteroffer after you resign, ask yourself these four questions. In the end, it can take strong resolve to say no to a generous counteroffer or a guilt trip from your current boss, but it may be in your best interest to decline the counteroffer and move forward with a new employer that wants to help you grow your career.

How The Headhunters Helps Sales Candidates in BC and Alberta Land the Best Jobs

At The Headhunters, we remove the guesswork from the sales job market. Whether you’re eager to make a move, or just starting to weigh your options, explore our job board. When you apply online, your application will go directly to the recruiter(s) specializing in sales—Corey and Shelley!

Salespeople are often well-networked and talk to each other across companies and industries. Because of this, some sales candidates are nervous to openly look for a job (even quietly) while still employed, in case it gets back to their current employer. When you apply through a recruitment agency, your resume doesn’t go directly to the employers; it goes to a recruiter who will have a conversation with you first before presenting your resume. This gives you the opportunity to confidentially ‘dip your toe’ into the job market without showing your cards. You can apply for some jobs, talk to recruiters who are interested in your resume, and learn more about what’s available and where you fit in the current job market.

The Headhunters Can Help You with Your Sales Talent Recruitment or Job Search

If you want top sales talent on your team, The Headhunters can help. To get started, contact us today.

Or, if you’re ready to take your sales career to the next level, browse our job board to see what sales job opportunities we currently offer with employers in Alberta, BC and across Canada.