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Aug 09, 2014

Positive Thinking for Sales Recruiters
Posted by: Peter Marinilli, CPC, CSP

Finding and training new sales recruiters is a difficult but vital part of any business. As I’ve said before, these new recruits are often the best hire you can make. They have a passion and drive that cannot be taught, and thatSales recruiters tips is more valuable than any acquired skill. Given a few guidelines and training, your existing core of professional sales recruiters can help bring these new recruiters up to speed.

A recent article by Dave Kahle,of The Growth Coach, outlines the beliefs that will limit a salesperson or sales recruiter’s performance. The issues he discusses are mistakes made by many professional sales recruiters, but new sales recruiters fall prey to them more often than not.

His major point is making the customer (in recruiting, the employee you are trying to hire or place) your focus, and seeing the situation from their point of view, not yours. He boils his argument down to six tips that apply to every selling situation and are words to live by for professional sales recruiters at any level:
  • Engage with the right people.
  • Make them comfortable with you.
  • Find out what they want.
  • Show them how what you have gives them what they want.
  • Gain agreement on the next step.
  • Follow up and leverage satisfaction to other opportunities.
With a few exceptions, professional sales recruiters are not born; they are made. What’s important to remember is that most sales recruiters are only as good as they think they are. Anyone who’s seen Annette Benning’s emotional breakdown in American Beauty remembers her mantra “in order to be successful, one must project an image of success.” Encourage your newer sales recruiters to adapt this motto to work for each of their individual situations.
Be a Social Sales Recruiter
Posted by: Peter Marinilli, CPC, CSP

I’ve talked about using Facebook as a screening tool for interviews, but what about as a marketing tool? And why stop at Facebook? There is a wealth of new media available online, social media sites and communities designed specifically to bring people together. If you can master just a few of these you’ll have a significant advantage over your competition.

Whether you’re a big name recruiting firm, a small start-up or a single sales recruiter, you can always benefit from being more visible than your competitors. Even if you’re at the top and not feeling a direct threat, it would be nice to solidify that position and be seen as the coolest, most technologically savvy of the recruitment consultants.

Sites like Facebook and MySpace started as fun, fluffy personal networking sites, but they can be used for more serious purposes, especially Facebook. Set up sales recruiter profiles for all your recruitment consultants. Make sure there is enough information for someone to feel like they know them and have a good understanding of their qualifications, and make it clear how they can be reached. The main goal here is to seem approachable and likable.

LinkedIn is similar in nature to Facebook, but with a more professional focus. While a Facebook profile can, and should, highlight educational background and professional accomplishments, LinkedIn is the place to really make career information and credentials shine. Think of Facebook as more of a cover letter, LinkedIn as a résumé.

Twitter is a little more unique; as a microblogging site, there’s no real profile and not a lot of setup, so you can just jump in and “join the conversation” at any point. Search for people in your industry or field and just start talking. This can be a great way to network with other recruitment consultants, get your name out there and hear about who’s hiring and who’s looking to be hired.

You don’t have to be a sales recruiter or consultant to make this advice work for you. These social media sites are almost always free, so they’re great for marketing yourself as an individual as well. If you’re looking to impress a sales recruiter or potential employer, try out these and other social media sites to make sure good, quality, relevant information comes up when someone googles your name.
Rev Up that Resume! Tips for More Contacts in the Sales Field for Applicants and Recruiters
Posted by: Peter Marinilli, CPC, CSP

You may be one of the many sales professionals who just lost their jobs, or maybe you’re hanging on to your job, but are understandably nervous!

The same old rules apply. Revise that resume. If you’re still employed, seek out more ways to bring value and $$$ to your company. If you have gotten out of the habit, start networking NOW.

Network the Right Way

Remember, good networking etiquette is important. Don’t just attend that industry meeting to pass your resume around, expecting a good connection without paying your dues. Instead, join a committee. Value these new connections, by volunteering your talents, your time, your sales knowledge, sales recruiters and company contacts or your advice. Then, when the time comes that you need referrals, they will gladly help.

Facebook – One Way to Find More Industry Contacts & Sales Professionals

Another way to network is by joining Facebook. Originally a social media site devoted to the 18-year- to 34-year-old market, Facebook’s fastest growing segment is the 30+ market. Currently, it has about 175 million active users.

We think Facebook is a great way to connect with other sales professionals and sales recruiters, friends and family and communicate with them. But when you sign up, we think you should keep each of these categories (sales pros, friends, family) as separate groups. Why? You wouldn’t share the same information with your family that you would with your boss, would you?

Keep Your Business Hat On

Always act professional and don’t "over-reveal" yourself like many students have mistakenly done on Facebook and MySpace. Your boss or prospective employer does not have to know that you do a mean tango, or enjoy fine red wine…either does your mother!

Be careful about the information you do include on your profile. (Again, if your mother would be shocked to hear about it, do not include it! If you wouldn’t put it on a sales resume, then delete it.)

Be Selective – Make Facebook Work for You

Facebook is one place to start networking with other professionals in your field – people you know and then colleagues and peers of people you know. We suggest that you be selective about whom you invite to join your "pro" list. The goal is to get more meaningful professional sales contacts, including sales applicants and sales recruiters, not just a huge list!

You can even share electronic samples of your portfolio on Facebook with interested companies, if you don’t have access to an FTP page.—Just make sure you respect your company’s confidentiality agreements and copyrights.

Facebook is just one social network media site to explore and use. Next time, we’ll discuss two other ways to network your way to your next sales position – through LinkedIn and Twitter .

Target Consulting Group, LLC is a well-established sales recruitment and placement firm providing all kinds of companies and organizations in New England and nationwide with top performing sales professionals. They offer both commission-based placement and retainer search for companies.

Professional Social Networking
Posted by: Peter Marinilli, CPC, CSP

If you are employed in a career or looking for your next sales position, you need to have your profile on LinkedIn.com Why, you ask?

It’s a social networking site designed strictly for professionals. The beauty of this site: your direct connections (your professional network of contacts) become linked to your connections’ connections.

Think of the sheer numbers - 36 million professionals listed on LinkedIn in 200 countries around the world. In fact, many headhunters and top managers check out candidates for sales management on LinkedIn. Employees in companies often alert their network of friends about available positions and can provide job hunters with valuable tips about a company’s corporate culture and about the hiring manager.

As a candidate for a sales position, you can use LinkedIn to search for companies that you would like to work for, search for available openings, and quiz your network and their networks for anyone who may work for the company. After all, the best referral you can get comes from someone who works on the inside.

Both employees and job seekers can also keep abreast of the latest in their sales field by taking part in discussion groups. They can also alert their networks of any sales openings they discover. So, do yourself a big favor - take the time to update your professional profile on LinkedIn and make sure your contacts are up to date.

Now for the social networking service Twitter.com – that’s gotten so much press lately. Twitter is simply a way in which you keep everyone in your network informed about exactly what you are doing right now. (Think like a reporter on the scene.) However, you cannot “over-speak” with Twitter, as each message (known as a tweet) can only be 140 characters (spaces, not words) long. Because of these limits, you have to be REALLY BRIEF.

People use their laptops or their cell phones to send tweets to anyone (tweeple or tweeps) they allow to follow them in their day. Who’s taken to Twitter beyond the youthful tech-savvy? US Congress has, because they can speak directly to their constituents without the filtering of news reporters. Reporters have, for breaking news. People in court cases have.

How can Twitter help you in your hunt for the next best sales professional position? Every time you get a lead on a possibility, you can query your “tweeple” to find out if anyone knows anything more. You can also keep your sales recruiter informed about how you did right after the interview. And, if you hear of a position that you are not interested in, please let your Twitter network help someone else out.

So, go ahead and sign up for Twitter, but protect your profile by approving only those whom you trust implicitly to follow you. And, download apps so you can “tweet” to your cell phone. As with any social networking site, keep your private life out of your employer’s or future employer’s hands.

Target Consulting Group, LLC is a well-established sales recruitment and placement firm providing all kinds of companies and organizations in New England and nationwide with top performing sales professionals. They offer both commission-based placement and retainer search for companies.

Aug 05, 2014

Real World Recruiting Tips for the Recession
Posted by: Peter Marinilli, CPC, CSP

In dealing with a recession, it’s can be difficult to look on the bright side of a not-always-promising economy and job market. But recent studies provide some hope, and helpful advice, for both job seekers and recruiters.

The good news: this will end. The bad? No one’s quite sure when. But what we do know is the recession will have lasting effects on employers and job seekers. Sounds like a no-brainer, but a lot of the changes we see coming out of this economic climate are leading to good lessons and even better tips for employers

and employees alike.

Become a Rockstar.

Figuratively, not literally, of course. The best and the brightest stand out, time after time, and are worth hiring even when budgets are tight. In fact, many have speculated that tough times are the perfect opportunity to reach for a rockstar—with greater competition than ever and a more level playing field, you want the best working for you. And having one amazing talent is better than three mediocre workers. Be that rockstar, in whatever field, and you’ll greatly increase your hiring advantage.

Market Yourself.

While you’re working on this rockstar status, also called professional development, you should start thinking about how to stand out from the crowd. Even if you far outshine all the other applicants in terms of skills and ace every interview, you need to make sure your name gets noticed before they meet you. That means marketing yourself. Spruce up your résumé, use social media and be a little adventurous. Do your homework, check out the company culture, and then find a way to sell yourself specifically to them. Get creative.

Aim for the Future.

Outside of working for yourself, which can be tough to do, the next biggest business and hiring growth will occur in medium-sized businesses.

In the aftermath of the 1991 downturn, firms with 20-499 employees led employment expansion, while the smaller- and larger-size businesses struggled. During the 2001 downturn, larger firms (500 or more employees) experienced the greatest net employment losses, followed by firms with 20-499 employees. The smallest firms, with fewer than 20 employees, weathered that storm better than the others.

Expect small- and medium-size businesses and the services that support them to lead the economic recovery worldwide.

So plan ahead and look for companies that have optimal growth potential and hiring power as things begin to look up. And above all else, keep working on your “personal brand” and making yourself the best, and easy, choice in your field.
Aug 01, 2014

Real Life Recruiting Lessons from the Recession
Posted by: Peter Marinilli, CPC, CSP

Everyone is clamoring for this recession to end--quite possibly, no one more so than sales recruiters. We want our client companies and prospective hires to do well, and that means hiring the best and brightest for employers, and landing the perfect job for employees. Media outlets have been suggesting that the recession is over, and that an upswing is on the way.  While the worst may be over, we must be careful not to celebrate too soon. [http://selectmetrix.com/blogs/2009/10/dont-trust-the-dow/] I don't want to be the one to cast a shadow on this positive outlook, but when it comes to hiring, employers (and employees) need to be realistic. And that means learning from the past, in order to secure a better future.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from a recession, and as a recruiting firm, we might be in the best place to observe and teach what we've discovered over the past year. When times are tight, we learn to make due without some of life's little extras: bringing lunch from home, making out own coffee, taking public transportation. These little changes are common practice in our personal lives. But what about professionally? There are many recession tactics (besides layoffs) that can help you grow now, with a little caution, without breaking the bank later. Here are just a few ideas to get you started, and we'd love to hear more, so please, share your tips as well.

Focus on Employee Satisfaction

You have great people working for you now, but even with the worst behind them, they're probably still a little nervous. Or, as things start to look a little brighter, they might be grumpy and feel safe enough to complain about previous cost-cutting measures. Now is the time to make sure that your core team, your rockstars, are with you not only when the going gets tough, but as it gets better. Brainstorm some easy, inexpensive perks that will brighten their day without busting your budget. If big company lunches are no longer on the table, try offering a beer cart on Fridays, or gourmet goodies on Mondays. Provide employees with a way to unwind, and make sure they know how much you appreciate their hard work over the past year.

Maintain Flexibility for Maximum Productivity

This can help with employee satisfaction, too. Think about it: your employees are adults. Shouldn't you treat them as such? We live in a world where the Internet makes telecommuting possible, and employers should embrace that. Allow employees to work from home when the need arises, instead of faking sick. Encourage them to break outside the box of their cube and take a break while at work, and promote professional development initiatives. Work with your employees to offer them tailored perks and benefits that they really want; it could end up saving you money and making them much happier and more productive.

Value Honesty (In Both Yourself and Your Employees)

Yes, this means you, too. Change freaks people out, and being upfront and honest with your employees can go a long way to curbing rumors and keeping people on track to meet their, and your, goals. Tell your staff before things change, for better or worse, of if they are staying the same when other companies in your industry seem to be in flux. It's human nature to gossip, and once the rumor mill starts it can be hard to stop. If you let everyone know what is going on ahead of time--even if it's not great news--you won't give false information a chance to spread.

These tips are meant to help employers create a better working environment, but employees should take note as well. If you're looking for a new job, try to gauge how well a company is acting on these tips. And if you're happy in your job, see if you can suggest or implement these ideas to help everyone stay motivated.

Why a Strong Salesforce Should Always Be Your Top Priority
Posted by: Peter Marinilli, CPC, CSP

People have a lot of varied opinions on the state of the economy, but the one constant is that everyone has seen its impact on their business in some way. Now, this leads many to “batten down the hatches,” so to speak, and ride out this downturn. But that is not always the best course of action, and when you’re in the sales industry, it could mean disaster. I’m serious when I say that a strong salesforce should always be your top priority. Always.

To Be the Best, You Need to Hire the Best

It may sound trite, but your company is really only as strong as your weakest link. If you consistently hire the best, brightest and highest performing sales people, your weakest link will still be far stronger than that of your competitors. Now, in order to get and keep these superstars, you need to distinguish yourself from the pack. Think about what you would want someone to say sets you apart, or why they like working there. Then make sure that is a reality for every employee, especially when times are tough. Everyone is nervous; show your employees how much you value them.

Keeping the best all for yourself is a great strategy, but it requires finding them—and that’s where a professional sales recruitment firm can make all the difference. Sales recruiters have an extensive knowledge of candidates, the job market, and the sales industry. You may know your business inside and out, but it’s tough to keep up with everyone else out there; this is where a seasoned sales recruiter can really prove their worth.

Ongoing Recruiting Requires Ongoing Marketing

Somewhat of a chicken-and-egg situation, attracting the best and brightest is much easier if you already have a reputation for hiring the best; everyone will naturally want to work for or with you. But, if you’re still building a reputation, you can fake it with some marketing savvy—and a qualified recruiter can go a long way to helping you in this arena. Developing a strong marketing campaign will lead to a pipeline of qualified candidates, allowing you to pick and choose who will help you become the company you envision in the future. Honestly explain your goals to both recruiters and candidates, and commit to building that future with your employees.

Blindly hiring candidates just to beef up your numbers is a short-term fix that will backfire; you need to recruit, not just hire. Make sure each prospect is the right fit, and will improve your company or help you reach your goals. Be picky, and insist that candidates be candid with you. What does each party want out of the arrangement, and how can you help each other?

We hear over and over again that job seekers feel that employers have the upper hand right now, and that puts you at a great advantage—but perhaps not the one you think. The best will obviously rise to the top, but you need to be in a position to hire them. Again, it’s tempting to stop hiring, low ball candidates or hire whatever you can get, but this will set you up for failure in the not-so-distant future. Work with a recruiter—as well as existing employees—to make sure that you are making smart decisions for the long-term.
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