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Hiring tips for the rest of 2017…


It’s going to be a strange new year, as we boldly go further into 2017 with an even stranger 2016 right behind us. Channel 4 news the other night was stating that when Brexit happens – the Jobs in the industry will go up! Mostly in manufacturing.

I like to think that is the case, but we need to live in the now, and the now – the market place is candidate driven in more sectors – meaning, you want to recruit a great person, sadly we are in the hands of candidate choice, as there are a lot of options out there look!

So, I have a couple of tips for you to consider for 2017 that may or may not surprise you!

Get a better job advert!
Know the difference between a job advert (an advert to hook people to apply) and a job specification (information about the role, and its duties/skills and what education they need). Knowing that difference will make a massive difference to your job adverts. Think intrigue, think – would I apply for that role. Look at your competitor’s advert! And if you wouldn’t apply – then don’t be like them.

Get Better at identifying candidates!
How long do you look at a candidate CV? Remember we are in a candidate driven market – and candidates are not that great at writing CVs – but they do give away a lot of unwritten information in their CV. I do tell candidates to focus their CV specifically – rather than being too general, but I have only informed about 200 of the 30 million people working, so a long way to go.
Think –

  • Where does the candidate need to come from? Competitors? Level of role?
  • What does experience really look like in your company? It can mean different in a smaller company/bigger – a software engineer in a large company is massively different to a software engineer in a small company.
  • Forget age! Don’t worry about that anymore! People are going to work longer into retirement than you think, but if the candidate is 60, and your average tenure in your company is 3 years, does it really matter? I mention this, because it has come up a few times.
  • Job hoppers – another new norm. Everyone is doing it from 21 to 70, the past 5 years more so. And that can be attributed to the world we are in, a candidate driven world. Where people are seeking pay raises, better development and better company values. It doesn’t mean they are flaky anymore.
  • What can you train? some candidate have the perfect attitude but fall short on skill or experience, why lose out on them can you train them?

Finding the perfect candidate is difficult – even more so hard when CV’s are not written well, so we do have to turn into detectives!

Get better at interviewing!
You want to find out if a sales candidate is the right candidate? Ask questions about how they do their job – rather than how much money they made last year. I find the amount of money made is a subjective question with too many angels to it, it could be a lie, or they could have 90% of business handed to them.
A few examples for interview questions –

  • How do you keep up to date with your target client list? (strategical)
  • When do you stop pursing a client? (strategical)
  • What motivates you? (personal)
  • What is you least favourite part of a sales processes? (Honesty – but red flag if this is an important thing to you that they don’t like)
  • Tell me about the time you had a losing streak, and how did you overcome it? (problem solving)
  • Tell me about a time when you won business, and you didn’t really do much for it? (Honesty, reflective)
  • Have you ever turned a prospect away? why? (Questioning their client base, not being afraid of saying no, sometimes we have too, but also being able to identify a great prospect and a bad one through questioning).
  • Would you help you colleague achieve a sale, and get nothing for it? (team work).

There is a few, I am working on a cheat sheet with more, that I am happy to send to you, let me know!

LASTLY! And really importantly in this market place today.
What are you offering?
You have a budget, you need to make sure that all your staff fit neatly into the pay grade system.
Skill and ability to achieve the end goals that you want in your business plan, can only be achieved by finding the right people. Sadly, the most common issue we see in recruitment is what is on offer – this can make or break whether you get the great candidate. And I am not saying offer more money, because sometimes that isn’t enough.
I am saying we need to think about what really is on offer.

  • Salary needs to be near the market expectation which sometimes is in line with candidate – if its less, be prepared for a longer wait to find the right candidate.
  • Training, development, progression – what is on offer? How are you going to invest in the candidate development – this is important, we live in a time of aspiration, people want to be trained, developed and given direction of progression.
  • What is the expectation – don’t shock a candidate on day one that they need to do a million dollars by the end of the year, unless what they are selling is worth a million dollars? Be clear what the expectations is at offer, match it to the salary and progression.
  • Be open to negotiation of the parameters of the role? We are tapping into a market place a lot of late, where some companies work on trendy strange way, and other companies work very similar to 50 years ago. Your perfect candidate may have to work 2 days a week from home, but will deliver a lot more than expectation. Be open to that. It’s happening more than you think now.

Can we help you?
Started up by Mark Hopkins with over 12 years in recruitment and an ex-Engineer himself – Thomas Lee Recruitment believe that we have a good understanding of all things technical, including sales! Our goal is to provide you with a cost effective service that is Reliable, Honest and tailored to how you like to recruit staff.

We are based just outside Birmingham in a little town called Tamworth – Drop me a call on 0121 661 6578 to find out further information or email info@thomasleerecruitment.co.uk