Now is the Best Time to Hire Salespeople
by Doug Seville, DSML Executive Search
Many of our European and Canadian clients have maintained a “holding pattern” on their US subsidiaries over the past year. While most have not reduced the number of employees they have, because of the COVID-19 situation, the majority of them have put their hiring on hold.
Things, however, are changing and the economy is growing rapidly. In fact, according to government estimates, the US economy grew by 1.6% in the first quarter of 2021. The figure is equivalent to 6.4% annualized growth and marks the second-biggest quarterly expansion over the past decade. The surge, according to analysts, was driven by a bounce-back in consumer spending, driven by more than $400 billion worth of stimulus checks.
An Ideal Time of Year to Hire Salespeople
- The hiring calendar year. Unlike a fiscal calendar year, the new calendar year for salespeople is after bonuses have been distributed. This often occurs in February or March following the end of the fiscal year and many companies have a strict policy that stipulates if you “leave the firm” prior to a certain date you may forfeit your annual “discretionary” bonus. It stands to reason that people are reluctant to consider a career move until they have realized the reward for their hard work over the previous year.
- Your business is growing with the surge in economic growth, and you need more people to manage lead generation and the sales process in generating new business.
- A lot of firms are reporting “employee burnout” from working remotely during hesitant times over the pandemic period. Hiring “new” salespeople will help to energize your team and provide a level of certainty regarding the growth of the company.
Hiring a Salesperson is Formidable Task
Hiring any new team member can be daunting for any employer, however the hiring of a salesperson can be especially difficult. Hiring someone because they interview well, you get along with them personally, they have significant product knowledge in your industry, they have similar hobbies (ballroom dancing, classical piano, oil painting, for ex.), etc., are fine and dandy but not good indicators of their ability to sell.
The Interview Process
We have all made mistakes and, at some point in our careers, have hired the wrong person to join our business. In fact, it is estimated that with all the checks and balances in place there is still a ten percent likelihood of an unsuitable hire. The recruitment process is key to eliminating as much uncertainty as possible. How do you know, especially with a candidate who interviews well, if he or she is being untruthful, or greatly exaggerating their past accomplishments? It is not easy to discern if a candidate is exaggerating. And it is common for people to somewhat stretch the truth or withhold some key information to improve their candidacy. Again, sticking to a solid recruitment process will assist in securing the right person for your business. The devil is in the detail.
Our team, at DSML Executive Search has completed hundreds of searches for our European clients, and a significant portion of these assignments have been commercial/sales positions. The challenges are formidable as there are many cultural and managerial differences in the way people conduct business.
DSML Executive Search, with offices in Boston and Chicago, is a leader in the recruitment of management and key personnel for European and Canadian businesses who have operations in the United States.
Contact DSML Executive Search
The US economy is growing rapidly. Are you concerned about having the right sales and management leadership personnel in place within your US subsidiary? Contact DSML Executive Search for a no-cost consultative conversation on how we can assist you in growing your business in the United States.