Daily, I hear sales leaders commenting how hard it is to find great candidates in this market. A search I ran on LinkedIn this morning bears this out.
In just the last 15 days, 468 companies posted “Account Executive” openings in Boston alone. That’s a rate of five new postings per business hour. Beyond the sheer volume, we’re also missing the mark in messaging (see below). It’s no wonder the majority of posts on LinkedIn get fewer than 10 applicants.
While there’s no silver bullet, there is a relatively simple step that too many companies miss:
Build and share a role elevator pitch.
We tackled this idea in our ebook, The Sales Hiring Hourglass, but I want to expand on the topic a bit.
Sell the role before you document the duties
I’m sure you know the hiring profile you’re looking for. Most leaders have a solid handle on the behaviors and competencies that make for an ideal candidate. But far too few have spent much time thinking about their role from the candidate perspective.
Have you documented, however informally, your role elevator pitch?
Approach this as you would creating messaging against a competitor. You don’t need flowing prose or Madison Avenue ad copy. You do need a few bullets on why this role matters and why your company makes for an amazing opportunity. Imagine three overlapping circles.
- Circle #1 is what candidates want.
- Circle #2 is what competitors offer.
- Circle # 3 is what your company offers.
The overlap between all three circles (red) are points of non-differentiation. This is what every employer offers, or at least claims to offer. Focus on the overlap between Circles #1 and #3 (green). The core of your role elevator pitch should be the intersection of what candidates are looking for and what you uniquely bring to the table.
Sharpening your hiring edge.
The role elevator pitch is the basis for your job description, outreach InMails, and recruiter messaging. It has to pop. I want to share a few examples with you. To simplify things, I’ve built a sort of Mad Libs™ for Hiring to get you started.
I found a few job descriptions that I thought were excellent. I worked backwards to mock up what their role elevator pitch might look like.
Inside Sales Associate at memoryBlue
For goal-oriented young professionals with a history of rising to the top,
Who are looking to start their professional journey in technology sales,
Join us and lay the foundation for an amazing and lucrative career.
Account Executive (Unnamed Marketing Tech)
For experienced Fortune 1000 technology sellers,
Who are looking to join a well-funded start-up with A-list investors,
Join us and take a seat on a rocket ship while you exceed $275K on plan.
Learning Technology & Creative Specialist at Rapid7
For serial podcasters, iMovie whizzes, or Final Cut Pro fanatics,
Who are looking to be part of a growing technology company,
Join us and put your talents to use creating and scaling formal and informal learning and training programs.
These examples should provide you with a starting point. You don’t have to be Ernest Hemingway or Toni Morrison to pull this off. But you do need to flip your mindset from what traits do I need to what aspirations can I speak to.
I hope you’ll take a look at whole the ebook as well.