What are Top Salespeople Really Looking For With a Job Description?
As recruitment consultants we see an array of job descriptions from our clients – the good, the bad, and the ugly. More often than not these job descriptions are vague, generally lacking in explicit information about what’s expected of the candidate and what the candidate can expect from the role. As a result, the client struggles to fill their vacancy.
So imagine this, you’re a hiring manager that’s struggling to fill the vacancy and the pressure is beginning to build. What do you do? Put it on a popular job board where you’ll receive a high volume of applicants that will take up a lot of your valuable time combing through to find any relevant applicants, of course. While job boards will give you a large talent pool to work with and a wide choice, the quality of the candidate pool will typically be lower.
Dominic Black, Recruitment Consultant at ESP, has investigated exactly what top talent are looking for in job descriptions. Of his research he says: “I’ve spoken to fifty high quality active and passive candidates over a two-week period to ask them what they like to see in a job description.” This includes the key information they want to receive, how they want it delivered and what will make them click that apply button.
Dominic explains that “in the almost three years I’ve been at ESP the standard response to someone seeing a job description is that they are ‘all the same’ and ‘not useful’ – ultimately it’s believed that they won’t help you” – let’s change that!
Firstly – people are skim reading job adverts to self-qualify in or out of the role, so the key information needs to be clear and concise. You want to guide them directly to the information that they are looking for, which is:
Salary! Every person that Dominic spoke to wants to see this. No ‘depending on experience’ please. Sales commission details are just as important too as salespeople build this into their expected income.
Who does the role report to and do they have any line reports?
Targets and deal sizes – they want to know how achievable their OTE would be.
Career progression and personal development – what support will the employer offer them such as mentoring, professional qualifications etc?
Support team – how they will be supported in achieving their targets from a technical, marketing and a lead generation perspective?
Company culture – what is like working at your company? How will working for you benefit them?
Company growth and strategy – most of the top salespeople that Dominic spoke to said this was important. Salespeople ae naturally ambitious – they want to know that any career move they make will be advantageous. They are looking to find out how they can contribute to your company’s plan and the role’s long-term position in the company.
You know what information they want to be reading, but how do they want to read it?
Dom’s top tip: address your Ideal Candidate directly! Be aware of who you’re aiming to speak to in your tone. You can find out a bit more about carving out your Ideal Candidate here
Company summary: addressing company culture, career progression opportunities, company’s growth strategy, training opportunities, etc.
Key skills and responsibilities: limited to 6-8 key points each. Divide these into ‘Essential Skills’ and ‘Nice to Have’s’. Dom’s top tip: include specific examples here, avoid generic phrases such as ‘able to work in a team’ – it needs to be easy for the prospective candidate to self-qualify.
Benefits: highlight the most relevant benefits for your Ideal Candidate. Example: if the role requires a lot of driving, outline the car allowances and benefits.
You now have the information to write the perfect job description – you’re welcome.
No one likes wasting their time and vague job descriptions can be time wasting for you, the applicants who aren’t quite right, and the recruitment consultants. Use this information to make life a bit easier and find that top candidate!
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