Just as seasons are predictable, most companies and teams have a predictable turnover ratio depending on the demographic make-up of their employees. This can range from 5% to 30% per year.
Yet, a number of managers only wake up to the task of recruiting when the dreaded ‘resignation’ email pops up in their inbox. Then begins the long, drawn out process of replacement and its probably 8-12 weeks before a new employee starts. Through this time, managers (and their teams) lose time, energy and momentum.
3 Best Practices to minimise the impact of the loss of a Top Sales Performer :
- Make recruitment your top three priority. The Sales Manager of a BRW Fast 100 (growth) company in Australia said to me at our first meeting, “When I was employed in this role, the CEO told me Recruitment was my ‘#1 responsibility’.” They have a documented and very effective interview and selection process, and more important, a very successful sales force.
- Build a talent pool. The Sales Director at a respected, global Fortune 500 company said to me, “We recruit all the time, it depends on who is looking.” The Company’s Sales Managers were encouraged to meet people (who were interested in working with the Company) all through the year and when there were opportunities, they could refer to the shortlisted individuals and invite them to the front of the queue for the opportunity. This process is called building a ‘warm bench’ or a ‘talent pool’.
- Commit to a partnership with a search firm. Successful sales people have invested time in their current role and are entrenched in customer relationships and sales opportunities. A competent search firm can be a valuable ally in the process of bringing these people over to you.
They initiate contact, assess the individual’s needs and maintain a relationship. When the need arises, the search firm could quickly contact a good number of relevant ‘warm-benched’ candidates and bring a strong lineup to the recruitment process.
You can ‘shock-proof’ your team by making recruitment a top three priority, building a talent pool and committing to a long-term search partner.