A lot of employers find it hard to find and hire good people. Over the years, I have learned that good people are attracted to the company just as much as they are found by it. In order to attract “A” players, you have to be attractive. “A” players are not attracted to the same things as “B” & “C” players, yet most employers write ads that appeal directly to those “B” and “C” players.
Having interviewed hundreds of sales people, and having hired some “A” players for my company and clients, I developed a list of “A” player criteria. If the criteria are used properly, the ad will attract more “A” players, but more importantly, stop sub-par players from wasting your time by applying.
Criteria for Writing an Ad for “A” Players:
- Write the ad about the person, not the company.
- Describe the person, not the job.
- Describe the opportunity, not the duties.
- Put a minimum previous year’s income requirement, e.g. “Must have had previous years income of at least $110,000, where 70% of that came from commissions.”
- Include what the first, second, and third year income potential is, realistically.
- Describe specific sales experience they must have had, e.g. “Must have had experience in the last two years developing a territory where 50% of your sales came from new customers.”
- Write to the triggering event that would cause an “A” player to consider your opportunity, e.g. “Not being challenged in your current role?” or “Feel like your opportunities are limited, and looking for a new challenge?”
- Include a link to your website regardless if you feel your website needs some work.
- Don’t ask for a resume. Instead, ask for a brief email describing why they want to pursue your opportunity. Resumes are balance sheets without liabilities. Quit wasting your time trying to decipher their creative writing. Another reason not to ask for them is that “A” players don’t have updated resumes.
- Describe the attributes needed for success in the role, e.g. “You can work without someone looking over your shoulder.” Or “You can talk to anyone. Strangers are friends you have not yet met.”
Really good salespeople want to help other people, and at the same time, they are also self-centered. The really good ones have learned how to balance the two. Typically, most sales help-wanted ads ignore this truth. The worst ads happily write about how great the company is, the years they have been in business, and how they are the leaders in their industry. The writer of the ad is writing to himself, not “A” candidates.
Follow the criteria listed above and you’ll avoid making these common mistakes.
If you’re ad needs a tune up, send it to me and I’ll critique it and make recommendations for improvements.