Writing an Effective Sales Job Posting
Sales Job Listings that Work
One of the top challenges for sales departments and organizations is acquiring and retaining quality sales talent. That makes the sales recruiting process very important for the overall health of your sales team.
The first impression that most prospective job candidates will have of your company is the job listing you post. So it behooves you to do everything you can to make sure your post does a great job of selling the position to potential employees. Here are some things to keep in mind as you craft your job descriptions.
Be as Specific as Possible
The best way to attract the type of candidates you're looking for is to be as specific as possible about the job responsibilities, salary and benefits, and requirements. After having read your posting, a job seeker should have a good idea about what the position involves, and be able to picture what a day would be like doing the job. Spin things as positively as possible, but don't sugar-coat or be deceptive. If the job involves a lot of cold-calling, for example, say so upfront. There's no point in attracting people under false pretenses, since if they're not actually a fit, they either won't accept the job, or won't succeed if you manage to hire them.
The question of whether to list a salary is a contentious one, especially if you are planning to negotiate. However, job seekers like seeing a salary listed, and are more likely to apply for a job that lists a salary. As a compromise, you can always try listing a salary range. In any case, there are details you should definitely include, even if you don't list a salary amount. Does your job offer a base salary, or is it commission only? Is the commission capped or uncapped? Are there benefits? If so, what are they? Are there opportunities for promotion and career growth within the company? Do you provide paid training? The more details you include, the more attractive the position will be. Rest assured, job seekers imagine that you're putting your best foot forward, and will never assume that your job will provide benefits that you don't explicitly list in the posting.
It's also important to be upfront about what the requirements are for the position. Is it vital that a sales representative at your company have a high school diploma? A driver's license? Avoid wasting your and other people's time by making that clear in your posting. But don't exclude potential candidates by making up unnecessary requirements. If you like to see a college degree, but it's not vital, say so. The more information you provide, the better of a job your ad will do at attracting the people you want and dissuading the ones you don't want.
Make it Interesting
If you scroll through sales job postings in any online job search engine, you'll likely find dozens or even hundreds in your area that all sound more or less the same. Do what you can to make yours stand out by including extras that will make your job stick out from the rest. Are you in an exciting or up-and-coming industry? Do you run an amazing sales contest every year? Do you provide free donuts or pizza at every sales meeting? Say so. Even if a particular detail seems somewhat trivial, it can help your job posting stand out.
If you can't think of anything overly interesting to include, just be funny. Let the personality of your company and your sales team show through.
Sell the Company and the Position
The hiring process involves the potential recruit trying to sell him or herself to you, and you trying to sell your company and the position to the recruit. Your job posting functions as a sort of elevator pitch, designed to interest people in the position and make them want to find out more. It's amazing how many sales organizations spend so much time and money trying to teach sales skills to their sales representatives, but expend very little effort on selling the job itself to their own prospective employees.
Remember the old rule of sales: benefits, not features. Your posting should not read like a boring entry out of a corporate HR manual. Sell the opportunity. Paint a picture for your prospective recruits about the amazing career and life they can have if they work for your company. DON'T get carried away and promise them the moon (and avoid excessive capital letters, exclamation points, and other red flags that you're a fly-by-night company). But DO solidly make the case that this job is an amazing opportunity for the right candidate.
Have Various Postings for a Single Job
It's not possible beforehand to really know which postings will be most successful, so go ahead and write two or three for your open position. Approach the job from different angles. Play up different points. Try one that's funny and whimsical, and one that's professional and straight-arrow. Different ads may attract different personalities.
Once you have a couple of ads written, try them out and keep track of which ones bring in more candidates. You may find that a particular type of ad works well on one job board, while a totally different ad works better somewhere else. If one of your ads isn't performing at all, go ahead and ditch it, and write a replacement.
Give Your Post Maximum Reach
Don't just post your ad in one place and assume all job seekers in your area will go there. Do your research to find out where are the most effective places to post it, and then post to several of them. Monster, Indeed, and CareerBuilder are always good choices, but you may also find success on LinkedIn or Craigslist. Job boards designed specifically for your industry can also be places to find good sales professionals, especially if your job requires experience or industry knowledge.
Use other methods to get the word out. Offering a bonus to current sales representatives to recruit their friends is an extremely effective way to attract sales professionals with a good likelihood of success. You can distribute flyers with the job posting to current employees, hang the posting up in your place of business, and make it available on your website and social media pages. Once you have a well-written job posting, it's easy to get the word out by distributing it everywhere you can.
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