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5 things your candidates want to see in your sales job ad

It’s official. After the uncertainty and volatility of 2020, where many salespeople found themselves looking for work, the fight for talent is back on.

According to the ABS, between October 2020 and July 2021 the unemployment rate dropped by over a third, from 7% to 4.6%. As we work towards a COVID-normal state in 2022, more and more jobs are being offered, and less and less talent is available to fill them.

If you’re one of the many businesses on a sales hiring quest, the most obvious place to aim is a job board. But with only 78 hires being made for every 100 job openings advertised, the importance of writing job ads, and writing them well, has never been greater… particularly when you’re trying to attract the most astute, perceptive and talented of salespeople.

You’re faced with a question: what does an attractive ad for a sales role look like? Or perhaps more pertinently, what catches the eye of top salespeople when they scroll a job board?

There are a number of things, but let’s take a look at five of the most important.

1. Stand out, don’t fit in

There’s a temptation to stick to the script when writing a job ad. Your business more than likely has a template to follow, and forming an ad is a simple matter of filling in the blanks.

This strategy can even be semi-effective… as long as you find yourself in an employer-driven job market, where talent supply outstrips demand.

In a candidate-driven market, where top talent is spoilt for choice, and where businesses desperately fight for the best salespeople, such a copy and paste approach tends to see your job ad turn into background noise.

In times like these you don’t want to fit in – you want to stand out. On a base level you can change the format, add colour and imagery, and speak directly to the reader. But standing out in a more meaningful way will require deeper thought…

2. ‘What’s in it for me?’

A lot of job ads are written purely from the perspective of the employer: the business’s wants, the business’s needs, the business’s dealmakers and dealbreakers. But the reality is that a potential employee won’t be thinking of, or indeed care about, you. They’ll instead ask what’s in it for me?

Write from the perspective of talent. What exactly is your business offering them in terms of salary, opportunity, professional development and purpose? How does your offer differ from the endless others that the talent has seen? Be explicit about why this is a great opportunity – use hard numbers and quotes from team members to back up your case.

3. Consider flexible work arrangements

Post-COVID, salespeople are looking for more flexibility than ever, and they know that businesses are capable of delivering it. Ask yourself – does a salesperson really need to be in the office, or work from nine to five? Many salespeople will work beyond standard hours anyway, as the desire to make important sales sees them answering emails as they watch Netflix in the evening. Far more enticing is a work arrangement based on performance, not hours – as long as work gets done and targets are hit, it shouldn’t really matter where and when a salesperson works.

4. Be descriptive and specific

A fast-paced environment. A fun company culture. A competitive salary. The list of job ad clichés is as long as it is vague.

When you scratch the surface, describing your business as a results-oriented and customer-focused workplace full of self-starters tells a salesperson absolutely nothing about who you are and what you do. It’s the sort of management speak almost designed to fill in gaps with fancy-sounding nothingness.

Instead, be descriptive and specific. Tell top talent exactly what they can expect from the workplace, the team and the role. Tell them the salary, the pillars of your culture, the day-to-day of this ‘fast-paced environment. Trade clichés and vagueness for the far more compelling realities.

5. Tempt them with tone

A job ad quite often gives talent their first impression of your company. Using a genuine voice is critical if you want that impression to be a positive one.

Copy-pasting the details of the job into a universal template will create a job ad that is devoid of personality. Avoid sounding rigid and robotic by creating a unique ad for each role, written in a warm and friendly tone that reflects the company as a whole. If your workplace has employee initiatives or charity work that backs up the warm words, be sure to include them.

By standing out, saying what’s in it for them, offering flexibility, being specific and using an alluring voice, you’ll be well on your way to attracting the best, despite the current sales talent shortage.

And if you’d like some expert help in doing so, bta Sales is ready for your call.