Why Sales Hiring Managers Write Bad Ads

Posted by Chris Mott on Thu, Jul 14, 2011 @ 10:07 AM

Recruiting is without doubt a competency most sales leaders are very weak in. They engage in recruiting when someone leaves or they need to fill a position, which puts them in a position of weakness. If they have good skills they are often rusty and the pressure to fill the position causes mistakes, usually costly ones.

Most postings have three sections. First and unfortunately the longest is an advertisement for the company. This is usually followed by a less than succinct and frequently contradictory description of the position,with way too much information.

The third section, usually the best, is a short-listing of activities the salesperson needs to accomplish. By the time a good salesperson gets to it they are confused, disinterested and have little understanding of what the job really is, why they should apply and whether they are a good fit. The result is most anyone can apply. On the flip side the ADis so detailed and limiting that no one meets the criteria.

Sales postings need to be written in simple plain language that quickly describes what they must have already accomplished. Great care needs to be taken with the words used to insure that you are not incorrectly “labeling" the position. The primary goal of a posting is to get good candidates in the door. Don’t overwhelm them with information which you care about but isn’t necessary at this point in the selection process.

Pick a posting, any posting, read it and ask these questions.

  1. Are the really important points lost in the text?
  2. Is it an advertisement for the company or the position?
  3. Can you easy describe what they must do to be successful?
  4. What is the selling environment?
  5. How much money is on the table?

If you have a difficult time answering the questions your posting isn’t well written. If you want an unbiased opinion and a clearer picture of the problem have someone who isn’t involved in the recruiting what they think the posting says.

Topics: sales, recruiting, ads, hiring salespeople

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