Episode OneHundredFortyFour

Keep Your Hiring Funnel Overflowing in 2020 & Beyond

Guest: Tim Yandel, VP of Sales at Hired

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About This Episode

In the tech circles I run in, it seems like every leader I’ve spoken with has shared the same problem:

Finding great talent to fill their sales teams.

And from what I can tell, this isn’t just a problem in tech sales. It’s everywhere. Everyone wants to keep their hiring funnel overflowing, but only a few manage it. 

The good news is the talent pool hasn’t dried up. They’re out there and you can find them.

To help find out how, I invited Tim Yandel, VP of Sales at Hired onto today’s show. Tim’s an expert on finding the best talent in today’s market and shared some useful tips with us.

He went over:

  • Why a “network-first” attitude is so important
  • Why your company should be focused on more than your cool product
  • How thinking outside the box can land you better talent
  • How to find potential in people (and why you should)

Let’s take a closer look at Tim’s advice. 

Have a “network-first” attitude 

Seeking out the best salespeople means you never stop hunting. It also means you need to turn to your network and ask people who you should be speaking to. 

Everyone reading this probably already knows the power of leveraging their network. Maybe it’s how you got your job, met your spouse or just scored a reservation at that cool, exclusive restaurant you always wanted to try.

But if you want to call upon your network to maintain a steady stream of talent, you need to make sure you are also maintaining your network for the long-term. 

Instead of asking what your network can do for you, ask what you can do for your network. Kennedy said that… sort of.

So, while you should definitely be asking people who you should sit down with, you should find people to sit with them, too. 

Maybe you find a great candidate who isn’t a fit for your organization but would excel elsewhere. Maybe you aren’t hiring right now. You will still need help someday and reciprocity is a powerful thing. 

Even if it doesn’t get you that perfect new hire the next time you need one, you’ll still be doing a good thing.

And it doesn’t hurt to show the world your values.

Focus on more than the product (and ditch the buzzwords

Values matter 

If you aren’t attracting the right kind of talent, maybe you’re sending the wrong message about who you are or what your business stands for. Worse yet, you may not be communicating any values at all.

A mission-driven organization will attract more, higher-quality candidates. 

But all too often, a company’s website is more focused on how cool their product is instead of their brand.

Even worse, websites stuffed with buzzwords about machine learning and riddled with annoying pop-ups offering demos aren’t just failing to convey values, they’re failing to present value to the buyer.

If even the buyer doesn’t see value in the company, why would a potential employee?

If you focus on who you are as a company and include the product or service along the way, you kill two birds with one stone. The world sees both your values and the value you offer. 

In the end, if your company lives and breathes a great set of values, it doesn’t just attract the best talent, it keeps the awesome talent it already has.

So, make that 3 birds…

Keep it simple

The other problem with too many buzzwords or convoluted value propositions is they might just confuse the customer — and potential employees — as to what you even do.

A good rule of thumb: If you can’t explain what your company does to your grandparents and have them understand, then you’ve already lost.

The value you offer should be so clear anyone hearing it gets it — whether they’re in the industry or not. 

Hire outside the box (and outside office referrals)

Maybe you have a different problem. You are bringing in great candidates, but they become not-so-great employees.

In that case, your hiring process needs to improve.

A common hiring trap people fall into is thinking every new hire needs a strong background in a particular market.

In reality, candidates with diverse sales backgrounds often end up working harder and with more passion than candidates seasoned in your market, who usually have less to prove. 

And new hires aren’t showing up with a full Rolodex these days, right?

Including diverse viewpoints is important. It’s how you fill any gaps your team might have in skill, knowledge or ability. 

While we’re on the topic of diversity: Stop relying solely on in-office referrals for candidates! 

The quickest path to a homogenized frat-culture on a team is to only use internal references. They’ll bring in clones of themselves, who in turn will bring in more clones and perpetuate the cycle.

While an army of clones could be good for a sci-fi supervillain, it makes a sales team pretty off-putting for anyone who doesn’t see themselves in the type of clique you’ve created.

See the potential in people

A rigid focus on a particular type of background can backfire in other ways, too.

If you only try to hire people who have decades of experience doing the exact same thing you’re doing, they might be stuck in their ways and less able to adapt.

Someone who isn’t perfect, but demonstrates potential is always preferable to someone who seems to already know everything. 

Chances are, they don’t. And when it comes time to teach them, they might not be able to learn new tricks. 

Want something actionable you can use to discover a candidate’s potential? 

Instead of asking them to do some tedious mock presentation, try running them through a scenario where you present them with a scene, an obstacle and then role play the solution with them.

Give them feedback on their performance, then repeat the process with a different, similar, scenario.

How did they adjust to your feedback?

Sometimes, the best candidate isn’t the one who has already learned everything, it’s the one who can learn anything. 

For more engaging sales conversations, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.


About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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