Sales Hiring Challenges to Hinder Tech Company Growth in 2020

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With venture-funding approaching dot-com levels, there’s a land-grab happening in technology and its implications are wide-ranging, presenting major challenges to recruiters. 

Funding comes with the expectation of top-line revenue growth and product enhancements. For Human Resources professionals, these expectations manifest in rapid hiring goals. The problem is the number of qualified candidates is finite and competition is intense. 

Our data shows interesting recruiting trends that can shape talent acquisition strategies in 2020. 

Sales Recruiting Is Now as Challenging as Engineering Recruiting 

For software and technology companies, finding sales professionals is critical to company growth. More salespeople means more accounts, markets, and revenue which are key initiatives at venture-backed companies. 

Given this dynamic, experienced SaaS salespeople are in high demand. In fact, it’s more challenging to hire entry level sales roles (Business and Sales Development) than it is to hire software engineers (2.79% engagement rate vs. 3.12% for engineers). Candidates are being contacted by multiple recruiters, headhunters, and hiring managers at any given time and it’s becoming harder to get these candidates’ attention. 

-Akash Srivastava

Companies are becoming creative in their solutions to combat this problem. In addition to mentioning the perks and benefits of a new company, recruiters are presenting compensation and bonuses in initial messaging in hopes of sparking a conversation. 

Companies have opened up remote sales offices in cities like Austin, Salt Lake City, and Denver to tap fresh new talent pools. 

Prioritize Entry-Level Sourcing, Not Senior Roles 

Yes, you read that right. While the right C-level candidate can be transformative to a business, companies often spend more time and resources on senior or executive roles. This approach is wrong for two reasons: 1) there are far more entry-level positions than executive ones; and 2) our data shows that executives are 2x more likely to respond to a new job opportunity than an entry-level candidate. 

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Entry-level candidates are being inundated with new job opportunities making it easy to ignore the next interview request. Candidates are also ghosting companies after engaging, removing otherwise qualified candidates from your recruiting process. With the amount of effort that it takes to recruit entry-level talent today, companies are underinvesting time and resources in building an entry-level talent pipeline. 

Conversely, companies are over-indexing their recruiting resources for senior roles. Skilled executives are more willing to hear about new opportunities especially when the new role brings an increase in title or responsibility. The challenge for most companies is ensuring that you have the best candidate for the role. Companies are well-served creating a world-class candidate experience so executives are excited about the prospect of working at your company. 

When All Else Fails, Hire Remote Candidates 

Companies are seeking new solutions for hard to fill jobs. For technology and sales roles, this involves allowing remote work. Rather than limiting a talent pool to a specific location, companies have expanded prospective talent pools to allow for remote workers. 

Our data shows that a remote job opportunity increases interview rates by 44%. Candidates are more open to hearing about your opportunity if it affords them work arrangement flexibility. 

When considering talent acquisition strategies for 2020, remote talent is an effective way to grow your team without sacrificing ambitious revenue targets or product metrics. 

Data Driven Recruiting in 2020 

Recruiting will remain a challenge over the next decade — companies need specialized skills to manage evolving technology, growth targets, and industry trends. If HR teams can continue to crunch the data and understand the challenges each open role presents, companies will be able to better manage ambitious growth and hiring targets. 

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About Vested Technology 

Vested Technology is a recruiting enablement tool focused on outbound sourcing. We attract and engage passive talent for our clients through a blend of automation and human capital. In the past 12-months, we have had over 100,000 unique candidate interactions across several functions and geographies allowing us to deliver insights to meaningfully shape talent acquisition strategy for our clients. 

About the Author: Akash Srivastava 

Akash Srivastava is the CEO, Co-Founder of Vested Technology, an HR tech firm focused on candidate sourcing. He founded Vested with a long-time friend and Talent Acquisition industry veteran Andy Seidl. Their passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and talent acquisition led them to founding Vested in 2018. 

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