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The 4 hard truths every b2b technology company should learn about talent acquisition

The 4 hard truths every b2b technology company should learn about talent acquisition

The 4 hard truths every b2b technology company should learn about talent acquisition

If you’re trying to grow (or have ever grown) a business-to-business (b2b) technology company, you’ll know the very real struggle when it comes to hiring high performing sales & leadership staff. The problem is at least twofold: on the one hand, finding enough high performers open willing to consider your company and on the other hand, retaining your top talent.

In reality, b2b technology companies aren’t significantly different to other companies with regards to hiring sales & leadership talent: this is a good thing because it means you can learn from what works elsewhere, but it’s a bad thing because it means you’re competing for the best staff in a broad and shallow talent pool.
If you’re having a hard time with sales & leadership talent acquisition and recruitment, you’re going to struggle to turn it around until you’ve accepted some hard truths: here are 4 which we think every b2b technology company should learn.

The 4 hard truths every b2b technology company should learn about talent acquisition

1. Talent acquisition and recruitment are different things which serve different needs: In short, talent acquisition is about the long term while recruitment is about the short term. Recruitment is about filling a gap, or meeting a need; it’s having a vacancy and finding the most talented person who can fill it on a short notice. Talent acquisition is about improving the company, and bringing in the skills and traits necessary to cultivate an enduring culture of success. Recruitment is always situational; talent acquisition should be constant and ongoing. If your ‘talent acquisition strategy’ is all about meeting immediate needs, it’s neither talent acquisition nor a strategy.

2. Brand reputation matters: If your brand is smaller than the brands at the top of your field (which, let’s face it, it probably is), you’ll have to push the boat out to attract talent from bigger brands. That’s a given. What isn’t as widely considered is the hard truth that selling a well-known brand is considerably easier than selling a relative unknown; so if your brand’s currently a small one, the best performers at the biggest companies might not be the best for you. While you’re growing your brand and your company you may achieve greater success by targeting challenger sales & leadership professionals, i.e. those who know how to bring a relative unknown to market, in this scenario pure sales figures might not mean as much as knowledge of the industry, or past entrepreneurial success.

3. Good salespeople aren’t islands: Different work environments and cultures affect the performance of all Sales & Leadership professionals. Some of the most successful salespeople in large companies are very focussed with a very narrow definition of their responsibilities, hence they have a lot of support around them, they don’t spend time booking their own accommodation or writing reports. If you want to attract the right talent for your business, find out what they’re used to working with: if they’re used to having administrative and support staff to do the less glamorous jobs, expecting them to do it themselves will only land you with an unproductive and unhappy team member.

4. Champagne and caviar are more expensive than beer and sandwiches: This shouldn’t be a hard truth. It should be glaringly obvious. Unfortunately, too many companies waste their time spent on ‘talent acquisition’ by being profoundly unrealistic in terms of what they expect for their money. If you really want champagne, don’t expect to pay beer prices. It’s not good news, but there’s no way around it.

The 4 hard truths every b2b technology company should learn about talent acquisition

As in any area of talent acquisition, seeking out top sales & leadership talent can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. If you can stay focused on your overall strategy, think about the particular talents you need for your situation, and be prepared to go the distance to secure the best people, you’re already in a better position than business leaders who couldn’t swallow these hard truths.

Don’t rest on your laurels: with a proven methodology and an impressive retention rate, Soloman Associates can help you up your talent acquisition game.

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