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Here’s What Top Sales Talent Is Looking For In A Company

You’re being watched. 

As a talent acquisition professional, you’re always being watched. Maybe not directly, but sales talent is keeping close tabs on your company. What they see and how they interpret the company directly impacts your ability to hire top sales talent. 

In today’s evolving world, more job seekers place emphasis on gender equality. Sales reps are especially focused on finding companies that actively fight for gender equality. In fact, our team’s most recent report, The State of the Sales Industry: ‘Boys Club’ in 2019, revealed 31.1% of female sales reps would consider leaving the sales industry if the ‘boys club’ mentality persists. And they’re not the only ones. As many as 24.6% of males are prepared to leave the sales industry for the same reason. 

Proof of gender equality is also critical for drawing passive talent away from their current companies. To entice them to leave their current jobs, 42.9% of sales talent respondents said recruiters must show their companies have a proven track record of promoting all employees, regardless of gender.

So, whether sourcing active or passive talent, your recruitment strategy must focus heavily on gender equality. This doesn’t mean a few marketing efforts to say gender equality is important. It means diving deep into real-life happenings at the company to show sales talent exactly what they want regarding gender within the company. 

Here’s what respondents in our report said they’re looking for when considering a new job: 

Equal pay, career advancement, and recognition

Perhaps the most talked-about issues surrounding gender equality, sales talent is looking for equality in all areas of business. In fact, sales respondents (28.9%) stated they would consider leaving current employers if they receive an offer from a company that has proven gender parity in areas such as pay, career advancement, and recognition. 

It’s critical to note this sentiment comes from respondents of all genders, not just female reps. So, as you focus on highlighting how current employees earn their way to the top on an equal scale, be sure to not exclude any sales reps. Showcase the achievements of every gender to show how employees are celebrated and rewarded for their performances. 

There’s an established group advocating for change

Maybe your company has already begun making changes to promote gender equality. That’s a positive change and should be noted in your recruiting efforts. However, sales employees are known for focusing on the future — and their expectations from companies are no different. 

Respondents in our report (26.9%), for example, say they would consider leaving current employers if they’re offered a role from a company that has a group of both male and female employees dedicated to ending gender inequality. 

Medtronic created a group like this called ASPIRE all the way back in 2014. We spoke to Julie Brewer, Area VP of Sales for the Cardiac and Vascular Group at Medtronic in 2016 about the developmental group. ASPIRE (Accelerating Sales Professionals through Innovation Results and Excellence) is a community for women in the medical sales field. 

“Men are also involved in our ASPIRE group and often bring ideas to the table on how to inspire, advance, and motivate women,” Brewer told us. 

As you evaluate your own current programs or consider advocating to start a new one, determine how both genders are advocating for equality amongst all sales reps. Use these specific details to highlight advocacy programs to new sales talent. This shows the company is focused on lifting up its employees as a whole, regardless of gender. 

Diverse and inclusive leadership

Leadership teams comprised of all one gender may discourage top talent from applying to open roles. A lack of diversity sends the message that they may not have the same opportunities as the opposite gender to advance. 

Sales respondents in our report are highly aware of this. In fact, 26.3% revealed they would consider leaving their current employers if an offer was made from a company that has evidence of more diverse and inclusive leaders. 

Of course, we’re not suggesting you have the power to alter a company’s leadership team overnight. However, if your leadership team is comprised of mostly, or all, one gender, highlight other leaders in the company. Showcase managers, team leads, and other employees climbing the ranks to prove there is diversity and inclusion within the company at numerous levels.