agile talent

Top Tips for Recruiting Agile Sales Reps

When COVID-19 hit, the world changed. Overnight, industries were thrown into uncertain times and had to pivot and adapt their strategies to weather the storm unexpectedly.

A recent SurveyMonkey study revealed companies most likely to survive unexpected challenges, like the global pandemic, are those that hire agile talent. 

In their report, Survey Monkey defined agile companies as those that can adapt quickly to change in order to be successful. Those coined “agile companies” were better positioned to outperform their peers in a crisis. Survey Monkey found 50% of respondents felt their agile organization was extremely or very prepared to withstand an economic downturn. While only 10% stated they felt prepared at less-agile companies.

Agile company employees also seem to have more confidence in their organizations. The report stated that employees at agile companies are more than twice as likely to say their business is doing better since COVID-19 and believe their company is able to find creative solutions to problems. They were also less likely to say their hours were cut or income was reduced.

Although creating a team of agile talent is essential to surviving a crisis — for both employers and employees — only 30% of employees in Survey Monkey’s report felt they are at the most agile companies.

So what does this mean for recruiters?

As a recruiter, you play a critical role in the success of a company. If you want to help your company come out on the other side of the pandemic, it is imperative you play your part in securing agile talent.

Check out these tips for attracting and identifying agile sales reps:

Attracting Agile Talent

Provide a clear work culture where sales reps are challenged with exciting work and opportunities to learn and grow.
A 2017 Glassdoor report shared that businesses that invest in a strong candidate experience improve their quality of hire by as much as 70%. 

Demonstrate a culture where employees feel motivated to share knowledge and help each other succeed.
According to Baine & Company’s 2017 book, Time. Talent. Energy, employees who feel engaged and inspired are 125% more productive than the satisfied staffer.

Excite your recruit by highlighting leadership that lifts up the team’s achievements.
Having a supportive leader that encourages, advocates, and acknowledges their employees’ successes can be a huge motivator for your candidate.

Highlight how your team has adapted during the 2020 pandemic.
One of the qualities your top recruit should possess is curiosity. Your candidate should be interested in how your business has evolved to see how they can add value.

Showcase your value.
The MedReps 2021 Best Places to Work in Medical Sales report revealed that 32% of medical sales reps believe being able to make a difference is the best part of their job. Medical sales reps want to work for a company they believe in. Highlight how your company is providing important value to the industry and beyond. 

Share the latest tech.
An agile hire will want to make an impact. In an especially difficult year, 26% of medical sales reps in the 2021 Best Places to Work survey stated they value innovation in their company. Highlight how your company is working with the latest tech to attract top talent to your innovative and efficient team.

Get involved on social media.
Social media is a valuable resource for both recruits and recruiters. Join groups and start conversations with potential candidates to increase your talent pool.

Train current employees to be ambassadors.
Potential candidates may not feel as intimidated or pressured to talk with a current employee over a recruiter. Have employees engage on their own social media and reward them for providing referrals to expand your talent reach.

Identifying Agility in Top Candidates

Do they excel at working independently?

Potential candidates should be confident and comfortable with autonomy and prove they are accountable for their own work.

Are they resourceful?

Being resourceful is key to thriving during a period of crisis and change. Your recruit must be able to navigate all of the resources at their disposal to successfully get the job done. This includes knowing who to ask and who to partner with.

Can they adapt?

Agile talent is adaptable in any situation they find themselves. Your recruit should be able to confidently demonstrate different selling techniques under different circumstances. Most importantly, they must be able to comfortably personalize their sales approach to cater toward customers’ immediate needs — even if this means changing their strategy mid-meeting!

Are they data-driven?

A report by Harvard Business School revealed there are many benefits to being data-driven. For example, candidates who have experience working with metrics to measure success and progress lean toward making more confident decisions and being more proactive — a crucial trait during uncertain times. 

Do they have a high EQ?

Agile talent has high emotional intelligence (EQ). They can successfully control their emotions and show empathy toward others in tough situations. Recruiting an employee with a high EQ can help your business overcome challenges and defuse conflict during high-stress situations.