Take this five-question quiz to set the foundation for this blog post—simply answer agree or disagree.
1. I interview sales candidates every week, even if I don’t have openings on my staff.
2. I find my best sales candidates when I’m under the gun and have openings on my staff.
3. I move out underperforming sellers often because I keep a talent bank of qualified prospects.
4. I am a proactive recruiter, always looking for, and evaluating talent.
5. I often tell candidates that I’m interviewing even though I don’t have a position open.
If answered disagree to the majority of these questions; continue reading this post.
4 Reasons to Build a Talent Bank
Here are four reasons building a talent bank makes perfect strategic sense and will improve the sales performance of your team.
1. Building a talent bank saves time in the long run because it enables sales managers to fill open positions quickly with talented sellers.
Simply put, the excuse that interviewing candidates each week does not happen because it takes time, is not a great excuse. Most often, sales managers spend an inordinate amount of time interviewing when they have an open position. This really disrupts a manager’s schedule during “interview marathons” and negatively impacts sales performance in the short-term. Spending an hour a week interviewing candidates is better than spending 20 hours a week (or two) when an open position occurs. The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies here.
Additionally, having a talent bank of ready, willing, and able candidates provides a manager the ability to hire talented sellers, not just a warm body.
2. Having a talent bank enhances a manager’s ability to replace underperforming sellers.
Keeping underperforming sellers on the team due to a lack of a qualified replacement is a fast track to the bottom. World-class managers understand the value of strategic turnover and always look for ways to make their team better by upgrading talent.
Look at top-performing professional teams—the best teams bring in a handful of players for tryouts each week—even when they don’t have an open spot on their roster. This also keeps players on the team focused on performance because they know they can be replaced if they don’t make things happen on game day.
3. Building a talent bank is a great way to “work on your business” opposed to “working in your business.”
Strategic managers who focus on the big picture, strategic issues tend to outperform managers who are constantly playing catch-up and fixing what is broken. Think about it, how do you get ahead if you are always working from behind?
4. Panic hires are rarely great hires.
Steve Marx the founder of The Center for Sales Strategy called this the perverse law of recruitment. It states, managers usually find talented candidates when they don’t have an open position (and rarely find talented candidates when they have an open position).
Let this work to your advantage, and “find” talented candidates when open positions do not exist and depositing them in a talent bank is a great investment for if/when an open position occurs. Making a “panic” hire because a position has been open for a long time is not a good idea.
By the way, telling candidates you're building a talent bank is a great way to show them you're a strategic manager. And talented candidates would rather work for a strategic manager than a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants manager. Wouldn’t you?