In this episode, we’re kicking off our season-long exploration of The Center for Sales Strategy’s latest Talent Magazine. In other words, we’ll be diving into exactly how you should go about recruiting, selecting, developing, and engaging your people.
Each week, Matt will be joined by experts from here at The Center for Sales Strategy to help break it all down.
In today’s episode, Trey Morris and Mindy Murphy are here to discuss the latest facts and trends relating to Recruitment, and they both share a ton of awesome insights, like:
- How the leaders who have the most success in recruiting almost always use multiple recruitment methods
- Why you won’t find as many Millennial and Gen Z job seekers on LinkedIn or Indeed anymore
- And how making recruitment part of your weekly routine is one of the best ways to avoid the dreaded “desperation hire.”
Top Trends - Finding Top Talent is Harder Than Ever
“Trey, I'm going to throw this one to you first,” Matt says, kicking off the conversation. “What are some of the big trends in the world of recruitment that hiring managers should be aware of these days?
“Are there any major focuses or major things that you're seeing, maybe that you have a passion or that we should have a passion about?”
“Well, there are a couple of things that come to mind that people are using to try and break out of the rut of recruiting,” Trey says. “Everybody is struggling with [recruitment] right now.
1. AI in Recruiting
“The use of AI in writing job descriptions and writing job ads, getting creative in how they write them, streamline them, make them able to really change them up on a more regular basis.
2. Catering to Millennials and Gen Z’ers
“Utilizing social media especially when targeting Millennials and Gen Z who are not your traditional job seekers, that are not going to the job boards and LinkedIn, but are getting their news, information, and updates from TikTok, Instagram, be Real, wherever.”
3. Finding Top Talent
“Mindy,” Matt says. “Anything specifically on trends?”
Mindy says, “Kind of related to what Trey was saying, I think what the last few years, especially, have taught us is that finding top talent has just become increasingly more challenging.
“So, the biggest trend I hear every day is ‘It's really hard to find top talent,’ I've noticed that companies are becoming more and more focused on building strong talent banks that they can tap into.
“Finding top talent is not going to get any easier. Managers need to focus even greater attention on building strong talent banks they can pull from in the future.”
“Well said,” Matt says. “I don't think finding talented people has ever been easy. I do think that it is harder today than it's ever been.
“And the concept of the talent bank is interesting. I'm so glad you brought that up. I mean, at CSS we've been teaching the concept of the talent bank for at least 26 years. I know that the first time I went through TFM (Talent Focused Management) was about 26 years ago, and that was one of the strongest concepts, so it's not new, but it has become in favor, right? It has become popular to do that, which is a good thing.”
The 2023 Superstar Sales Study
“So Mindy, let me come to you,” Matt says. “Because, at The Center for Sales Strategy, you're the expert when it comes to our annual Superstar Study.
“You head that up. You look at the numbers; you look at the research. Could you first give us a brief breakdown of what the Superstar Study takes a look at? And then, were there any findings in this year’s study that are particularly noteworthy for you?
“Absolutely,” Mindy says. “The Sales Superstar Study is one of my favorite research projects that we do. And each year, we ask our clients, have they hired someone in the past year who they consider to be a sales superstar? And then, if they did, how they found them.
“Our goal is really to identify recruitment trends and uncover the most common ways managers are finding superstars.
Highlights from this year's study
- Referrals: “For the past eight years that we've done this study, the number one, most common way our clients have found sales superstars is through referrals, asking for referrals. More than 30% of superstar sellers were found through referrals. So, it's a great idea to make a list of everyone you know who could be a good referral source and ask for referrals often.
- Social Media: “Another thing is, Trey mentioned social media earlier. That's been a close second for the past few years, and we break it out separately: LinkedIn and then all other social media. But it's very closely second to asking for referrals.
- Multiple Recruitment Methods: “And another thing we learn from just the clients who send in these examples, is that the leaders who have the most success in hiring superstars use multiple recruitment methods. They don't just try one thing and keep doing that one thing. They ask for referrals and they post on LinkedIn and other social media, and they advertise and use job boards, so they have multiple ways that they look for talent to put in their talent banks.
“I love the superstar study,” Matt says. “I think it is one of the most important things that we do, where we get a chance to look at what's really working. I just think that's so valuable. Thank you for leading that up.”
The Role of Technology in Recruitment
“Trey, you kind of mentioned something on this earlier. But, first, let's talk about the role that technology plays in the recruitment process today, and how companies are leveraging AI, leveraging automation, using data analytics to streamline their hiring efforts. Kind of give us what you're seeing out there.”
“AI has some really amazing things that it can do,” Trey says. “It can write your job descriptions. It can write your ads for you. It gives you multiple versions of ads and creatives.
“Where it might have taken hours and days to create good, solid ads and job descriptions, now it takes literally seconds. So, that's one of the ways that it helps you.
“You can begin to use it to schedule social media posts where you are promoting the jobs and the descriptions and creative ways of reaching out to potential prospects.
“And, like I said, LinkedIn is great, and Indeed is awesome. Using Monster is good, but if you're reaching people honestly under the age of like 35, which is kind of at the top end of the older millennials, they're not going there on a regular basis.
“Where they are on a regular basis is on TikTok and on Instagram, and maybe Facebook for some of the older ones. Definitely Twitter. Even Be Rea.
“So, looking for ways to integrate job recruiting content into your social media platform probably is one of the best ways.
“It's also an opportunity for people to share things. It's easy to share on social media, which would then lead to the referral element of recruiting as being the top way to find superstars.
You have to get creative. You have to look at every different opportunity and use every technology available to you.”
Matt says, “Mindy? Anything to add to that one?”
“Right in line with that,” Mindy says. “I think writing those different postings for each social media platform. I think it‘s great to keep that in mind and get help doing that.”
“Because they all have distinct audiences and cultures. Linkedin is very different from TikTok. Getting a feel for each social media platform and then using AI to help make sure your message is going to connect with that particular audience.”
“I think it's worth stating that what we're talking about is using AI for recruitment, not for selection,” Matt says. “I know there's been a lot of talk about this in the press. I think we want to be really, really clear. What we're talking about is using AI to help you in the recruitment process.
“We have a lot of expertise in helping businesses with selection. We would not endorse using AI for selection, but certainly for the recruitment process. It makes all the sense in the world for the reasons that you guys are stating.”
What Millenials and Gen Z’ers Look for in a Job is Different than Previous Generations
Trey, you wrote an article in this year's Talent Magazine, which, by the way, the whole magazine is amazing. If you haven't picked up a digital copy of the magazine, we'll have a link in the show notes. You can go get it; it's free. We want you to enjoy it. Share it.
“Trey, you wrote an article. It has a provocative, great title, ‘Five Crazy Ways to Recruit.’ In there, you pointed out the shifting preferences of millennials and Gen Z when it comes to recruiting. Share a little bit of that.”
“Yeah,” Trey says. “A couple of things that have really shifted in the Gen Z and Millennial generations is, one, like I mentioned earlier, they don't look for ads in recruitment like Gen X did or even the Boomers did. Back in the day you went to the newspaper. Nowadays, it is a lot of social media and a lot of recruitment.
“But the second thing, and honestly the bigger thing, is what they're looking for in a job and in a business and a culture is very different than what, say, I was looking for when I was looking for a new job when I was their age.
“Culture is huge. Work-life balance is huge. Consistency and security are way more valued for those generations than they were for my generation. They're willing to take less money for a more secure opportunity.
“To me, that is crazy, because I want as much money as humanly possible. I'm willing to take a risk. They are risk averse and a lot of it is because of the time. The last 20 years have been a bit turbulent. They're looking for security.
“Because of that, the way that you are talking about your organization and the job and the role and the compensation need to be different than if you were trying to recruit someone in their 40s because there’s a different mentality.
“What they're looking for is a great culture, a great lifestyle. They want to be connected to the people they work with. They want to share the vision and mission. They want to work remotely at least part of the time. If it's a full-time job in the office, you're not going to get applications.
“They're also looking to more security as far as compensation. If you're talking about a sales role, is there a base involved? Because they're more likely to want a position that has a base plus commission, plus bonuses, probably, but they're going to want something that is consistent.
“They're not looking for straight commission jobs, which is what I started with. I was thrilled for the opportunity because the potential for unlimited income was there. They're looking for things that are very different. Therefore, our messaging, our content, our argument of, ‘why you would want to work for X company’ needs to be adjusted as well.”
Matt says, “One of the things that I've observed is that GenX’ers, Boomers, had a belief that you went to work somewhere and then you work there your entire life.
“Maybe there's going to be opportunities for you to grow, but that's really on you to prove yourself and demonstrate and share that you want to do that, and that the idea of going from place to place to place to place was not only not in your realm, but it was also something that you thought was bad. It was frowned upon, it was right.
You didn't want to be a job hopper. And today, what I've noticed is that it's not a bad thing at all.”
Retention is the New Recruitment
“In this year's Talent Magazine,” Matt says. “I wrote an article called ‘Retention is the New Recruitment.’
“If 50% of your workforce decides not to reenlist, then you’ve got to go get a lot of new people. If 100% of your workforce decides to reenlist, you're probably not looking to hire as many.
“So, with an increase focus on employee experience and retention, what are some of the innovative approaches that you're seeing organizations take to ensure a positive candidate and employee journey from the recruitment stage onward? What are you seeing?
“Your article started with building positive relationships,” Mindy says. “And that's what I see the very best leaders that we work with do to retain their people. I mean, nothing else works or means much.
“Your coaching, feedback, goal setting, holding people accountable...none of that works well unless you first build trust and build a great relationship with your people.
“So, always do what you say you're going to do, let people know you care about them and their success, and create open communication. These are all great ways to begin to do that, to start building solid relationships from the very first interaction with people.
“And one other thing I would say, organizations that focus on employee engagement and retaining employees really invest in their people. They invest in their growth and development.
“So, from the very start, creating a great onboarding plan that covers the first few months someone starts in a job, all the way to building a development plan that helps them really lean on their strengths and grow for years.”
Matt says, “Trey, what do you want to add to that?”
“One of the things that I see with Gen Z and millennials is they're very much a generation of ‘we, not me,’ right?
"I think that, as a Gen X’er myself, we are very ‘me’ focused. It's all about me and what I want and what I'm going to do.
“With Gen Z and Millenials, it's very much a shared vision. And so, organizations that are able to have a vision and a mission that is shared equally amongst the team are going to attract candidates from those younger generations.
“If you're trying to recruit and grow and have a great culture, be open about what your mission is, have a ‘greater good’ mentality, have the mentality of ‘what we are going to do to help the world, our community, our customers,’ whatever that be.
“That’s very inviting to people, and they want to be part of something that is bigger than themselves, right? I mean, loneliness is rampant in our country because of remote work and social media, so people are craving experiences that are bigger than themselves.
“Businesses can be a very big part of that, and having a culture around that is a draw for recruitment.
“The other thing that I see is they are looking for ways to make sure that people are not so singularly focused on work that it becomes a burden.
“There are organizations that care about the mental health of their employees, they care about what's going on in their lives, they're supportive of those people. They give opportunities to work from home and either additional or even unlimited paid time off, because that's what people are looking for.
“So, if you want to keep good people, you have to do some of this and you’ve got to pay them. I mean, we talk about how they'll take less money for security, but the reality is they still need X amount of money to live these lives.”
If you are looking at those kind of three things, I think those are ways that you're gonna not only retain your staff, but it also can be a draw for recruiting new people.
“Yeah, one of the things that called me to write the article are the experiences that I'm seeing. It's about bringing amazing, talented, experienced people in your organization to help you grow the organization. That's the goal of business.
“It’s a lot easier to bring in one of those people than it is to bring in 10 of those people, right? We just said how difficult it is to find and recruit, so hiring looking for one is easier than looking for 100. The way to do that is making sure that the people you have are staying.
“In sales we say, ‘it's a lot easier to fill the bucket when it's not leaking.’ Well, it's a lot easier to recruit when you don't have a retention problem.”