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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

How Companies Are Successfully Filling Their Talent Banks

How Companies Are Successfully Filling Their Talent Banks

Would you manage your people differently if you had your next Sales Superstar sitting on the bench, ready to jump in?

What if you had a Talent Bank full of these talented people?

If you are like most leaders, you would probably hold your people more accountable for meeting expectations, and you would refuse to tolerate poor performance.

Don’t Wait! Start Building a Talent Bank Today

Building that bench of talent before you have jobs come open is critical to your business success. It will allow you to fill open positions much more quickly, bring more talented people on board, reduce your level of stress and that of your team, and prevent clients from being shuffled around while you are trying to find the perfect person.

There are lots of ways to build a strong Talent Bank! Our annual Sales Superstar Study revealed that the top 5 are:

  • Referrals
  • LinkedIn
  • Advertising
  • Competitors
  • Internal Recruiter/HR

Finding Sales Talent to Fill Your Talent Bank

Referrals Are Your Best Source

A great way to seek strong referrals is to use the Nominator System.

When you ask someone a broad question like, “Who do you know who would be good in sales?” it can be very difficult for them to give you good information in return. Typically, the first thing they will do is think about who is currently available and looking for a job that excludes a lot of top talent you want on your bench.

Instead, look at the talent assessments you use and consider the specific behaviors that lead to success in the job. Then craft a few questions that will help you better fish for those behaviors.

For example, if you are recruiting B2B salespeople, you might ask questions like:

Who do you know who:

  • Is self-motivated and hungry for growth?
  • Is trustworthy and keeps their promises?
  • Always gets more work done than their coworkers?
  • Pays attention to the details?
  • Has contagious energy?
  • Has a never give up attitude?

Once you’ve collected a list of names, you can reach out and start a dialogue with them. Share with them your goal to build a strong network of talented people who may be a good fit for the company in the future and see if they would be willing to connect.

Schedule time to get to know them and share a bit about your company and keep in contact over time. Build a plan to nurture these relationships and if appropriate, introduce them to others in the company.

The bigger your talent bank, the better!

How to Ask for Referrals (with Examples)

Advertising Works

Another great way to attract top talent is with the use of effective advertising. Some organizations have created strong recruiting videos that shine a bright spotlight on their Employee Value Proposition (EVP). These videos point to the work they do in the community and how they make a difference, and they give viewers a sense of what it would be like to work there.

A good recruitment video will specifically appeal to those who are likely a good match for the job and a strong fit for their culture.

Taja Graham at Emmis Indianapolis enlisted her marketing department to build creative ads that demonstrate their personality and allow them to have some “fun” with the message.

Both recruitment videos and creative ads are ideal for employees to share on their own social media platforms since individuals get a much higher rate of engagement on social media than organizations.

Check Out LinkedIn

Some managers like Allison Delagrange (GSM Federated Media) do a great job of attracting top talent and building relationships using LinkedIn.

Here’s an example of one of her posts:

If you've read my posts, you might think, "She is ALWAYS hiring. There must be something wrong."

The truth is - I AM always hiring. BUT, it's not for the reasons you might think.

At Federated Media, we believe in (and invest in) talent. We're so passionate about finding people with the innate strengths for sales that we're always looking for them, regardless of whether or not we have an immediate or urgent need to hire.

Our investment starts with an online sales talent assessment. It'll take you about 30 minutes to complete, and when you do, I'll have a free Top Talent Report to give you. It truly is one of the best tools for professional development I've ever seen!

Will you give me the opportunity to invest in you? Take the online assessment for our account executive positions at Federated Media here.

So, am I always hiring? Yes, you could say that. Or you might just say I'm always investing in talent.

Check out more information about career opportunities at Federated Media! 

The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Sales Professionals

Job Fairs

Some managers, like Brenna McGill at Cox Media Arizona, have taken advantage of events like local job fairs that facilitate meaningful interactions with large numbers of people. Brenna has been able to actively seek the specific talents she is looking for during these job fairs, interact with interested candidates, and answer their questions on the spot. 

Events like job fairs give recruiters, HR Professionals, and hiring managers the opportunity to reach a broader audience and better drive the DEI initiative they may have.

Email Marketing

Ben Saurer and Stephanie Michel from Federated Media have gotten really creative recently, putting a wide variety of ideas in place to build their pipeline. From Virtual Job Fairs to creating recruitment blogs, they have worked hard to uncover talent!

One idea that received a lot of attention involved emailing their database. Their radio stations are popular, so they have a lot of listeners out there who could potentially have the “right stuff” to succeed there.

To tap into that potential pool, they created an email marketing campaign focused on what it would be like to work for your favorite radio station! They connected interested candidates directly to their talent assessment and also offered a pretty hefty signing bonus. This initiative brought in a lot of assessments and has resulted in a handful of strong hires.

Email Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid When Sending Cold Emails

Share Their Top Talent Report

Managers like Beth Nifong at CMG Atlanta Radio have used the Top Talent Reports to create stronger interactions with applicants and help them achieve success in their careers (whether it is in their company or somewhere else. Beth explained, “Sharing the Top Talent Report with people helps them in their search and allows them to learn more about themselves and what their talents are.”

University Connections

James Conner, a sales manager at Emmis Indianapolis, has discovered a powerful relationship between universities and sales talent. He built a strong connection with both the sales and marketing departments at two different local institutions and has used his custom talent assessment link to provide these students with the opportunity to complete the assessment and explore whether they may have the innate talent necessary to thrive in his industry.

He also sends them their Top Talent Report with detailed information on their top talents and 15 actionable strategies they can use to maximize their strengths and get off to a strong start after college!

Take Action

Regardless of which methods you choose, the goal is to build a large talent bank that will be filled with a wide variety of people who have a diverse set of talents, skills, and experiences.

Set a goal for the number of people you will add to your Talent Bank in the next 90 days, share that goal with someone who will hold you accountable, and then create your action plan to get there!

Make recruitment an activity you do year-round, and you will have a strong bench to pull from when a job becomes available!

2021 Talent Magazine - Button

*This article was originally published in the 2022 Talent Magazine

Topics: talent bank sales talent