Yesterday I opened my mouth and my mom’s voice came out!
Excited to visit our twin daughters in college and spoil them a bit, my husband and I spent last weekend in a tornado of tailgates, football games, happy hours, sushi dinners, and fall shopping. At the same time, our girls were also juggling advisory meetings and spring registration. It’s that time of year.
After a discussion at brunch about course requirements and degree expectations, I noticed a pattern in their responses. “I’ll just wait and see what I need.” “We probably don’t need to worry about that yet.” “No need to spend time on something if we don’t need to.”
One minute I was listening and nodding and the next thing I knew, I opened my mouth and my mom’s lecture on the importance of planning ahead came out. I even channeled my dad for a minute there, pulling out the old adage, “measure twice, cut once.” I watched their eyes glaze over.
I get it. We’ve all been there. But it’s easier to see clearly from the outside looking in.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
Most of the sales managers I work with every day still find themselves learning this lesson as it relates to recruitment and selection over and over again.
It’s easy to not worry about recruitment when you don’t have a job opening. Like my girls explained to me, there’s no need to spend time on something you may not need. You have budgets to hit, expenses to cut, people to coach, reports to complete. Spending time interviewing for a job that doesn’t exist feels like a serious waste of time.
But it’s not.
You will eventually need to make a hire. It may be far into the future, but it will happen, and when it does, you will want to be ready.
10 Reasons You Need a Talent Bank
If you spend time doing your due diligence now and building a strong talent bank while you don’t need to hire, you will benefit in many different ways:
- You will avoid the downtime of an empty desk and not have to worry about covering lists while you start your search to fill your open position.
- You will hire the best person rather than just any person. Because you will have already done your research and figured out who is out there and what they bring to the table, you will bring more talented people onboard.
- You will often spend less money because you will not be negotiating from a position of desperation.
- You will pay for talent (which can be cheap) rather than experience (which is expensive) because you will have done your homework and found those with the innate abilities to excel in the job. Rather than paying for padded resumes you will hire people who have the potential for greatness.
- You will do a better job matching talent to task, pulling the right people off the bench at the right times so your team can win.
- You will have fewer misfires and enjoy lower turnover because of your more thoughtful approach. Hiring people who have the natural ability to succeed and who are the right fit to mesh with your culture won’t just make you happy. It will make them happy too.
- Your current salespeople will feel a greater sense of pride because they will understand the level of scrutiny and the high expectations of talent you have in your department. Winners want to associate with winners.
- You will never be handcuffed to mediocre.
- You will be able to make more strategic decisions.
- Your customers will receive better customer service as a result of the increased talent overall and the consistency of the care they receive.
I challenge you today to start a talent bank if you have not done that already and add at least one person in the next week.
How do you do this?
If you are a client of The Center for Sales Strategy, we’ve made it easy for you. Just log in to our website, go to your Talent Dashboard, and click on Talent Bank. We will walk you through from there.
How to Create Your Talent Bank
If you are not a client, you can go old-school and still get great results! All you need is a notebook, a file folder, or a word document. Whatever works best for you.
- Capture the name and contact information for an individual that you believe may have promise.
- Make a note about his or her level of experience: Is the candidate a rookie? Does he or she have some sales experience but not in your industry? Or are you looking at an industry veteran?
- Jot down any additional notes that you might find helpful. Who referred the individual? Have you spoken in person? Over the phone?
- Add talent information such as talent screener results so you know what you are working with.
The best managers come up with a plan and work it consistently. Build that plan today by answering these two questions:
How many people can you commit to adding to your Talent Bank each month? One manager I spoke with today strives to add one person a week. Others may add one person a month. What is right for you?
How often will you nurture your Talent Bank, by either emailing, calling, or meeting with the people you have added? One person a month? More? Less?
The first step is to make the commitment to do this and then you can adjust your plan as you go.
Listen to my mom—she knows. Do the work now so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor in a big way when the need arises.