Startups, Take Note!! Candidate Experience IS a Key Factor in Sales Recruiting

In the present time, salespeople have lot of options to choose from. They know that a killer sales team is the real backbone of any business and it can’t succeed without one. These important people hold a great deal of power. But, it is also clear that they are not only the one behind this power.

To impress, attract, and land game-changing experts or sales people for your startup, the most crucial element is – offering the candidates with a great experience. It is necessary to bring the rule or principles used to sales processes outside the company and follow the same in our own hiring processes.

Also, it is crucial to maintain a difference distance from the market competitors when carrying a sales recruitment war. Here are some points that will surely help you know why the experience of a candidate matters a lot in sales recruitment procedure and how can you enhance it.

Sales candidates are customers too

Generally, whenever we think or hear the name of big brands such as Google, Amazon, and Apple, we instantly think about the services and products they provide. For everyone, they are like their family just because of the services they offer us regularly. Have you ever come up with an idea of working with one of these top brands?

Most of the startups are not even close to joining the likes of the world’s biggest and top-rated brands. They feel like that the size of their sales hiring efforts should come down to the exact same point-reputation.

Don’t take it wrong, we all know that reputation definitely plays a vital role in the recruitment procedure, but, more than reputation, if you want to have a game-changing sales team in your company then you have to focus on treating them like your customers.  If you do so, you can bring the customers experience into the frame.

As like your clients, they are attracted towards you just to know who you really are, what you do, and most importantly, how you do that. All in all, potential sales persons are quite like customers of their own, so you need to treat them like that.

Why it is crucial for a startup to care about the experience of a sales candidate

Irrespective of whether or not a hiring is made, the most important thing a sales person of all abilities and backgrounds requires is: a positive and well-defined experience with your startup. There is no doubt that this process would demand a little extra efforts from your side, but making such efforts will offer great value to your energy, time, and attention.

Always remember that the salespeople your company is going to hire will be including their energy sweat, blood, and tears while representing you. They are not robots without any emotions as described on a resume. From now, one of these candidates will be going to show up every day to the office a couple of weeks.

Also, they are the crucial part of a wide and tight-knit community who love to talk- not only about the perfect stuff, but, also include bad stuff in their conversations. And it is proved by studies that in this society, negative experiences are remembered for a longer time compared to positive ones.

Now that the recruitment process is largely controlled by names like Indeed, Glassdoor, and Google, if a brand becomes known for conducting less than stellar interview process, it won’t be long before the word travels fast and will work against you.

Talented salespeople look for more than just remuneration. They look for a place that sounds and looks attractive and something that will add a line in their resume to make it impressive. Anything to further their career! With that said, it becomes apparent when they are the most important customers of yours.

They share the same social media groups, Quora threads, and subreddits as those waiting in your outer office. The word travels fast today. And if you don’t treat the prospective hires like they are truly worth it, soon enough you will be right. The great ones will soon stop calling you. Therefore, tread with caution!

Ensuring A Positive Experience During The 3 Phases The Hiring Process

The modern way of recruiting involves intensive online research. And, almost every organization is following this practice. This has given a major boost to the way information is spreading. The whole scenario was quite unimaginable 20 years ago. However, it still has not had a major impact on the startup recruitment by encouraging negligence.

It is undoubtedly effective, but everything cannot be and should not be automated. After all, we are dealing with people here, not machines.

  • 46% candidates described their experience as poor to very poor
  • 64% candidates share their hiring experience on the social media

In all three phases of hiring, top-performing sales personnel are faced with experiences that turn them off to potential employers. Some of them are automated, some are not.

For a startup to see the growth that it desires in the increasingly competitive landscape of marketing, the only option is to offer an impressive interaction with all candidates irrespective of the outcome of employment.

Below you will find some real, doable, and actionable tips on how you can offer meaningful interactions to candidates; the kind that they truly crave.

Phase 1 – Application

When was the last time you had to fill out an online application? You must recall the experience as an exhausting one, especially when it takes forever to fill out the necessary fields in the form. This is what candidates go through when they have to fill out online forms before getting shortlisted for the interview.

According to a survey by Software Advice, which is an applicant tracking system consulting firm, 55% of candidates felt that the process of filling out an application form online was a major reason in contributing to their negative experience with potential employers.

Therefore, the first step is to create a short, user-friendly, precise, and simple application form that doesn’t repeat questions. It will create a starting point for offering a constructive and uplifting experience that the candidates truly deserve. Use the technology for streamlining the process. Don’t use it to replace human interaction or make it worse.

Use a later date for testing skill sets and conducting personal inquiries; do not do all that stuff online. Lastly, make sure to leave a word describing the job in a way that attracts the candidates and would make them want to interview for the position.

Phase 2: Interview

When conducting interviews for sales profile, remember that you are talking to humans. Try to sound authentic. Genuineness doesn’t translate into ineffectiveness. In fact, staying genuine and authentic gives you plenty of room to test the emotional intelligence of the candidate.

There are two parts to hiring process. First is obviously the part about interview. And, second is the experience. This is the second stage and a really important one. It doesn’t matter at which phase of the interview you are interacting with a candidate’ communication will always remain the road to building and offering a positive experience worth remembering. It will give people a reason to leave positive feedback.

Just checking the feedback box post interview may put you ahead of your competitors, but this alone is not going to guarantee a positive experience for the candidate.

Corporate jobs typically attract 250+ resumes. Out of this number, only upto 6 people are shortlisted for the interview. And let’s not forget, that only one makes it to the top.

Although openings in startup companies may not get the same type of attention, the process of interview and hiring continues to remain an arduous one.

That is why it is important to not toss away those who invested time to learn about the job opportunity. Rather, keep them in mind for future openings. You never know, you may have to hire them sometime later in the future. Note down what it was that you liked about all the candidates. Try to be specific. Think about what led you to drop them and pick someone else. It will offer them great insight on improving themselves and how they can stay better prepped for their future interview.

Think about it as doing something out of the sheer need to help out candidates who missed out on certain points that could have gotten them hired. But, you may wonder – why put so many efforts on this?

Well, this is important for offering them good experience and giving some perception. Candidates always look for the feedback. After all, we all have faced rejection and we all wondered – Where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently? The whole thing has an emotional aspect which is why employers should not neglect it. But, unfortunately 70% of them do and it hurts their reputation eventually.

While no employer would really enjoy this conversation, but the benefit of it will become apparent later in the long run. This is the threshold to initiating healthy employee experience. Candidates, who once got rejected by you, may have some other great talents. You never know they might be back some time in the future with the required experience, making it rain for some other employer. Or, if the tables are turned, they may be hiring you!

Note – the duration of a healthy interview procedure (feedback included) should be anywhere between 30-45 days. Drag the process any longer and the applicants will assume that you have lost interested in them or that the window for recruitment has closed. They will lose the interest to work with you. The whole thing will leave them with a bad taste in mouth.

Phase 3 – The Hire

You may think that finalizing the hire will create a positive experience for candidates, correct? Well that’s only partially true because there are ways that you could still screw things up and leave the person with a bad feeling. Make sure to keep most cooks out of kitchen to ensure that.

It’s natural to feel the need to speak with other employees and get their insight on what is necessary for the good of business. But, remember that it’s finally your opinion as a decision maker that matters the most. In short, make a decision and stick with it.

Nobody is asking you to settle, but the ‘paralysis by analysis’ scenario is common during hiring procedures. Not only will this practice dwarf the growth of sales team and bring your business at standstill, it can also kill the interest in potential candidates to work with you.

Be confident in your decision. Stick with an efficient hiring process, do the due diligence and stick to your actions. It is important to avoid making your potential sales hire go through an arduous process that would eventually turn them off just to justify a broken convoluted ‘process’. In simpler words, the process doesn’t end with offering the job to a candidate. You need to create a ‘wow’ experience for the hire before welcoming them onboard.

For that, have realistic, open, and honest conversations about the compensation, incentives, employee perks, and goals. Be particular about how enthusiastically you speak with the newfound hire. If you want the new hires to accept you and stick with you for the longer run, do these – be quick in making the offer and set realistic performance expectations right during the process. Be available to answer any questions, stay proactively in touch with prospects, and welcome them with a well formed on-boarding plan. Give them a killer welcome!


According to the newest research, 84% candidates would leave their current jobs if a better offer was presented. Therefore, startups can no longer afford to have the true salespeople jumping the ships when things are on the up.

The best way to keep them glued to the company is to build a loyal relation right from the becoming. And, that begins with offering healthy candidate experience.

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