Attract Top Talent

Whilst it is an important part, paying well will not by itself attract or retain the best candidates for you.  Recruitment is just not that simple.  If it was we would all work selling in the most profitable sectors.  Having read various reviews and carried out my own reviews of why people left sales jobs, pay is rarely the top one or even in the top five.  As an experienced headhunter, I know that just offering a job with more money is not enough to pull someone out.  Actually as a headhunter I am usually dependent on the superior of the person I am approaching motivating them to consider moving on.  You will never succeed in blocking those making approaches, but you can make it difficult for them by being a good Manager.

I can remember recently visiting a Sales Director of a PLC and asking what he and his senior managers are doing to motivate and retain current sales staff. His answer was that they have a really attractive performance bonus scheme.  That is a recipe to be vulnerable to headhunter calls.

Remuneration itself is also not as simple as offering more basic salary or commission.  Whereas what motivates people will vary greatly.  Status and Recognition are very high for everyone.  It is just a fact that any psychologist will tell you. Yet no one when asked what motivates them will say they want more status and recognition. Observing their behaviour though will show that this is what they are going for.  Remuneration needs to have steps, status and recognition built in.

So if you have a job where the basic pay ranges between £18,000 to £40,000, you will retain people more by dividing that into say 3+ status levels with clear promotion and recognition for each job grade.  No change on the remuneration scale but you have now put it in a way that works better. As soon as someone has status they will not want to lose it and frankly be pleased that they are no longer at the bottom.  They won’t want to start afresh somewhere else.  Higher pay on offer just will not be enough.

Start new people at trainee level with a 2 or 3 month induction period.
You need to pay and reward on results.  These results should be long as well as short term.  This will safeguard your profits, finance you for growth and attract better people and deter weaker ones.

Here is a technique that those that achieve all the above do.

Say your starting basic salary is £18,000 plus commission. Well if 3 people, out of 4, drop out or have not made the grade end of month 1, you will have £4,500 loss just on basic salaries.  Those who expect to drop out will be happy with this as they get 1, 2 or maybe even 3 months of basic if you are slow to fire.

Instead offer an Induction ‘boot camp’ period.

In the first quarter there are five elements to your remuneration.

  1. Fixed Basic say £1,000 per month (Minimum wage.)
  2. Variable basic. Set at a £X for hitting or exceeding 1000 calls in the month. Or brochures out or appointment depending on your business.
  3. As normal
  4. Specific targets to be hit. Unlike variable basic this is for above expected average performance.
  5. Training (which must be manly automated).

After 3 Months induction according to performance Fixed and Variable basic will be merged.  They will be on Fixed Basic of £18,000, £20,000 or £22,000 per annum. All according to how well they performed.  This gives them power to control their own basic salary and status level.  This is where you compete on higher basics, when you know you are getting a return on the investment.

All good people will love this and be fired up with it.  The people you don’t will only look at 1. Fixed Basic and not be interested. Great!  You need to set up from day 1 with a Results Reward mentality.

Alex McMillan (+44) 07525916574  LinkedIn profile