It’s 2016 and attracting the best salespeople to your company has a difficult new challenge: a candidate-driven labour market.

candidate-driven job market HBR

One easy way to compete for these in-demand sales candidates? Invest in something most companies overlook: a great sales job posting.

According to LinkedIn’s data on employer brand, a company’s employer brand is twice as likely to drive a job seeker’s interest in working at a company compared to its company brand.

Employer brand attracts job candidatesThe mistake most companies make is ignoring that your sales job posting is part of your employer brand. According to a recent CareerBuilder survey of job candidates, a bad job posting is the third most important factor that causes job seekers to have a negative perception of a company.

bad job posting turns off salespeople

But never fear, my handy guide to writing the best sales job posting to attract the best salespeople in 4 simple steps is here.

Step 1: Create a metric- and goal-based sales job description

Before you hire anyone, sales expert Keith Rosen recommends asking yourself:

  • What would the goals of the salesperson be as they relate to your company’s goals?
  • What would the salesperson’s daily responsibilities be?
  • How are you going to measure sales success?

Develop concrete metrics for these questions to create an accurate sales job description of what’s really needed for sales success at your company.

One of the easiest ways to figure out what the sales job really requires is to measure and assess your existing top sales performers.

Step 2: Keep your sales job posting jargon-free and gender-neutral

Women make up 31% of software sales. If you want to hire a more diverse sales team, the language you use in your sales job posting actually makes a difference. If you want to attract more female sales candidates, don’t use too many “masculine” words (e.g., ambitious, dominate, challenging) in your sales job posting and instead use more “feminine” words (e.g., committed, trust, dependable).

women in tech sales

An analysis of tech job postings by Textio found the best ones also:

  • Avoid corporate clichés and business jargon
  • Balance “we” (the company) and “you” (the job seeker) statements
  • Use verbs that communicate to the job seeker what the company is looking for

Step 3: Communicate the right kind of job and culture fit in your sales job posting

The reason why your sales job posting is so important to potential candidates is because it communicates job and company culture fit. A person can fit into a job and a company in two main ways:

  • Needs–supplies fit: the fit between the physical and psychological resources the job supplies (e.g, autonomy, promotion opportunities) and the needs of the employee. That is, what the job and company offers to the job candidate.
  • Demands–abilities fit: the fit between the skills, knowledge, and abilities of the employee and the demands of the job (.e.g, communication abilities, willingness to work on a team). That is, what the job and company requires from the job candidate.

Research on culture fit has found that company cultural values that correlate with high employee satisfaction and lower employee turnover include:

  • Innovation
  • Respect for people
  • Focus on the team

A study by Professor Schmidt and colleagues examined how job candidates rated how well they perceived fit based on a job posting using items such as: “I would fit well within this organization’s culture,” and “My values and personality are what this organization is looking for.”

The results revealed job postings that emphasized needs–supplies fit attracted:

  • a higher quantity of job applicants
  • a higher quality of job applicants (measured by resume scores and the likelihood of being interviewed)

Schmidt and colleagues theorize that information about about needs–supplies fit in your job posting communicates that your company cares about employees’ well-being, which attracts a higher quality of candidates. We have a clear winner!

sales job fit of your dreams 2016

My company loves me!

Step 4: Make your sales job posting more attractive by adding visual elements

Software Advice asked 385 potential applicants how they felt about images or videos in online job postings. Their results found:

  • 51% of applicants are more attracted to a company that has job postings with images or videos

job postings using visuals are more attractive to candidatesApplicant Attraction to Company With Visuals in Job Postings (Source: Software Advice)

Are you using a job site that allow you to add interesting visual element to your sales job listing like graphics, images, and videos? If you’re not, you might be failing to attract the best salespeople to your sales jobs.

The takeaways

These days, we spend a lot of time, and money, trying to make sure our company web site and social media presence reflect our unique company culture in order to attract the best sales candidates.

But you might be overlooking one of the easiest, and cheapest, ways to cultivate your employer brand and hire for fit: writing your sales job posting to attract the best salespeople by:

  1. Including a sales job description that’s goal- and metric-based
  2. Keeping it gender-neutral and jargon-free
  3. Highlighting what your company can offer the candidate and communicating that you care about the candidate’s well-being
  4. Making it visually appealing by adding images and videos

4 Simple Steps To Writing The Best Sales Job Posting

Best of luck in creating the best sales job posting to hire the best salespeople in 2016!

Are you looking for salespeople that are a perfect fit for your sales role, team, and company culture? Use Ideal Candidate to automate candidate sourcing and duplicate your top sales performers. Sign up for a free trial now

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Ji-A Min

Ji-A Min

Head Data Scientist at Ideal
Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal. With a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ji-A promotes best practices and data-based HR. She writes about trends and research in talent acquisition, people analytics, and workplace diversity.
Ji-A Min