4 Tips For Recruiting More Diverse Sales Reps

Many companies are looking to recruit a more diverse sales team: a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 57% of HR professionals say their recruiting strategies are designed to attract diverse candidates. 

A Glassdoor survey found that 67% of active and passive job seekers said that diversity is an important factor when considering companies and job offers. This means that candidates are evaluating how diverse your company and sales team are during their job search research and interview process.

Research on more than 500 organizations has found that diversity increases sales revenue:

  • every 1% increase in gender diversity is correlated with a 3% increase in sales revenue
  • every 1% increase in racial diversity is correlated with a 9% increase in sales revenue

So diversity pays – literally. However, typical methods of sales recruitment such as hiring based on referrals, work history, or education tends to decrease the diversity in your sales talent pipeline.

Here are 4 tips for recruiting a more diverse sales team.

Tip 1: Use candidate sources that contain more diverse sales reps.

One of the main reasons why sourcing can be a bottleneck for diversity is hiring from referrals: McKinsey’s research on workplace diversity found that when men are asked about their professional networks, 63% of of them state it’s comprised of “more or all men” vs. 38% of women who state the same.

LinkedIn’s data which found that women are less likely to rely on their networks and more likely to search for jobs on third-party websites and online job boards.

Women more likely to use online career channels


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To more effectively source more diverse sales candidates, you should be taking advantage of third-party websites to post your sales roles and ensuring a wide variety of candidates can find out more information about your company and sales team. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a unique, media-rich profile page of a sales team showcasing their culture, leadership, and top sales performers.

Tip 2: Write your sales job posting to attract a more diverse sales team.

While women make up 49% of salespeople nationally, only 31% of tech salespeople are women. If you want to hire a more diverse sales team, the language you use in your sales job posting does actually make a difference.

A study on job postings found those using masculine-type words like “ambitious” and “dominate” were less appealing to female applicants. So avoid using these types of words in your sales job posting to attract a more diverse candidate pool.

Tip 3: Use a personality assessment to recruit a more diverse sales team.

The usual requirements for recruiting sales candidates – what company they worked at, what school they went to, who they’re connected with – unfortunately works to decrease the diversity of the candidate pool. But what can you do to assess sales candidates’ personality instead? By using an assessment.

A study of more than 150 companies found that those that included a personality assessment in their hiring process had more racially diverse workforces. That’s because personality assessments don’t show adverse impact, that is, personality scores do not differ for minority group members. Not only that but using a personality assessment to recruit sales reps has been shown to increase revenue by 21% on average.

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Tip 4: Offer workplace policies that are more appealing to diverse sales reps.

One of the best workplace policies you can offer to attract a diverse sales team is flexibility. A PwC survey found that compared to older generations, Millennials place more importance on a company culture that emphasizes work/life balance. McKinsey’s research found that the #1 company culture that women are most attracted to is a flexible schedule.

Other research has found that one of the main reasons why sales reps who classify themselves as sales farmers quit their job is a long commute. Distance from the office is often correlated with more diverse neighbourhoods so by offering a work from home option, you can help attract a more diverse sales team and prevent expensive turnover. Win-win.

Are you looking to hire diverse salespeople? UsIdeal to level the playing field through unbiased candidate prescreening and shortlisting. Learn more here