Chris Batsford, Partner. A couple of months ago, I was speaking with a seasoned VP Sales about building out a successful team in EMEA. We had already explored our approach at Erevena to identifying and attracting great talent, when we got onto the complex area of retention.
A couple of months ago, I was speaking with a seasoned VP Sales about building out a successful team in EMEA. We had already explored our approach at Erevena to identifying and attracting great talent, when we got onto the complex area of retention.
The client was finding that only around 60-70% of their sales executives were still with the business after 24 months. From our experience, this did seem like a low rate of retention, although we could certainly think of businesses with higher rates of churn. In constant pursuit of improving performance and marginal gains, we have put together a helpful guide to recruiting with the aim of reducing employee churn and increasing longevity of tenure.
6 Considerations for improving the success and stickiness of candidates
- Longevity in previous roles – has the candidate stayed anywhere over 3-4 years? Everyone’s allowed a mistake, especially in the start-up tech world but is there a worrying trend of short tenures?
- Personal circumstance when accepting the job – were they out of a job and in a situation where they would accept the next thing offered to them? It’s worth considering if this is ‘just a job’ or ‘a well-considered career move’.
- Give candidates the ‘warts and all’ picture of the company. Yes, you want to position the business in a positive light, but it’s important to manage expectations and let them know it’s going to be hard work and challenging at times!
- Moving industry – if recruiting from other verticals or technology, is it realistic that candidates can easily learn your market and make the jump into your space? Do you have a track record of successfully onboarding and coaching employees through this process?
- Ambition – do the candidates’ mid-term ambitions match the company’s? This is also the case if you have highly ambitious candidates who will get frustrated without progression opportunities.
- Stock – do you incentivise your key employees with stock, tying them into the long-term company vision?
These are some of the key considerations to bear in mind during the hiring process, however it is equally important to have great onboarding and training processes and a well-defined, supportive management structure. Of course, most candidates go into ANY role with a 4-6 year plan and when they sign a contract they are equally hopeful that the marriage will be a happy one. The impact on an individual’s fortunes can be equally affected by getting this decision wrong, so consider how you can best support them to be successful.