[Case Study] Tech Giant Doubles Sales Team with Efficient Hiring Approach

A 12,000 employee technology company with ample resources, a large internal recruiting team and notable brand recognition needs immediate help with building their first B2B sales team.

According to a recent Lever survey, one out of every 100 candidates interviewed is hired. Now as a hiring manager if you think that seems like a lot of work for very little reward… you are not alone. It is harder than ever to hire top talent at a thriving technology company, even harder than getting accepted into Harvard (with a 5.4% acceptance rate).

In 2016, 83% of C-suite executives said talent development was the number one priority at their company. Despite the increased importance of identifying top talent, companies are relying on creative methods to scale, instead of growing their internal recruitment teams. As a result, both talent teams and business unit leaders must find novel ways to identify trusted external talent partners to maximize their efforts.

Cutting Through the Noise to Find Rockstar Sales Talent 

LinkedIn predicts that in 2017, sales, operations, and engineering will be the highest priority roles to fill, with sales being the most sought after candidate type in the market today. Now why, you may ask, would a 12,000 employee tech giant with ample resources, a large internal recruiting team, and notable brand recognition need customized help acquiring sales talent? The answer lies in the applicant-to-hire ratio.

A small applicant-to-hire ratio indicates a high hiring efficiency; fewer candidate interviews are needed to fill each open requisition as there is a clear candidate profile, clean and efficient interview processes and compelling offer delivery. A high applicant-to-hire ratio indicates the inverse; broad and uncertain hiring parameters, and often unnecessarily long interview processes inspiring hiring manager burnout and candidate dissatisfaction. It is this increased risk of alienating stellar candidates due to time lag and red tape that becomes the most impactful hiring constraint.

While large companies receive more in-bound applications and typically have to source less, they often also experience higher applicant-to-hire ratios than small and mid-sized organizations. Russell Tobin was asked to double the size of the company’s B2B sales team in one quarter and introduce best practices specifically for recruiting sales talent. Upon assessing the current state of the hiring process, we uncovered shortcomings during each step of the recruiting cycle that often resulted in a drawn-out time frame and an underwhelming candidate experience. When the goal is exponential growth over a short period of time, changes must be made to accommodate such urgent requirements.


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Implementing an Efficient Hiring Approach for Exponential Sales Team Growth

Acting as an extension of the company’s recruitment efforts, Russell Tobin took over all sourcing responsibilities, leveraging our in-house research team to generate a high volume of qualified sales talent and build a robust pipeline. Next, we had honest discussions with the client to implement swift scheduling and eliminate redundant rounds of interviews. After all, a true sales person knows “time kills all deals!”

Lastly, we made sure to manage both candidate and client expectations around compensation. If the candidate’s salary was significantly more than what we thought the company could offer, we managed expectations accordingly and were upfront with the candidates. If the client favored a particular candidate whose compensation extended outside of the proposed range, we repeatedly reminded the client of the disparity. Setting these expectations throughout the hiring process ensures satisfaction for both parties. In the end, 100% of our candidates accepted their offers.

At the conclusion of the three-month consulting engagement, we successfully doubled the size of the client’s sales team across three unique geographic markets. Our approach came down to quality and time. Both must be in synchronization to see successful sales team growth for short-term demand fulfillment and long-term sales performance success. In order to secure top sales talent, one must move efficiently, keep candidates engaged, make fair but aggressive offers, and of course, use a search firm you can trust to be your partner.

The client has now adopted our approach to hiring and follows the practices we helped to successfully implement.

Key Contacts

Ben Jaksich
Director, Sales Recruitment Practice
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Rachel Gutson
Senior Recruiter, West Coast Sales
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