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It’s Time to Change the Perception of Sales Jobs: Part I

Posted by James Patrick Kahler on April 8, 2016


Put yourself in the shoes of an upcoming or recent college grad. Regardless of whether or not you have a job lined-up or a career in mind, imagine your initial thoughts on obtaining a sales position. What comes to mind?

The state of the sales profession is in trouble in terms of perception with today’s job seekers. According to an article from The Wall Street Journal, “As the U.S. economy gains momentum, companies selling technology and other services to corporate customers are struggling to fill potentially lucrative sales jobs.” The article goes on to state that:

“…employers also say young workers are uninterested in sales—a field they perceive as risky and defined by competition.”

Does this seem like an unfair perspective? Whether or not you agree with the viewpoint of the millennial generation, there’s a reason why they think this way. “The youngest generation of workers, having lived through the financial crisis and recession, is more risk-averse, say sales executives, adding that young prospects are reluctant to enter a hard-charging work environment where success often boils down to a number,” according to the same article.

If you’re having trouble hiring and retaining qualified talent for today’s sales positions, there’s a way to help turn this problem around, and it starts with changing the perception of your open sales jobs.

In a three part series, we’re going to help your business improve the perception of the sales careers that your company offers. This way, you can hire superior employees and build a sales team that’ll stick around for the long haul.

Part I: Revising Your Recruiting Efforts

Improving the image of your sales positions begins with your recruiting efforts and how you advertise open sales jobs. Here are three simple ways you can attract more sales applicants to your company:

  • Update your job titles: It’s crucial to present your sales positions in a new light, especially like when considering job titles. A recent article from The Boston Globe talks about the many benefits from having unique or creative job titles. For example, instead of hiring for a “Sales Executive,” you can hire for an “Ambassador of Brand Relationships,” which can create some buzz and attract more applicants to apply for the job. (For more information on how to modernize your job descriptions, check out our free guide here!)
  • Recruiting in new places: You’re selling yourself (and your business) short when all you do is post your jobs on LinkedIn or similar business sites. If you want creative, driven talent you need to know where and how to find it. Try expanding your reach by posting your jobs to various job boards, social media sites and anywhere else you traditionally don’t search. (Click here for more ideas on how to improve your recruiting search.)
  • Make use of your career site: This might sound like an easy task, but what’s the current state of your career site? Are you simply posting your jobs and hoping people will apply? Updating your site to look like it actually exists belongs in 2016 is indispensable when attracting today’s job seekers. Design, word choice and other essentials play an important role in not only attracting applicants, but getting them to actually apply as well. (Check out all the reasons why you might need to update your career site, as well as get a free career site checklist by clicking here!)

Sure, not every sales job may sound “sexy” to job seekers, but if you know how and where to present your open sales positions, then you’re probably already light years ahead of your competitors on the hiring “better talent” front. Just remember this has to come from you and your company. If you’re not living and embodying the company culture you want to attract talent to, then you’re raising the risk of more turnover.

***This is Part 1 of a three part series on how to change the perception of sales jobs. Come back to our blog next week to find out how you can makes your sales jobs appeal to today’s top talent.***

Not sure why you’re having high sales turnover? Download our complimentary guide below for insight on how to help fix this problem.

Sources of sales turnover

Company Culture, Job Description, Recruiting, Sourcing Candidates, Management, How to Hire, Hiring Tips, Hiring, Science of Hiring, Turnover

James Patrick Kahler

About the Author

James Patrick Kahler is Hireology’s Copywriter & Content Specialist. He is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and has over four years of professional experience writing for various industries. Outside of the office (and sometimes inside), he has a passion for comedy, advertising and his Cleveland sports teams…all of them.