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Attracting & Retaining Sales Talent!

Nick Harrowell - Sales Director at Raw Talent Academy

Nick Harrowell – Sales Director at Raw Talent Academy

Our Sales Director Nick Harrowell recently shared an update on Linkedin that we wanted to share on our blog, a great insight into recruitment!

This is the first time I’ve put anything like this together, so hopefully the end readers will find it somewhat relevant/helpful…

At Raw Talent Academy, we specialise in Sourcing, Screening, Assessing and Developing the UK’s best entry level sales talent for companies on a National basis. We offer a genuine alternative to contingent recruitment methods and although that all sounds fantastic, clients are always sceptical when it comes to engaging with us for the first time. The key reason is, they simply can’t believe that our attraction and retention rates are as good as what we claim them to be, so I wanted to share my thoughts on 2 common questions that I’m asked when I meet with potential clients.

How do you attract so many candidates?

Before we engage with any client, we undertake a client profiling session. This is aimed at getting ‘under the skin’ of our client, and discovering who they really are as a business. It’s important for any recruitment business to really understand who they are dealing with, as if the role is mis-sold in any way, it will only lead to a rebate eventually. We spend time getting to know everyone, from Administrators through to the MD. This means that when we go out to market, we have a true reflection of what it’s like to work in that business, which makes candidate attraction that much easier. Our marketing is completely specific, rather than generic, and this is far more engaging when it comes to candidates applying for your vacancies. If a candidate is given the correct information regarding your client and feels comfortable dealing with you, they are also far more likely to share the opportunity with their network, which then leads to more applicants. I would suggest utilising various methods of attraction from pro-active sourcing right through to radio advertising, as relying purely on job boards is not the way forward. In our experience, clients are leaning towards in house recruitment because they feel a direct staff member is better placed to sell the role to a candidate. The simple answer to this is, do more to understand your clients!

How do you retain the talent once you’ve placed them?

In our experience, the key to this (believe it or not), is honesty. When we go out to market, we provide a true reflection of that sector, whether it be telesales, recruitment or medical device sales. Of course candidates want to hear about all the great things that a company has to offer, but what most Recruitment Businesses fail to do is tell them about the negatives; hours of work, rejection, pressure and cold calling to name but a few. Another reason why I believe our retention is high is because we deliver a robust process for our clients including a 4-stage interview process and a tailored assessment centre. If a candidate can progress through a lengthy process such as that, they will feel like they have achieved something and therefore are more likely to stick around!

In many cases, the reasoning people provide when they drop out of sales is that it isn’t what they expected. Either they were not made aware of the negatives, or they have actually been over sold on the role and now find themselves disappointed with their new career. (i.e. you will earn 6 figures in year 1, which we all know is incredibly hard…). If you state that there’s a great Training & Development plan on offer, you need to make sure that this is implemented. If your new hires feel like they have been left to ‘Sink or Swim’, it will only make it easier for them to make their excuses and leave within 6 months. The only way to hire talented people and keep them is to be honest about the positives and negatives from the word go!

To find out more about Raw Talent Academy connect with me via LinkedIn, or email me on

About the Author

Tony Mitchell

Tony MitchellRaw Talent Academy's Academy Manager Connect on Linkedin - all posts by Tony Mitchell

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