Recruiting sales personnel is a never-ending HR and Sales task. studies show a shortage of skilled workers to be a continual hot trend. This is compounded with a retiring Baby Boomer generation and global talent competition. You can’t afford to miss a single candidate if you want to staff ‘A’ players.


The mistake? Ineffective job postings that turn away ‘A’ player candidates.


In this post, I present some faults with the majority of job profiles.  Then, I give some suggestions on how to fix this. The downloadable ‘A’ Player Posting Template is a better sales vacancy posting to use.


Most Job Postings Are Unimpressive

Now, I don’t feign to know the legalities of job posting language.  Before you use the ‘A’ Player Posting Template, check it with your legal department.  Maybe legal is why the majority of job postings are so unimpressive.  Take the 25 companies where top Millennials most want to work.   A quick scan of their posted job vacancies shows dry, text-heavy job postings. Most of these postings don’t sell the job vacancy to candidates.  They do a lot to screen ‘A’ candidates out – even before they get to the requirements section at the bottom.  If the job posting is so dry and uninteresting, the role may be also.   Or the sales tools available in the role may be as unimpressive.


Two Main Issues With Most Sales Job Postings:


1. Text Heavy – too much text and bullets. Not enough white space.  Many sentences are very lengthy – filled with jargon and important-sounding words. Very tiring to read through the whole posting.  Here’s an example:




2. Heavy Qualifications/Requirements– The posting is geared for a candidate that doesn’t exist. In fact, every sales posting I looked at required multiple years of sales experience.  There are gems of candidates that are not currently in sales. Don’t exclude them right off the bat.  Instead, list preferred qualifications with verbiage that allows non-sales experience.  Notate that a final selection will be based on interviews and a job tryout. Most postings seem to be written for industry insiders.  This is not a good idea, as my colleague Dan Perry wrote a few days back. Check out this typical example of too many requirements:  




Of the 25 companies I scanned, only Google did a decent job, both on their site and LinkedIn. Google embeds rich media and links to more detail right in the job posting.  As well, Google can recommend a job based on linking to your Google+ account. To be fair, Microsoft’s careers site allows you to link your LinkedIn profile – they give you recommended roles based on your profile. However, their postings themselves were of the old style.


Treat Candidates Like Buyers

B2B buyers are nearly 2/3 through their buying process before engaging a company. Top candidates aren’t any different in their job “buying” process – especially with such readily available company research.  So, make the posting more enticing since it’s often the first look at the job.  Tell candidates what they are looking for.  For Sales candidates, we already know the top criteria ‘A’ candidates look for.


The posting should cover these areas at a minimum: 


  • Who the candidate would work for
  • The territory and earnings potential
  • The career path possibilities


In addition, top candidates usually want to know other things like:

  • Product/offering being sold
  • Added perks for the role (company car, President’s Club, profit sharing, etc.)
  • Go-to-market strategy
  • Company culture


Too Many Candidates?

A recruiter’s concern may be too many applicants to wade through – now that the postings are so candidate friendly.  One technique to help screen out applicants is to describe the hiring process. And for top B2B sales positions, this should model the TopGrading for Sales method.  This includes intense career histories, deep reference checks and a job tryout.  Putting this into the posting will set a challenge – that A” players will naturally accept.


Next Steps

  1. Examine some of your sales job postings for ‘A’ Player attractiveness.
  2. Download the ‘A’ Player Posting Template.
  3. Redo your postings in the new template.
  4. Check with legal to make sure it will still fly.
  5. Test one version against the other (like a Marketing A/B test). For example, put the old version on LinkedIn and the new one on your website.
  6. Monitor your results to see the increase in ‘A’ player applications.


Based on the majority of sales job postings, you could gain an advantage with this method.


A_Player_Posting_Template_cta1Please comment with suggestions on the ‘A’ Player Posting Template. 


Photo courtesy of -> basketman.


Steve Loftness

Helps sales and marketing leaders make the number through implementation and change management of proven and emerging effectiveness practices.

Steve leverages his Six Sigma Black Belt and change management expertise to help clients with innovative yet pragmatic solutions. His experience with clients in multiple industries gives him the ability to ensure that any solution designed will actually get adopted.


Prior to joining SBI, Steve was a partner at TDG and Sundoya, where he developed business and implemented improvements within engagements. He is also part of the international consulting community having lived and worked in Spain and Russia. And yes, he speaks both languages.

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