Management: Top-Level Recruiting Challenges Today’s Businesses Face

By Nathan Denny and Scott Axelrod

SESSION RECAP: General Management Topics. The Vistage community discusses top-level recruiting challenges for talent that today’s businesses need to succeed. 


How do I recruit talent from out of state and entice them to relocate?

Why It’s Important

General Management: Top-Level Recruiting ChallengesThis manufacturing business has the capacity to increase production throughput but is rapidly approaching the point where lack of qualified management will limit that growth potential. Revenue could be doubled if qualified personnel could be found for the 2nd and 3rd shifts.

The company has invested much in standard recruiting techniques like posting on and Craigslist, and searching through local job finders and agencies — all with little success. Better recruiting techniques are desired, with the ideal outcome of attracting more-qualified applicants.

Options Under Consideration

In the past, production floor workers have been promoted and trained, but there isn’t currently a large enough pool of people for that. Recruiting recent college graduates is being considered, but those candidates will lack experience. In both of these situations, considerable training time is required.

Clarifying Questions:

  • Where is the nearest base of manufacturing from where you’re located?
  • Describe your skill set for the ideal applicant.
  • How much is pay a factor?
  • How many managers and production people are needed for this shift?
  • Have you hired straight out of high school?
  • What age are you targeting?

Suggestions / Solutions:

  • Post a position on LinkedIn
  • Network through industry and trade organizations, most of which hold conventions and have cultivated online communities
  • Consider a long-distance relocation campaign

Action Plan:

This manager is going to tackle LinkedIn, and will work with a Vistage coach on learning best practices for building a long-distance relocation campaign.


How do I go about hiring more seasoned and/or skilled salespeople?

Why It’s Important

Training dollars and time, as well as sales dollars, profits, and company momentum are being wasted on lost personnel. Hiring procedures and plans for compensation, incentive, and merit-based packages are needed to attract and retain sales talent.

Recently, the company lost two salespeople after just a year, during which much time and expense had been invested in training them. Both left for higher-paying roles that offered more lucrative incentives.

Options Under Consideration

The company is currently researching alternative compensation packages. The first option: Hire more experienced salespeople and pay a higher base salary. That should shorten the training cycle and produce faster ROI.

Clarifying Questions:

  • Does your area have a large base to recruit from?
  • Do you get any experienced applicants, or are they mostly inexperienced?
  • Are there any other experienced personnel who could be moved into the sales role?
  • Are you familiar with the sales compensation model of your competitors?
  • Do you have a feel for what the average tenure for salespeople is, in your industry?
  • If you set up a commission-based structure, could you afford to pay out those large commissions?
  • What’s the profile of the ideal salesperson for you?

Suggestions / Solutions:

  • Understand industry benchmarks currently what is the industry paying?
  • Study incentive planning currently how to structure it, and how often to pay, etc.
  • Closely tie the bonus/reward/commission to the time of the sale (frequency of reward/recognition)

Session date: Jun 14, 2012
Originally published: Jun 14, 2012

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