When you set up a graduate sales programme, you’re not just looking for any old graduates to join your team. You’re looking for the very best candidates – the ‘A-players’. But if you want to attract these A-players, you need to do a few things to make your business stand out from others and ensure that you’re seen as an employer of choice.
Branding is everything
First, make sure you get your branding right. Candidates will be attracted to brands that they aspire to develop their careers with, so make sure your branding, and that of your graduate sales programme, will inspire the A-players you’re seeking to recruit.
Provide A-player benefits
If you want to attract A-players, it’s essential that you offer above-average salaries and a good commission structure that will appeal to these superior candidates. Given that you also want to bring on board people who are committed to staying with your firm, make sure that you’re also able to offer them clear progression into leadership roles, based on their performance and commitment.
Mix it up
A-players aren’t interested in settling for standard graduate roles. So make sure that the job role you’re offering them is varied, and that they’re given top training and full support to become client-facing in their roles as quickly as possible. By giving candidates the opportunity to progress into client-facing positions, you’ll make your graduate sales programme more attractive to A-players and ensure a steady stream of top candidates.
Where are they going next?
The A-player candidates that you need to recruit will typically demand two things: genuine work-life balance – something that's increasingly important to the best graduates – and the chance to join a business with real ambition. So make clear that not only is your company ambitious in what you want to achieve, but that you’re ambitious about the opportunities they can attain in these roles.
Check that you’re also setting yourself apart from other graduate roles in your industry, benchmarking these positions and ensuring the package available is worthy of your A-player graduates.
Finally, to motivate your new team and ensure their commitment to your firm, seek to create hybrid roles that offer graduates experience of areas other than sales, to provide variety and keep them from getting bored.
There’s no doubt that A-players expect a lot. But by planning for their needs, providing competitive benefits and rewards, and offering them genuine career progression, your graduate sales programme could soon benefit from the best candidates on the market.
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The best candidates on the market expect a lot, but by planning for their needs, rewarding them appropriately and offering them real career progression, you can attract these A-players to your graduate sales programme.