Whether you’re struggling to fill a key role, hiring more than HR can handle, or simply recognize the value of outsourcing your software sales recruitment efforts, identifying a trustworthy partner is a challenge. The process is largely invisible and the investment can be substantial, which means doing your due diligence is key.
The following criteria and questions are designed to give hiring managers insight into the workings of software sales recruiters. If you can’t get straight answers or they don’t have this information on hand, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
Look for Recruiters in Your Niche
Whether it’s geographic, functional, or vertical—most recruitment firms have a niche. They may be willing (and qualified) to take on searches outside of that niche but this can have an impact on the length of the search and quality of the candidates.
Starting from scratch involves a lengthy research period (when done well) with no guarantee that the top 10% of talent will be visible or recognizable. However, if a software recruitment firm has worked in that space they’ll have some sort of network in place and a list of top-of-mind candidates worth calling. They’ll also have experience interviewing and evaluating those professionals, which helps ensure that you only see quality candidates.
A few questions to identify a potential partner’s niche:
– Where are most of your candidates located?
– What were the last 5 searches you worked on?
Look for Software Sales Recruiters with a Strong Process
Recruitment is, by it’s very nature, a flexible undertaking. No two roles, candidates or clients are exactly alike, but any software sales recruiter worth working with will have a system in place for identifying, evaluating and presenting candidates.
The details will vary depending on the firm and the recruiter, but that process should involve compiling a list of potential candidates, conducting qualifying interviews, checking references and validating results with T4’s and W2’s. Most importantly, all of that should happen before a candidate walks into your office.
Questions that can give you insight into the recruitment process include:
– How many candidates are on your call list?
– How many references do you check?
Set Deliverables & Expectations
When working with a software recruiter you need to know what you can expect, when you can expect it and what’s expected of you. Setting these expectations early greatly increases the odds of a successful recruitment partnership and gives you an excellent opportunity to judge your partner's level of engagement.
Your partner should be willing to give you timelines for delivering the first batch of candidates and a sense of how many candidates you’ll see in total. They should define clear lines of communication and accountability, so you know who you’re dealing with and they have a direct line to the decision maker.
Simple questions to ask include:
– When will I see my first candidate?
– What’s the average number of candidates you present?
Look for Recruiters With Relationship Potential
Vetting a software sales recruitment partner takes time and effort—the very things you’re trying to save when working with a recruiter. That’s why the long-term potential of a partner is something you should consider. If they’re not invested over the long term you’ll be sorting through pitches every time you have an opening to fill.
You can start by asking for a list of long-term clients your potential partner has worked with (which they should be happy to provide), but the real test will be how they handle your relationship once the placement is made. Do they check in with you and your new employee after 30 days? Do they use working with you as an opportunity to position themselves in the future?
Find out if you’ve got a long term partner with these questions:
– How many of your clients do you make multiple placements for?
– How long do your candidates typically stay in place?
Use the questions to evaluate your potential software sales recruitment partners, before you sign their RSAs.
Looking for sales recruiters in Toronto to build your software sales team? Reach out to us today—we're confident that we'll pass the test and become a long-time partner for your software company.