19 Places to Source Candidates

Recruiting salespeople is probably one of the hardest parts of your job. You need time, money, and resources to help you find and recruit top sales talent. You might know some of the more well-known places to source candidates, but we curated a list to give you some fresh new ideas on how and where to recruit sales professionals. Some of these sources are paid resources, while some are “free”…but then again what is free? Here are 19 outside-the-box tactics to source more candidates.

1. ATS/Database

As a recruiter and hiring manager you are constantly talking to candidates. Your database has really built up over the years. Rather than always focusing on “new” candidates, source existing candidates through your own Applicant Tracking System. You should probably kick off each new search going through who you already know. You should be keeping notes each time you talk to someone and have a clear picture of who they are and what they are looking for so that when the right opportunity comes up, you’re calling them first.

2. LinkedIn

If you’re not on LinkedIn, it’s time to rethink your recruiting strategy. LinkedIn continues to be one of the largest online professional communities. You should consistently be growing your professional network. The more people you connect with and build relationships with, the greater your reach. Some tips to use LinkedIn for sourcing:

  • Share the jobs you’re hiring for, along with links about your company and culture (videos, pictures, blogs).
  • Use the Search Bar at the top of the page to search for candidates with a certain title, location, or company.
  • When you are looking at a candidate’s profile, LinkedIn will also suggest other
  • LinkedIn members based on similar backgrounds. Make sure you use that too.
  • Join different groups. Once part of the group you can search members, and choose to connect with them.
  • If you are a LinkedIn premium user, you will have greater Search capability and will also be able to send more messages and InMails to candidates.
  • *Make sure you personalize each message with everyone you connect with.

3. Former Employees

Chances are you have had some pretty great people who have worked at your company over the years. Even if they have moved on to another opportunity, they are still a great resource for referrals. Send a former employee an email, or call them to see if they know anyone who is looking for a new sales opportunity.

4. Job Boards

Yes, we’re stating the obvious and probably the first go-to place to advertise your company’s open sales jobs. Job boards are by no means the best way to recruit sales talent, but it is a way to brand your job and promote the opportunity. There are popular job boards like Monster, Career Builder, Simply Hired, The Ladders, Snag a Job, and ZipRecruiter, to name a few. Some are free and some a paid. Don’t assume that the pay-to-post approach means the perfect candidate will apply. You will still need to review each resume, and set up a phone screen with candidates to determine if they are a fit.

Consider using some niche job boards to promote to a sales-specific community.

5. Attend Conferences

Over the course of your career, you will be attending conferences within your industry. This is a great way to build your network. Yes, you are there to learn and absorb as much information as you can, but take the time to introduce yourself to the people around you. If you are there with colleagues, branch out. Go to different sessions and meet new people. Expand your social niche. Remember to grab business cards. After the conference, send emails and LinkedIn connects to say how much you enjoyed meeting them. If you really liked someone ask them if they are looking for an opportunity or if they can recommend someone who is looking. Understand the power of a building a professional network. Check out: Sales Hacker, Dreamforce, INBOUND.

6. Quora

If you’re not familiar with Quora, it’s a Q&A platform to help answer any and all questions. Many people are on this platform asking all sorts of professional questions. They are looking for best advice and tips, many related to a job search and sales career. Position yourself as an industry expert. Also browse for the questions and answers of other industry experts who might be interested in a new sales opportunity.

Go to Quora.

7. Recruiting Firms

Recruiting firms are a great way to meet qualified sales candidates. You will spend less time searching and more time interviewing A-Player candidates. Don’t just choose any recruiting firm for your sales hiring needs. Work with a recruiting firm who will take the time to work with you and introduce the right fit for your organization. Partner with a staffing firm that:

  • Specializes solely in sales recruiting.
  • Has years of expertise and success in the industry.
  • Offers sales hiring solutions for every search and budget.
  • Provides recruiting software to make managing the process 100x easier .
  • Gets the job done, with deliverable results.

Contact Treeline Inc.

8. Meetup

This online community is very cool. It connects people with similar interests both professionally and personally. You find and join certain online groups that interest you. The best part is they are local Meetup groups, and like the name suggests you “meet” in person. The group organizer will plan local events that group members can attend.

Go to Meetup.

9. Sponsor a Conference/Tradeshow

Having your company be a sponsor at a conference or tradeshow relative to your industry is a great way to source for new candidates. You know that there are people knowledgeable and interested in your company, services, and products, so they could be qualified for your sales job (ideal audience). Make sure you collect business cards. You may be there to gain new customers, but why not try to gain new employees? And as a corporate sponsor, you typically receive contact information of all the attendees of the event. When you send your email thanking people for stopping by your booth, let them know you are hiring too.

Check out: AA-ISP, InsideSales.com

10. Google/Bing Ads

Similar to job boards, you can capture a candidate’s attention with a strong and compelling advertisement. This will boost your company’s brand and visibility, but remember posting a job doesn’t guarantee qualified sales candidates. Partner with your marketing team and think of creative ways you can promote your company and open sales jobs to drive candidates to apply.

11. Facebook

Facebook isn’t just a place to post pictures and status updates, it’s a place where you can connect with people on a human level. Here are some ways you can use Facebook to reach potential candidates. olely in sales

  • You can share your company’s open sales jobs on your own personal Facebook page and ask your Facebook friends for some help.
  • You can also use the Search Bar at the top of Facebook and type in a search. It will yield results and help you target candidates who fit your search.
  • There are also groups and pages you can join to connect with its users.
  • You can also pay to advertise your openings to have a greater reach.

12. Your Customers

Great customers aren’t only advocating your products and services, they are also saying they choose you as a brand and company. Tap into this network that already knows who you are and what you do. Let them know that you are hiring through your next email campaign. Educate them on your open opportunities and encourage them to apply.

13. Sales Organizations/Communities

Continue to connect with like-minded individuals by joining sales organizations and communities. Many of these you can find on LinkedIn, but some are exclusive and require membership. They provide educational resources, insights, and training, and also enables you to search and connect with people who are part of the organization.

Check out: Enterprise Sales Meetup, AA-ISP, Sales Hacker, Inside Sales Experts

14. Twitter

Twitter can be overwhelming and a constant flow of noise if you let it be. However, you can strategically search for sales professionals on this enormous social media network. You will most certainly find people interested in open sales jobs. Some tips to use Twitter for sourcing:

  • Follow thought leaders in your industry.
  • Search for users that have certain keywords in their Twitter profile, like job title.
  • Message people who follow you and ask if they are looking for a new opportunity.
  • Use the # and certain words like inside sales (#InsideSales) and see who else is tweeting about it.
  • Build lists based on your followers to help you organize people based on interest and likes.

15. Universities/Career Fairs

Getting on campus and branding your company is a great way to engage with tomorrow’s future sales force. If you’re hiring for entry-level sales roles or business development jobs, you should be recruiting on college campuses. You will be able to meet students face-to-face and get them excited about your sales opportunities. You can take it a step further and partner with a university, getting involved with their student organizations, clubs, and mentorship programs. You will build relationships and a pipeline of entry-level sales talent.

16. Host a Happy Hour Event

Want to attract more sales talent? Try hosting a Happy Hour or cocktail event at a local establishment after work. You want to be where the talent is and make it easy for them to attend after work. Choose your dates/times wisely. Create the event through an easy to use platform like EventBrite. Promote it, and have sales professionals register to let you know they’re coming. You need to incentivize people to come, so be willing to cover the costs of the venue, some drinks, and appetizers. You will likely draw a bigger crowd. Connect with as many people as you can at the event, and make sure you send a follow-up email after the event.

*Hint: you can also attend other companies Happy Hour events and build a network for your own recruiting purposes. Get business cards.

17. Your Own Website

If your website is doing what it’s supposed to be doing, and that’s driving traffic to your company, you should be collecting a lot of data. First things first, make sure you have an awesome Careers Page on your website. This is where you should highlight why your company is so great, the perks and benefits, and all of your open sales jobs. Do you have downloadable content, like help writing a resume, preparing for an interview, or a Culture Code guide? Use this data from your website to market and communicate with potential candidates. Additionally use this contact data from existing customers to see what they are looking at on your website. Did a customer recently visit the careers site? Reach out to them.

18. Google +

An extension of using Google Boolean Search techniques is using the Google + social network. Just like other social networks, you can build connections. You build Circles, which is creating your following. You can also search for candidates using their Search Bar. For instance “Account Executive” US should yield results with people, pages, and communities that have those search terms in them. Remember millions of people use Google every day, and Google also has hundreds of apps tied into it so utilize its resources.

19. Referrals

Referrals are a “must-need” recruiting channel. As you are constantly building a network and pipeline of talent, you should be asking for referrals. Whether you actually place or hire a candidate, you should be asking them for friends and family who are also looking. Try asking “Who do you know?

You can also offer incentivized referrals, by providing a bonus to the person who refers someone that gets hired. This should help create a constant flow of referral traffic.

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