Monday, December 11, 2017

"How to attract millennials to your sales team"/ HR policy

Sept. 6, 2017 "How to attract millennials to your sales team": Today I found this article by Peter Irwin in the Globe and Mail:

President and CEO, Canadian Professional Sales Association.

Canada's work force is seeing a dramatic realignment. According to Statistics Canada, the millennial generation will hold 50 per cent of Canadian jobs by 2020. They already account for more than 37 per cent of employed Canadians, surpassing the proportion of baby boomers, who currently make up only 31 per cent of the labour force. The potential gap is a nagging concern for many business leaders, and sales is no exception.

As retirements continue to stack up, organizations that aren't prepared to adapt to millennials' needs will see their sales teams face growing challenges. Talent attraction and retention, and companies' need for staff to relate to an increasingly millennial clientele, will certainly test HR teams.

This also points to a deeper underlying problem: millennials don't see sales as an appealing career option. Sales has often been viewed as a back-up option rather a satisfying career with many of the benefits millennials look for in a role.

Fortunately, and despite those challenges, the sales profession has many advantages that should attract millennials into the fold – if companies make the right decisions. Here are three things you can do to recruit millennial talent to your sales team.

Recruit young and recruit smart

Your recruitment process will define your success at attracting millennials to your sales force. Begin by raising your profile at colleges and universities, and developing an on-campus recruitment strategy.

Many students are unaware of sales as a legitimate career path, and your recruitment process should highlight the offerings that will appeal to them. New graduates often struggle to find full-time, well-compensated employment. Compensation is still a high priority for job-searching millennials, who grew up during the financial uncertainty of the recession and are graduating with historic levels of student debt.

At the CPSA, we recently released a sales compensation report, which revealed that the average base salary for an entry-level sales position in Canada is competitive at $42,322.

Since base salary constitutes as a portion of guaranteed salary for the employee, variable pay, including incentives and commission, will provide high performers with the opportunity to earn much more. This should be a key selling point in your recruitment efforts, as it provides millennials with a stable and potentially lucrative career path.

In terms of sources of sales talent, recruiters could also put a greater focus on marketing students. Many marketing students fail to realize that sales and marketing positions include some overlapping skills that can be further built upon for success in the field.

It's important for employers to understand that millennials have different expectations when it comes to their ideal work environment. Deloitte's annual survey on millennials in the workplace is a helpful guide – it details a considerable amount of data to assess their expectations and intentions.

According to the survey, they want flexible workplaces and recognition for their success, and are motivated by work that feels worthwhile. They are independently minded and want to be their own boss.

That type of mindset is a good match for the sales profession. The nature of the work often means salespeople can work autonomously, and can have the flexibility to work remotely and have opportunities to travel. Salespeople are often self-motivated and are rewarded based on performance, and are encouraged by recognition of their success.

Be a mentor, not just a boss

Millennials look for leaders that are more personable, strategically minded and inspirational than those of past generations. They want a boss that will support them and invest in their success. It is important to keep this in mind when assessing your own leadership style and that of your senior-level employees.
Part of this mentorship role must include a focus on career development and training. Millennials are eager to continue their learning and hone their craft, so providing them with the resources necessary to continue their development will not only ensure their satisfaction at your company and reduce turnover, but will also drive better sales results. In fact, given the pace of changing technology and the competitive nature of sales, ongoing training is critical for the success of every sales practitioner, regardless of age or level.
2020 is coming fast, and business leaders must adapt their work forces to address the new demographic realities. We all have a job to do to make the sales profession more attractive to millennials. The clock is ticking, so let's help the next generation move up in the world.

Sept. 11, 2017 "An HR policy for the next generation of talent": Today I found this article by Brett Marchand in the Globe and Mail:

Unlike their predecessors, so-called “NewCos” treat their employees as assets to leverage, rather than commodities to be consumed

The marketing-communications industry is a people oriented business and our currency is the ideas our employees come to work with every day. And yet, it was my venture outside the marketing world that taught me my most valuable lesson about people.

After leading the “I am Canadian rant” campaign, I left Molson Breweries to pursue something entirely different – a startup focused on what today would be recognized as visualization software.

It was a step into relatively unchartered territory for me, but I was comforted by a singular vision to create a perfect product. That was my guiding light.

Many successful companies obsess about perfection. Some of today’s corporate titans are famous (and even infamous) for a commitment to perfection. Armed with that goal, a small band of colleagues and I went to work on joining their ranks.

Early success followed – we grew quite rapidly from four employees to 40 in just six months. We were laser-focused on improving our product, updating the software and releasing new iterations on a monthly basis.

Anyone who goes through the process of almost completely rebuilding a product from the ground up every month will attest to the strain it creates. We felt strongly that our success hinged entirely on the quality of our offering. We were only partly right.

Yes, our product needed to be perfect, but what about all those people we were hiring? Where was the quality control there? Looking back, we simply didn’t appreciate that we needed to be as uncompromising in establishing best-in-class human-resource policies as we were in our pursuit to create the best software.

We needed people to help us build the plane as we flew it and they needed to genuinely feel as though they had a vested interest in our goals. Our greatest failing wasn’t that we couldn’t articulate our vision; it was that we didn’t let others articulate theirs.

That experience has shaped human-resources policies at Vision7 International, the holding company for Cossette Communications, Citizen Relations PR, V7 Media and the digital/ advertising agency network the Camps Collective. At Vision7, employees are assets to be leveraged, rather than commodities to be deployed.

This concept is also a major tenant of today’s NewCos – the new companies that are fundamentally unrecognizable from the OldCos (old companies) that preceded them. Google, Facebook, Airbnb and others all prioritize talent.

NewCos challenge traditional paradigms of how a company should operate. Talent management is one area, and there are others.

NewCos forgo mass consumerism and embrace markets of one at scale and continually introduce product/service iterations rather than adhere to a 12-month development cycle.

They also prioritize the flow of information over expropriating raw materials, favour trust-based management styles over hierarchical ones and are driven by purpose and profit in equal measures. NewCos are the complete opposite of companies born from the Industrial Revolution in every way.

These NewCo fundamentals also provide the blueprint for how to manage the next generation of talent. Flexible humanresources policies that address individual needs are better than a one-size-fits-all approach, and more frequent performance check-ins with timely examples of progress toward professional-development goals echo the constant development cycles common to NewCos.

It’s also important to trust your employees and give them room to contribute ideas; you’ll find they are especially motivated to do that if you can convey a grander sense of purpose.

NewCos are changing the way we do business and will usher in a new era of industry (and clients), which is why I’m helping to bring the NewCo Festival to Canada with an initial stop in Toronto from Sept. 13 to 14.

Companies that are intrinsically built on NewCo principles will leapfrog established organizations – and do so with ease. Just look at how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry. But even if your business isn’t discoverable through the latest app, it can still benefit from adopting human-resource policies based on the NewCo blueprint.

The spark that ignites the next phase of your company’s evolution is unlikely to come from a material discovery. You can’t drill for intelligence, mine for creativity or build curiosity. That’s why it’s important to emphasize the value of human capital over working capital. The degree to which you invest there – on people – is a better indicator of how successful you’ll be.

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