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Death of a Sales Skill? Survey Highlights Industry Recruiting Challenges

Sales Job ForecastJust what the world needs: more sales people, amirite? Just kidding! But seriously, folks…Companies actually do need more sales people this year, which is why 27 percent of hiring managers in the sales industry plan to add full-time, permanent employees in 2013.

The nationwide survey of more than 370 sales hiring managers and human resource professionals and more than 290 sales workers across company sizes also found that, thanks to increased competition for quality sales reps, employers plan to offer more competitive compensation, invest in additional training for new hires, and recruit from other companies.

Among the other major findings of CareerBuilder’s 2013 Sales Job Forecast were the following:

  1. Sales hiring is up, but it’s not getting cray cray: While 27 percent of employers expect to hire full-time, permanent employees in 2013 (up from 26 percent last year), 12 percent actually plan to decrease headcount, up from 8 percent last year.
  2. Temporary and contract sales workers are the bomb.com: More companies are turning to staffing and recruiting companies and temporary workers to help meet increased market demands, with 39 percent of employers plan to hire temporary and contract workers in 2013, up from 37 percent last year.  Of those employers, 46 percent anticipate taking some workers on full-time.
  3. Wandering eyes? Retention will continue to be a challenge this year, if the survey results are any indication: 18 percent of sales employees say they plan to switch jobs in the coming year, and one in three say they’ve been approached with a job offer from another employer, more than any other industry.

Navigating the Skills Gap in 2013

For a while now, employers across all industries have been complaining about the scarce supply of qualified workers available, and sales is no exception. The survey reveals some of the ways companies are working to overcome this challenge this year:

  1. Going for what they want: Employers may come knocking, solicited or not.  One-in-three sales representatives (33 percent) reported they have been approached to work for another company in the last year when they didn’t apply for a position with that organization.
  2. Rolling out the dough: In an effort to retain and attract top talent for skilled positions, 73 percent of employers (16 percent more than last year) expect to provide higher compensation for current staff and prospective employees, while 51 percent will offer higher starting salaries for new employees (up significantly from 33 percent last year).
  3. Taking what they can get: Unable to find qualified candidates externally, more employers are taking it upon themselves to train – or “re-skill” – employees to match their needs. Forty-one percent of sales employers plan to train people who don’t have previous sales experience and hire them for positions within their organizations, up from 39 percent last year.

Are you planning to increase your sales staff this year? If so, what challenges are you encountering?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
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