How to recruit a salesperson

Written by: James White

It’s 2022 and we’ve got one of the biggest recruitment shortages for salespeople that I’ve ever known in the UK. There are so many businesses that are struggling to recruit the right salespeople for their company. Maybe you are facing the same challenge elsewhere in the world? Wherever you are, if you cannot find the right people to work in your business, then this blog is for you.

I am going to share with you the four things that I think are critical if you are struggling to recruit, as well as some actions you can take to hopefully get your right next hire.

One of the biggest challenges we’re seeing at the moment is that it’s taking much longer to find the right salespeople. There was a statistic on LinkedIn that showed recruitment timelines in 2021 vs 2022. In 2021 it was taking four weeks to recruit a salesperson, and now in 2022, it’s taking six weeks.

The time involved has grown by fifty per cent and, being honest, I think that’s only going to get worse.

Companies are finding it a real issue to recruit people in their business that are a good fit for them.

What can you do to solve this issue, so that you don’t miss out on opportunities (because you haven’t got people following up on leads).


This point is really critical if you’re trying to recruit millennials or those a bit younger.

Almost as if they were a potential customer, you have to really sell what you do to people you potentially want to work for you. I always say, it’s not the sausage that sells, it’s the sizzle! You have to create a sizzle around your business!

Many new entrants to the job market want to work for companies with bold visions who want to achieve big ambitions, and who want to make a difference in the world.

Harvard Business study did a review and they showed that 37 of new millennials think a business’s goal is to make a profit whereas 87% of them think it’s their job to make a big impact in society. If you’re not selling your company based on the vision you have, what you want to do, and how you will make a difference, that could make a big difference in your salesperson recruitment.

  • What is your bold vision
  • What is your culture
  • What do you stand for?
  • What makes you a different company to work for?
  • What are your values?


Get clarity on these questions and what you want to achieve within your business. How can you make this an appealing prospect for someone that’s in a sales role that is looking for a new job?


I was talking to an organisation the other day that said they make everyone come into the office five days a week and they are not flexible with that at all. I sat there thinking “Good luck!”.

Whether we like it or not, especially since covid, the world has changed. Covid gave everyone the chance to work from home, which gave them more flexibility around their working schedules.

With the cost of living increasing, people don’t necessarily want to have to commute into an office every day. Many want the flexibility to work from home.

Of course that potentially comes with risks and challenges, but our job as business owners and sales leaders is to manage those risks rather than trying to eradicate them. If you insist on making sure that everyone comes into the office, chances are that may only appeal to a certain amount of people, and you could be missing out on some really good salespeople!

During covid I worked with a client who recruited a sales team from all over the UK who worked fully remote. That sales team has been doing some incredible sales work! The company is based in London and have people from Scotland working for them, simply because they are able to offer a flexible work approach.

If you are old school and think results only happen in the office, then I am sorry to tell you but you’re out of date and you need to think differently. It’s more important to have a culture that focuses on results rather than being at a certain place at a certain time.

It’s important that a team comes together and yes being in an office, at times is important for meetings and team sessions. However, the days of being in an office from 9-5 are gone! In my opinion, you need to be flexible with your approach to get the right talent your business needs.


  • How much access to content and materials and support do you give to your sales team?
  • Do you help them and onboard them?
  • Do you train them?
  • Do you give them support from the very beginning with mentors to help them develop their skills?


You cannot simply get them to start and then expect them to be brilliant.

We provided a mentoring service to that remote team that was hired during Covid (that one I mentioned above). The results were realised in good time as they hit the ground running and achieved amazing things. The team also loved it and felt very supported for their career ambitions.

Make training part of your onboarding process and make your new hire feel that they get that support to get better results. Focus on onboarding and supporting, mentoring and coaching the team. We all need support and learning on a regular basis is key.

I have just attended an online course that lasted three days to help grow my knowledge. We all need that support and your team need it, make it a key part of what you offer as an employee and it will be a great selling point to bring people in to you.


I know that recruiting someone in the UK right now is more expensive than it used to be a year and a half ago. I’ve still got people that are talking to me, who are still insistent on paying the same amount as they were back then. The world’s changed you have to move with the times. The world that existed before doesn’t exist now, and if you carry on down that path you’re never going to fill the sales vacancies.

Since the opportunities have changed, salaries have gone up, and that means people have more choices. There is tremendous competition out there to get the right candidate.

With the cost of living going up, take a moment to look at your salaries and compensation plans. How easy do you make it for them to achieve really good numbers that are commercially beneficial for you, and that work for them?

How simple do you make it for people to earn really good money If they get great results?

Also, look at the benefits you offer from an HR perspective:

  • Do you offer life insurance?
  • Do you offer health insurance?
  • Do you offer paid days off when children are sick?


Look at the range of benefits that you put together and make your sales job appealing from both a salary, bonus and incentive benefits package. Make a great package come together, then people may hopefully want to join your team.

There is no guarantee of success, but I guarantee you that if you carry on with your old methods, chances are you’re going to get caught out by other companies that will take your space. So, be innovative!

Put what I have talked about in place and get recruiting great salespeople to help you thrive and scale your business.


If you are wanting to hire a new salesperson but don’t know where to start then download my 5-day video series all on how to hire your first or new salesperson!

Publish date: 10 November 2022

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