Recruiting graduates for sales roles is a celebrated method for bringing some of the brightest and best talent into your company - for many reasons. Modern graduates have grown up in a tech-centric world, so the majority are naturals when it comes to working with new technology. This makes them the perfect fit for the fast-paced, ever-evolving sales industry of today. Make sure they’re ready for the workplace by harnessing that raw talent and turning them into the next sales champions.
Many university courses will give grads the knowledge they need to be a sales success. As a business leader, this makes your job a little bit easier, but you still need to ensure you can turn the skills they have into workplace-ready knowledge, equipping them with invaluable sales skills such as being able to think on their feet and becoming a proactive problem solver.
Make the most of your graduate recruitment drive, and ensure you’re not just attracting talent to your business, but preparing them for the workplace too. We know even the most talented graduates won’t have all the answers straight away, but at Pareto, we can help you discover how to develop a graduate training program that makes sure your new hires are ready to hit the ground running.
Find out more with our handy guide.
Recruit in the right way
Take a different approach to recruiting when you’re hiring a graduate. Unlike when you’re interviewing more experienced candidates, keep an eye out for potential rather than just skills. Look for key indicators of strong soft skills in a candidate that are going to be useful when they start selling to clients. These are signs that they know how to talk to people, how to connect, and how to close a deal, meaning they’ll be easier to bring into the workplace.
Keep an eye out for skills including:
- Communication – Look out for indicators that your candidate is a good communicator. They may be 'green', but do they look to make a connection, get their point across clearly and in a compelling way? If they do, it’s a sign they could be a good fit.
- Teamwork – Ask about their experiences working as part of a team at university. People who can work together towards a common goal are far more likely to slot seamlessly into your team.
- Decisiveness – Salespeople can rarely afford to hesitate. Set your interviewee a task where they need to make a reasoned, quick decision, to see how good they are at thinking on their feet.
Provide the right training
Training is the biggest part of any graduate recruitment process. No matter how talented an individual is, they’re going to need some learning to be prepared for the sales floor. Find success with your training by ensuring it’s:
- Planned and targeted – Work with your graduates so you know what they need to know and when.
- Spaced out – Don’t cram all that knowledge into a short period. At Pareto, we give grads training over an initial period of 12 months or more to let everything sink in.
- Specific – Make sure grads are getting the knowledge they need. Training should focus on things like the specific products they’ll be selling, best practices for specific industries, and the types of clients they might be dealing with.
At Pareto, we also know that training alone isn’t enough to prepare someone for the workplace. Ensure they’ve got all the tools they need by spreading your training sessions out to allow your graduates to apply their learnings to real-world scenarios in the workplace. Doing so will give the training a better chance of sinking in and get them up to speed faster.
Another way to support your graduate’s growth is setting up a mentoring scheme. Training is a great way to give them the knowledge they need, but let them sit with someone who’s been there and done it and they’ll soon see how to put what they’ve learned into practice.
Ask more senior members of your team to sit down with graduates for regular question and answer sessions, or simply assign graduates to successful salespeople and let them shadow them for a week to pick up top tips.
Hold regular meetings
One of the best ways to make sure your graduates are ready for the workplace is to meet with them regularly and check-in. Not only does this allow you to check on their progress and address any problem areas, but it also allows them to ask any questions they might have and lets you offer one-on-one coaching that can prove a vital asset in bringing them up to speed.
At Pareto, we strive to find the right talent for your sales team. See how your business could benefit from our graduate recruitment.
Just hired a graduate? We also offer several graduate sales training programs – from widespread sales fundamentals to specific skills.
Get in touch today!