Accelerating the potential of new talent

29th January 2016 |   Dr Beth Rogers and Bryan McCrae

Hiring and onboarding is an expensive and time-consuming process. It pays to get it right.

Accelerating  the potential of new talent

The costs of recruitment are on the rise again, with an increase of around 50% from 24 months ago, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; meanwhile, four out of five employers are saying that the competition for well-qualified talent has increased over the same period.

Advertising and agency fees are substantial and obvious; the amount of management time spent on recruitment is also worth tracking. The risks of failed investment and effort are considerable. Voluntary sales staff turnover rates are on the rise too, reflecting the improving economy. When the costs of training, income guarantees and the knock-on effects of a failed hire – such as weakened customer relationships, team disruption and missed opportunities – are taken into account, most sales managers would want to maximise retention of all but their poorest performers. Nevertheless, vacant posts and new opportunities cannot be left untended because recruitment is too hard.

Why hire?

Why do we tend to go straight to recruiting salespeople as if it were the only option available? If there were similar risks in another critical activity, managers might decide to shift the risk to a third party by outsourcing. This is possible for many sales roles. At the very least, engagement of interim or “temp” sales professionals minimises exposure when a territory is not being covered or a new product needs extra effort.

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Dr Beth Rogers has recently retired as Head of the Marketing and Sales Subject Group at Portsmouth Business School, She is also the author of Rethinking Sales Management. Before taking on an academic role, she had a career in sales and marketing in the information technology and professional services sectors. She is known as a pioneer of sales education from her work on key account management at Cranfield School of Management in the 1990s. Beth was elected chair of the UK National Sales Board from 2005-2009, which launched National Occupational Standards for the sales profession. She has taught account management and sales management in a variety of companies and countries, and has also contributed to the academic literature, trade magazines and The Times on sales topics.

Sales Psychologist

Bryan McCrae is an award-winning sales psychologist, a member of the Association of Business Psychologists, a sales coach and the founder of