June 20, 2023

Why Hiring Managers Aren’t Responding To Your Pitch

Hosts:

Episode Highlights

It's A Bad Market For Transactional Salespeople

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3:44

Provide Value Before Asking For Something

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7:48

Ask For Data When Buying Recruiting Services

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8:45

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Breaking News: Sales is hard.

Everyone in tech or ‘office dork’ circles is having a rougher go of it right now. And the same goes for recruiters.

Yes companies are still hiring. Unemployment is still low. And there’s still more open jobs than unemployed people. Just not at the extreme levels of the past 2 years.

When urgency goes down, expectations go up. Hiring managers and HR types want to see more out of organizations they partner with.

Jeff Smith and James Hornick dig into the realities of how companies are buying recruiting services in the next The 10 Minute Talent Rant, Episode 68 “Why Hiring Managers Aren’t Responding To Your Pitch”

Episode Transcript

The 10 Minute Talent Rant is live. I’m James Hornick joined by Jeff Smith and we are on the clock. The 10 Minute Talent Rant is our ongoing series where we breakdown things that are broken in the talent acquisition and hiring space, maybe even pitch a solution or two. But before we dig in, all of our content can be found at talentinsights.hirewell.com.

This week’s topic, episode 68 ” Why hiring managers aren’t responding to your pitch”. I had to specify this cause I was talking about this topic the other day on LinkedIn and it got a little- I’m talking about why hiring managers aren’t responding to recruiters’ pitches to use their services,

not job seekers specifically, but whatever. We’ll come to that, back to that. Let’s talk about sales today. In case you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed it’s kind of hard right now. A bit of a pain in the ass. Understatement of a statement- yes. The SaaS and software world, it’s well covered.

That’s why I kind of joke about this. If you’re on LinkedIn, it’s such a, it’s dominated I would say just as much by salespeople, it is by recruiters and especially SaaS salespeople, the people more tech forward. Not all industries though, are having these problems, but kind of the SaaS space is.

One example, there is a guy named Kevin Chu. He’s the COO and Founder of Catalyst. He shared some interesting data recently. Insight Partners, I guess they shared some data about their SDR bookings. It was 18% of their pipeline versus 40%, which is normal for SDRs in previous times, which is coming from the Bridge Group.

So a massive dropoff. And those of you, SDRs, BDRs, they do cold outbound. Like that’s their job. And all of a sudden it’s less than half as effective as it used to be. It’s just not working anymore. And not to generalize or to rag on the whole outbound industry, but like we’ve all seen in their inboxes. Most outbound, if we’re going to stereotype, it’s kind of untargeted, it’s kind of en mass.

It’s a product pitch dump. And I don’t think it’s gotten better or worse, honestly. It’s just less effective all of a sudden this year than it had been previously. And we feel for you SDR, BDR, that’s doing it the right way because for every good one of you, there’s a bazillion bad ones just like there are recruiters.

So olive branch extended, right? Look, you said it in boom times, it works. Yeah. Yeah. There’s a ton of buyers. Everyone’s got cash. Everyone’s willing to throw a little bit at the problem because they have that cash. So outbound is the right time to do that. You’re just trying to grab any percentage of that spend that you can, from a sales perspective. In downtimes, absolutely no chance.

So why though? Why is that the case? So there’s less buyers for one. But the buyers that exist are hundred x chooser. So they’re answering to their CFO. Mm-hmm. They’re answering to their senior leadership. They’re getting penny pinched. Their spend is held under a microscope. And this is even if they have like a little bit of a budget to spend.

So just doing and thinking that you sending more volume messages is going to work, isn’t. It’s not the case. It has to be relevant, it has to be super high quality, and even then, it’s probably not going to hit the mark. Yeah. And if they make a bad choice, a bad purchase, it might be their job on the line. Which is the last thing anybody wants to put through, which is not the case in boom markets.

Back to, I mentioned the data from Kevin. I actually saw him at a Sales Assembly event. He’s a really good speaker. This is a couple months ago. And this kind of cracked me up because he was giving a talk on customer led growth, which is what their organization Catalyst actually does. It’s like software for customer led growth.

I’d never actually heard this term before. You know, if you heard like sales led growth product, these are very SaaS type terms, whatnot. Long story short, SaaS firms are trying to figure out how to get their customers to do their selling for them. Right. They’re trying to use relationships with their customer base, which cracks me up because customer led growth is really what any good services firm does, whether you’re in recruiting or some other part of consulting, that’s actually how services does sales.

That’s how people are buying right now. People who are making purchases are doing it through people they know. So like we’re a recruiting firm. That’s kind of what I want to talk about more today. We’ve seen our own cold outreach, which I believe is fairly well targeted and pretty well, it just doesn’t work like the way like we used to,

whether it’s going hiring managers or HR people. It’s fallen off a clip in the same way and any other owner of recruiting firms or whatever I talk to who’s being honest, will say the same thing. A lot of them, you know how salespeople are in there will never want to admit when things don’t work. Yeah. Long story short is like even good outreach isn’t working like it did, but people who already know, you still pick up the phone.

Yep. The question is, what if you don’t have enough contacts or resources at X, Y, Z company? The answer is you just, you have to go to the places that you do have those contacts. I’m not saying scrap that whole idea entirely. You still want to kind of mine, but the bread and butter is in the deep relationship customer.

You have to leverage your network. And leveraging that existing network is and will always be the fastest route to actually gaining new customers. As you said, your relationships literally become your sales. These individuals will vouch for you when you are the unknown. So let’s just, let’s kind of pack this into a nice tidy package here.

What are some of the things we can do as it relates to going to market for this? I mean, the first thing you do is you have to kind of look at what you’re currently doing and pivot. Hirewell has a lot of different service areas. We do Tech, we do HR, we do Marketing, we do Sales, Finance and Accounting, Real Estate.

Digital marketing, marketing and digital specifically has been, probably been the area hardest hit. I think anyone familiar with like the go-to market space, people will throw more money at salespeople before they’ve thrown up marketers for whatever, right or wrong. We’ve had to focus more and have our people kind of cross trained and to do more, focusing more on kind of sales recruiting and pitching more of those services and making sure the people we have kind of dedicated on the delivery side

are more focused on those things and talking to customers, maybe the contacts they do have and trying to, might not be focused in sales or some of those areas, but trying to work them and talk with them about the other things we can do in case they’re able to make intros and things for them to other areas they’re hiring in the company,

so. Yeah, I mean, going after a market that doesn’t exist at presence is insane. Yeah. So number two, you have to be able to customize solutions. Another shameless plug for Hirewell, we do that at a lower cost. I hate to say it. I’m saying it out loud. Yeah. Yeah but- hate it. We get it. There’s going to be lower margin for the time being- the thing is, every industry goes through this too. It’s not just us. Like it’s, sometimes you just have to accept a lower margin. Sometimes it’s just fact. Sometimes it’s just the market. The biggest issue with our industry is, and frankly, we’ve been able to capitalize it on it, is the rigid approach

to the pricing model, you know? Mm-hmm. As long as the collective says that we’re not going to go under X amount, nobody has to worry about being undercut. So when there’s less options, the price is the price. This is our box. Do it or don’t. Case closed. That has changed recently. So you know, us and our competitors are feeling that pinch and flexing. So

if you’re not flexing, you’re missing out on revenue, which I suspect is probably most folks’ goals at this point. And there’s not a lot of IPO. There’s not like let’s drive revenue, right? You absolutely number three, have to provide value and there’s going to be more on this in next second in your outreach, especially if it’s closed or cold.

When you don’t have the keys, you don’t drive the car. Getting used to courting your prospects with increased detail and customization is the key to all of this. Yeah. You have to give them something that’s valuable before you ask for something that’s valuable. Fourth, to all your newbies out there in sales, James and I are going to yell at clouds for a second.

We’re going to old man on you, like pick up the phone. Just these things, these phones? Yeah. You can actually talk to people live on them. It’s amazing. Yeah. I use mine as a stopwatch most of the time on these shows, but yeah, it actually functions as a communications device. Go to coffee, go to coffee, go to lunch, like go door to door, drum stuff up.

It’s actually a differentiator again. Yeah. And the last thing, so Jeff was kind of leading the last thing we wanted to talk about, like providing value and whatnot. I like show, don’t tell. That’s a writer’s term. Mitch Sullivan, our friend, was he like, “Sell. Don’t tell.” But I think if you’re selling recruiting services, you have two levers you can really pull.

And this is whether you’re doing cold outreach or whether you’re doing presentations when you’re actually talking to people live and whatnot. And I want to make this a note- I’m not saying this to help our competitors, although it might. I’m saying this to put the idea in the heads of buyers out there, this is what you should expect, people who can provide these things for you.

And if they can’t, that should be a red flag for not working with them. We’re not even worried about- if our competitors haven’t figured this out, like nothing’s, this isn’t going to change that. So the things that we’re really leaning into now, data and then real world client examples with the participation of our clients.

So, I mentioned this, the other- I actually put this on LinkedIn the other day, like telling or is saying, “Hey, we recruit digital paid specialist” but showing is actually kind of the next level. We’re actually selling like, hey, this is real metrics here by the way. Recently Phil pre paid me to specialist roles at an agency.

Days to first submission was four, candidates to fill ratio five to one, average days to offer an acceptance nine, average days to start 24. That’s what we actually did. That’s what we can actually deliver on. That’s what we did for a client of ours recently, as opposed to just saying, “Hey, we can recruit this for you.”

And then client examples, there’s a case study on our website right now, you can check it out. It’s Jeff talking to one of our contacts at Evive. We did 41 hires for them across Tech, Sales, Marketing, and Finance and Accounting. You can hear our contact talking to Jeff saying exactly how great he is, how amazing he is,

how much of a pleasure it is to work with him. Yeah. Trying to lay it on thick here, Jeff. But these are in her own words, not ours. So that’s, I think the type of stuff you need to be able to do to show other potential clients out there that you’re real and not just a bunch of jokers.

So. Yep. Yep. Final shot out to our counterpart, Zac, he’s been interviewing a bunch of tech leaders at a variety of our clients. Again, see them all on our website. We’re just doubling down on ensuring the entire idea is, don’t take our word for it, take our customers mantra.

Yeah. We are short on clock. That’s a wrap for this week. Thanks for tuning in The 10 Minute Talent Rant, part of the Talent Insights series, which is always available for replay on talentinsights.hirewell.com as well as YouTube, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, and Amazon. Jeff, thanks again as always. Everyone out there, see you soon.

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