A modern approach to recruitment

In today’s highly mobile, always-on world, traditional ways of recruiting are falling by the wayside. Many new staffing emarketplaces are now launching and as a result the number of on-demand workers is expected to reach 7.6 million by 2020.

While it is true that the UK has the largest recruitment market in Europe, there is a real aspiration for change which is being driven both by employers and employees alike. Millennials who now represent 75 per cent of the workforce are looking for more flexible lifestyles and more flexible careers. The job market is also changing as companies and employers look to better manage spend, costs and inefficiencies in the recruitment process. For example, why spend huge one-off fees on a new recruit only to find that the person disappears after a couple of months or is simply not quite right for the role? The amount of time that it takes to recruit and train someone to then see them leave is disheartening to say the least.

Be honest

This is one of the reasons why Parago Software took a conscious decision to take recruitment into our own hands as we have found that many of the recruitment agencies have been guilty of persuading folks that they want a career in sales rather than let them come to this decision themselves. We now have access to all the staff e-marketplaces and job boards, which we monitor ourselves. We can also promote our roles through twitter and LinkedIn. Quite frankly we know better than most the key attributes that we are looking for which makes it easier and faster for us to short-list candidates when they apply.

In the main we tend to recruit for sales roles and we can tell very quickly whether the person sitting opposite is ready for a career in sales. Equally we are very honest, especially if we don’t think they have the right attributes. It is far better to be honest before you recruit than to convince someone to take a role that is not right for them.

Sticky floors and glass ceilings

To succeed in sales, you need to be ambitious, you need to enjoy a challenge, and you need to be a self-starter. At Parago you also need to enjoy working in a highly entrepreneurial and fast paced environment, which won’t be for everyone. We tend to take on trainee sales employees and then train them up ourselves. We don’t believe in glass ceilings, instead we try to create what I term as sticky floors. This creates an environment where folks are likely to stay, creating a career path that is not so much based on waiting for the next person to move on but on an individual’s own personal development and performance.

I am also a firm believer that in sales recruitment has to be ongoing. We are constantly looking for graduate trainees as well as more experienced sales consultants. Parago is an ambitious and fast growing software company serving schools and multi-academy trusts across the UK and we have a great team of people. As a result, business is booming, hence our need to recruit and build out our salesforce. In fact, right now we also have a once in a lifetime opportunity to join Parago and represent the business in the US. This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking to work abroad.

Two examples

We work hard to create a very supportive environment. Our sales people are given the support and tools to help them succeed which goes back to my earlier comment about creating sticky floors. Let me give you two such examples - sales support manager Matthew Schopp and senior sales consultant Nick Proffitt. Both Matthew and Nick started with us as internal sales consultants and in less than two years both have grown and been promoted to new roles.

Matthew joined Parago having worked in a sales role for a couple of years at Phones 4 U. As we are a small company Matthew immediately gained a lot of exposure to directors in the business who gave him support and guidance. In less than a year he progressed from an internal to an external role whereby he had his own area to manage. Following this he was made sales support manager in charge of the internal sales folks. Matthew joined in early 2014 so his success and development has been rapid. Commission is limitless and this was certainly a motivator for Matthew. Equally motivating is the fact that we sell into the education sector and are improving the efficiencies of schools.

Nick started at the same time as Matthew and likewise was in telesales with a remit to find new customers, to generate leads, book meetings and up sell to existing customers. After a year in the role Nick was promoted to a sales consultant and given his own territory, which covers all of South London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex - in total 4,000 schools. Nick graduated from university and wanted to spend a year coaching gymnastics but at the time he also needed to earn money. He joined Parago because we were really supportive of that work/life balance. Nick understands that the harder you work the more money you earn and he found this particularly attractive. Nick believes that the job is perfect for anyone who wants to get into a company and grow and progress quickly from a junior into a more senior role. Although Nick has a lot of responsibility he finds the role particularly rewarding as he is actively involved in every part of the business and is very hands-on, helping to shape and grow the company.

These are just two examples that demonstrate how a person can springboard their career in a very short space of time. The key to success is that they must have an appetite for sales, which I know isn’t for everyone. If you have read this article and like the idea of a career in sales, then please do get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

Tim Roots, Director, Parago Software

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