Internal recruiters often tell us that they need to hire more female salespeople, but struggle to do so for a number of reasons. Many companies have a hard time getting candidates to apply, others make offers but can’t get the top talent to join their company. So instead of Sasanka and I trying to figure out why this was happening and offering advice, we decided to bring in the experts.
This week we had the pleasure of having Carolyn Birsky as a guest on The Talent Hacks Podcast, along with our own Amy Petkanas, who is head of Customer Success here at LaunchSource. They offer some great advice to companies looking to diversify their teams by hiring more women. We’ve summarized some of the key points from the podcast below, but give it a full listen to hear all of Carolyn and Amy’s tips.
Have female friendly policies in place
Make sure you have policies in place around things like:
- Maternity leave
- Flexible work hours
- Work from home policies
- Vacation policy
And don’t forget to display them on your website! It’s also important to show diversity in your team photos.
Showcase company values early on
If you’ve already outlined your company values, talk about them with candidates and show them that you care about things like valuing personal/family time, professional development, collaboration, and so forth.
Change up the language on your job posts
Avoid using words like “Rockstars,” “Allstars,” and other ultra-competitive words. Instead try using words and phrases like “collaborative,” “innovative,” and “strong work ethic”.
It’s important to think about the image you paint in someone’s mind with the words you choose. Talk about the parts of sales that involve asking questions, problem solving, being consultative on the phone, and relationship building.
Showcase your female leaders
If you’ve already got great female leaders on your team, make sure candidates know about them, and make them accessible. This will help you show candidates someone they can look up to who looks like them and can relate to them. It also shows candidates that women can rise up the ranks in your company.
Be ready to change your culture
If you’re having trouble finding women who are a culture fit, it’s probably a good time to re-evaluate your culture. You may need to adjust it. That can mean taking a risk on a candidate who is different than your current team, or doesn’t fit your idea of what makes a good salesperson. There’s more than one way to be successful in sales, and diversifying your team’s way of thinking could make everyone better at their jobs.
Think about how your office looks
What kind of posters do you have up? Is your office clean and professional, or a sloppy startup? A professional look will be more welcoming to new people.
Listen to the whole podcast for Carolyn’s take on why women make great salespeople and why it’s one of the best avenues to take when starting any business career.
If you’re a candidate just starting your job search, check out Carolyn’s blog and free worksheet: Kickstart Your Job Search
Carolyn Birsky started her career in ad sales working for a large TV network and then transitioned into the B2B tech sales startup scene. After spending almost 6 years in sales, she decided it was time for another career transition and found her calling in coaching. She is now a Certified Life & Career coach and the Founder of Compass Maven, a business that helps ambitious women in their 20s gain the clarity and confidence they need to get unstuck and turn the lives and careers of their dreams into reality through 1-on-1 coaching, workshops and content.