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Table Stakes

For months now, along with many others in my line of work, I have been lamenting about the "impending" talent crunch. Make no mistake about it...there may be a surpluss of labor out looking for work but there is still a very low supply of great talent. Baby boomers will soon start exiting the market place by the millions. It's been my argument that companies will no longer be able to compete for the best sales professionals with things like salary and benefits. Today, those things are what Mark True at MMG would refer to as table stakes. Salary and benefits are simply the ante to get you into the game of recruiting the top sales professionals.

Recruiting Trends published this report that begins to validate my argument.

Research conducted by the Kenexa Research Institute (KRI), a provider of talent acquisition and retention solutions, asked workers what their reasons were for joining their current organization. The report analyzes data drawn from a representative sample of workers surveyed through WorkTrends™, KRI’s 2008 annual survey of worker opinions. For some time, many have speculated on the reasons as to why people accept a job with a new organization. While KRI’s research confirms that there are a variety of them, two top items emerge as critical decision points: compensation and corporate reputation. An organization’s reputation consists of a variety of characteristics, including their involvement in corporate responsibility initiatives, product quality or profitability. Poker_2

The survey results also reveal that senior managers and sales people place the most value on the organization’s reputation in weighing an employment offer, as did employees in India, Italy, Russia and Brazil. “The correlation between the organization’s reputation and successful recruiting efforts strongly supports the importance of employment branding,” says Jack Wiley, executive director of the Kenexa Research Institute. “It’s not about each individual job offer – this research highlights the value of presenting and maintaining positive brand messaging to the potential employee talent pool.

Why will the most talented sales people choose to sell for your company rather than your competitor?

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