Glassdoor Jobs Panel Discussion: Sales Leader Focus
with Kevin Marasco, CMO at HireVue and Glassdoor
In this panel discussion with Glassdoor and Kevin Marasco, they discuss the state of talent recruiting, especially in the fields of sales. Specifically, you'll learn:
Kevin Marasco serves as Chief Marketing Officer for HireVue. In this role, Marasco guides the company’s product, brand and outreach, communicating the benefits of digital interview management and On Demand Interviews to businesses globally. Before joining HireVue, Marasco was Vice President, Brand & Digital Marketing for San Francisco-based Taleo (NASDAQ: TLEO), one of the largest and fastest-growing cloud-based software companies in the world. During his tenure there, the company tripled its market cap to more than $1.5 billion. Prior to its acquisition by Taleo, Marasco was Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales Support at Vurv (formerly Recruitmax), where he led global marketing and sales support to help drive growth exceeding 1,200%. Marasco’s educational background includes executive education at Harvard Business School and a bachelor's in marketing from the University of North Florida.
Scot: Glassdoor and HireVue. Today we're featuring Kevin Marasco, CMO at HireVue; Leah Pettinari, Recruiting Manager at Boston Beer; Natalie Scardino, Recruiting Director at Salesforce; and Dina Rulli, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Glassdoor. My name is Scot Sessions. I’m the Director of Marketing at HireVue and I’ll be moderating today's session. We have muted all lines to ensure the best listening experience. We are also recording today's session and will be sending it out afterwards. At the end, there will be time for Q&A and we will be continuing the conversation at #GDChat. If you have a question during the question, please feel free to type it into the question panel on your screen. It will only be visible to the panelists and me. With that, let's have each of our panelists tell what they do and what they’re passionate about. Let's start with Kevin and then, following him, we’ll have Leah, then Natalie, and round it out with Dina. Kevin, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Kevin: Hey, Scot. Thanks for having us. Super excited to be on. I am the CMO at HireVue, and for those of you who don't know HireVue, we provide a digital recruiting platform that helps companies make more effective hiring decisions much faster, and super-excited to be in a phase of high growth. We’re doing a lot of sales, been really hiring across the board. So one of our challenges is finding great talent quickly that’s the right fit for the business and moving it in. I'm really passionate about both the topics of recruiting and sales and marketing.
Leah: Thanks, Scot. This is Leah and I'm here at Boston Beer, Sam Adams, and Angry Orchard, and Twisted Tea, and excited to join the conversation today. I manage all of recruiting for our sales force, as well as our corporate openings here in Boston. And I would be remiss if I didn't say that we're passionate about our beer. So that's definitely one thing. But I think relative to what we will be talking about today, it's how do you continue to raise the bar particularly as it relates to the sales hires and go above and beyond on the quality that you’re bringing in consistently.
Scot: Great. Thanks. Natalie.
Natalie: Hi, it's Natalie Scardino. I'm the Director of Sales Recruiting for the Americas at Salesforce. Really pleased to be a part of this session. Thanks for having me. I am really interested in bringing in sales talent that have a diverse perspective. And I know that we’re going to talk a little bit today about our outreach strategy and how we bring in folks that have a diverse mindshare; excited to get going on that. I think you asked, “Tell us something that you're passionate about outside of sales.” I would say that I’m known to be a bit of a karaoke junkie. So there you have it.
Scot: Terrific. I can't wait to witness that, Natalie. Dina, round us out.
Dina: Thanks, Scot. I'm Dina Rulli, and I manage the sales recruiting function at Glassdoor. I'm very passionate in terms of bringing on… we're going to be expanding globally this year at Glassdoor. I’m really excited about doubling our sales force and starting to get international. And then, in addition to that, just passionate about bringing transparency to the recruiting process and really our mission at Glassdoor in terms of aligning folks with their dream jobs and helping them find jobs that they love. And in my free time, I love food and cooking and eating really good food. So that is really my personal passion as well.
Scot: Well, terrific. So glad to have each of you participating with us today. I want to start off today with a question for each of you and then we'll get more specific. So today we're talking about Always Be Closing. It's a famous title and phrase within the sales community that if they're not closing, they may as well go find another career. But as it relates to the HR community and like we talked about in our title, Recruit Ramp Retain. Dina, what does Always Be Closing mean to you in your role as it benefits Glassdoor? And then, we'll go through each of you and talk about that as it pertains to your roles as well.
Dina: Yeah, definitely. For me, Always Be Closing, throughout my recruiting career, has been to, one, officially, as you're speaking candidates and also working with managers, it's a matter of understanding really specifically what motivates the hiring team but also the individual candidates that you're speaking with and also the corporate goals. So for me, Always Be Closing is as you move through that recruiting cycle, it's constantly aligning all of those specifications and motivators, so that you are continuing to close those candidates, and filling the jobs that are necessary for the organization, they ultimately can be winning. And then bringing it around full circle to where, when you do get to final offers, there isn't as many question marks around what is motivating the candidates. So when it does come time to close and extend those offers, you actually are making sales and not getting rejections and then ultimately not hitting the goals that the organization and the team, and potentially then also missing on business goals.
Scot: All right. Thank you. Natalie, what's your view on Always Be Closing as it relates to your role?
Natalie: So in my role, I have an incredibly strong team of recruiters that are looking to bring into Salesforce the best sales talent out there. When I think about Always Be Closing, it's really about the relationships that we are building with the market. And I know of a lot of cases where recruiters on the team, sources on the team, were developing relationships over months, and in some cases, years to really close and bring them into the business. So when I think about Always Be Closing, it really pertains to the relationships.
Scot: All right. Thank you. Leah, what does it mean for you?
Leah: I would agree with what Dina and had Natalie said. For us here, I think, it also pertains to making sure that we can expose the candidate to what the longer term career, and what their longer term sales career could look like. So we do that in a variety of ways. One of the things that we include in our interview process is a full day in market, a sort of ride along job shadow day so that they get a chance to see what the role is actually like. But beyond that, we try to have very candid conversations to make sure that they have a solid understanding of essentially what they’re signing up for, in interviewing for this role. It's not just a lengthy interview process. The hope is that one day, they'll be a senior sales level position. All of that entails both good, bad, indifferent, we try to really articulate during the process.
Scot: Okay. Thanks. Kevin, how does it impact you?
Kevin: I think of it as creating a culture of recruiting for our company, and certainly tapping the talents of our recruiters but also our hiring managers and really the entire team. There's some recent research I saw from Forrester that stated that consumers today, by the time they engage in a buying cycle, this could be for B2B product or beer. By the time, I decide that I want Sam Adams seasonal, I've done a lot of my research, I've talked to peers, or I've read reviews on Amazon, right? And we're in a new state of transparency, and a lot of information today have been demonetized. And we're seeing a lot of that in recruiting. By the time candidates engage with our company, particularly mid-stage, they've done a lot of research using tools like Glassdoor and LinkedIn. It's imperative that we create a culture that not only Always Be Closing but also just always recruiting and using our entire team to build the employment brand and create meaningful relationships that when candidates do engage, it's in a meaningful way, it's relevant to the brand, and effective.
Scot: All right. Thank you. We promoted this session today and shared a specific stat that 68% of sales professionals plan to look for a new job in the next year. And if you're in sales leadership, this number should be alarming, not to mention if you're in recruiting and HR. So I'm going to get a little more into the weeds here and Natalie, I want to start with you. If they're already looking for a job what is it that you think that turns sales professionals off about recruiters and the recruitment process?
Natalie: I look at it from being in their shoes as well, having been recruited before. And I think that what turns people off is if you haven't done your research. And so as a recruiter, now more than ever with the 360-degree view we have of people on LinkedIn and places like Glassdoor, there's really no excuse not to know who you're talking to, not to know about them. So essentially, what you do is you turn a cold call into a warm call by doing your research. I think what turns sales folks off is obviously, just like any other person that you're trying to recruit, if you're spamming somebody's inbox with irrelevant content, that doesn't look good for you. They're unlikely to return your calls.
When I look at successful recruiters, those who are super conscientious about who they are targeting based on the research that they're doing, they're the folks that will get those calls returned. And it might not be the next day and it might not be the next month. It could be the next year. But at the time that the candidate starts to look for a job, they know the good recruiters that they want to reach back out to. And I think those are the types of recruiters that will win.
Scot: Okay. So that leaves me to think, if sales professionals are getting turned off and we've done that, how do we get hiring managers involved? So Dina, this question is for you. How can sales hiring managers be more involved in the hiring process without taking away from their existing duties or becoming the bottleneck?
Dina: Yea. So this is something that we struggle with daily at Glassdoor, especially when our business is pretty cyclical. So in quarters where the sales number are very large and the managers have less time, what we've really done is, we've worked hard as recruiters to become partners. We don't even want to be… of course, we're recruiters. But we want to be described more as actually partners to those business and those hiring managers, so that we truly understand the specs in terms of the intangibles of a candidate as well as the tangibles and the exact background that they're looking for.
So we've worked very hard to actually make sure that we're teeing up quality versus just tons of candidates. And so if we are actually teeing up very quality, very high standard candidates, it's less candidates that the hiring managers actually have to interview, and then we've actually seen our ratio of candidates to fill decrease. And so now we're almost at, depending on the tier of sales rep that we're hiring, we can actually get down to maybe only 2-to-1 that the hiring managers are having to interview. And that really made us be smarter and also make ourselves very relevant to the business, and really, truly an extension of their needs.
Scot: Yeah, that's a great point that you bring up about how to reduce that volume while maintaining the best candidates. So this next question is actually for Leah and Kevin. Leah, let's start with you. In today's world, which attributes in general correlate to today's top performers? Like we just heard Dina talk about, narrowing down that field and presenting the best ones to a manager, how do we do that? What are some of the most popular methods used to determine that for you in your role today?
Dina: I think this is a great question. We hire and interview in two main areas: for competency and then for potential. And I'd say that in the past, now close to eight years of hiring sales people, I would say that potential is where we find those attributes. And what I mean by potential, and it might mean something different depending on the organization that you're in, but the potential piece that we look for is really those intangibles — someone's level of competitiveness, or their level of assertiveness, or to put it another way, maybe simply their work ethic, how they approach their day to day task, their energy, their enthusiasm.
And to get at those, we look at some of the things that I like to say are sort of behind the resume. What's behind what's written there? Which might mean, have they ever had any leadership type position? Did they play sports, even if it's going back to high school or college, or were they in any college organization? Have they shown that they prefer to be active in groups of larger people versus maybe a more introspective role working on their own? And the dialogue then becomes what is a person capable of doing based on some of the things that come naturally to them?
And again, we also hire for competency so in that respect that would be your standard behavioral questions that are asked during an interview. But for me, I would say 9 times out of 10 it's going back to some of those raw traits that can convert to whatever type of sales role that you have. For us, it's 100% outside sales, on the go, 10-15 account calls per day, so we know that we need somebody who is going to be motivated by variety, high pace, fast energy, things like that. And usually, it creates for a much more comfortable interview because the candidate then is able to talk about things that are really true to them.
Scot: Terrific. So Kevin, continuing with you, what's your take on attributes and some of the methods to identify them to engage with them?
Kevin: Yeah, Scot. I think the only thing I'd echo is some of the attributes we've found not to be effective are a lot of the attributes and things you find on a resume or profile. And obviously it varies from position to position, role to role. But in today's world, things are moving so quickly that a lot of the things you see on a resume, experience type things, don't tend to correlate as strongly to high performances, the intangibles and things that you find through interaction, things like motivation, attitude, level of engagement and energy, ability to learn. A couple of studies and books that I think are really interesting that have studied this topic, one was from Jill Konrath, and the book is called "Agile Learning". She talked about one of the most effective attributes of sales rep in today's role is their ability to continuously learn and adapt and change and continue to raise their bar. New products, new markets, new technologies, things are just changing so quickly that it's imperative that sales reps are able to learn quickly and self-educate in many situations.
And the second study and book that I thought was really interesting is Sean Acres who studied happiness and he found, "Hey, it's not these traditional attributes that we tend to hire sales rep off but it's actually things like optimism because we found that happiness inspires productivity and productivity helps drive sales performance.” So I think it's interesting that a lot of the traditional things that we've found to be successful in sales reps are starting to question that and look at more of the intangibles.
Scot: As we're identifying these attributes, Natalie, this next question is for you. How are the reps integrated more into the candidate outreach process? I mean, we all know that there are multiple different types and ways of recruiting but oftentimes internal referrals can perform best. How do we go about that? How do we engage our existing reps to engage with potential candidates or recruits?
Natalie: That’s a really great question and definitely something that we’re focused on right now, given the landscape of the talent market which is in many cases passive, right? And so we're engaging more with our hiring managers who are now taking time out to send that email or make that call to a candidate that we've been pursuing for some time. We also now have candidates who are maybe a little bit more passive than others come in and sit with some of our best performing AEs and sort of do a half a day of shadowing so they can integrate with the business a lot more and understand. What's been great is that our hiring managers really get it, and they know that even though the time it takes to do these interviews and the time that they have to put in to make these hires happen ultimately helps them in the long term in securing their sales revenue. So we don't get a lot of resistance. Our hiring managers absolutely know that this is a partnership and are very happy to make those calls and to partner with the recruiting and sorting teams to bring in the best talent.
Scot: Okay. So let's continue that idea. You've talked about impact of time. Dina, have you seen meet-ups work and is the cost worth the time? Is there a good ROI on that?
Dina: Yeah, good question. We've tested a few different things out in terms of meetups. What we've really used especially specifically with sales hiring is happy hours since sales folks are social beings. Getting them out into their natural element has been very successful for us. So we've tested a couple of different ways. One has been where we'll do events that are most of the time invites-only from employees, so kind of going back to getting the reps involved. We do open it up to broader candidates as well as applicants. But we found that when it’s to some degree invited by referral, those candidates tend to be of better quality.
So we've done things at venues within the city and then we've also discussed having folks come out to the office as well and see the culture and the building and really helping them to be able to feel what it's like to be at Glassdoor. As you can probably imagine, hosting these events at a bar or restaurant is a bit more expensive. So we've probably had them be around $5000 to host an event like that. And we'll hire anywhere from… I mean we've certainly had some less than successful ones where maybe we're only hiring a couple of folks, but we've also had some more successful ones where we're hiring, say, five or six. So that's not to us, potentially breaking that down to maybe $1000 a hire is not a bad cost per hire. And then doing them internally at our own office really reduces things significantly. It can probably bring it down to about $1500; so not a huge spend.
Scot: Okay. Thank you. I’m going to take a moment here and ask our audience, do you agree with what's been talked about so far? We want to hear from you. We've got some good discussions happening at our #GDChat. Come join us there, and share your thoughts and your questions, and we'll get to as many as we can. So we've been focusing here at the first part about recruiting. Let's transition and talk about, we've identified our next hires, and we move forward. Now, we want to get them ramped up as quickly as possible. So Natalie, I'm going to go to you on this one.
So typically a new sales rep can take on average 6-12 months to ramp. How have you been able to or what are your recommendations on reducing that time, accelerating that ramp so that that rep can be closing as soon as possible and driving dollars to the bottom line?
Natalie: It's a great question and it's something that is obviously near and dear to our hearts as we are ramping the sales folk into the organization, but I think there are a couple of points to look at. One is the alignment between four key areas: executive leadership, sales managers, sales enablement, and onboarding. And at Salesforce we're very fortunate that our reps have those key features and we have a huge onboarding practice. I think the other piece when we're looking at ramp time and accelerating it is making sure that first line managers are focused on coaching and making sure that there is a consistent cadence of bite-size instructor-led training and a library of just in time content which comes from peer-to-peer best practices.
We use internally our Chatter, which really has helped support that acceleration because sales reps can get a 360 degree view of the organization. They can quickly reach out to pricing, to marketing, to legal, and that has ramped our folks a lot quicker than normal.
Scot: Okay. Dina, are you able to determine the value of a great onboarding program? So we've talked about ramp time that Natalie talked about. But what about the value of an onboarding program, how do you guys do it and what are your recommendations for best practices to drive highest ROI?
Dina: Sure. So at Glassdoor, we're very metrics and data driven. So this is something that we have spent a lot of time analyzing this year. So our onboarding program is, to some degree, relatively new. We've created it and rolled it out in 2013 and then have refined it a lot in 2014. And what we've seen is that we've actually been able to cut the ramp in half from 2013. For example, it took a new hire about 12 months to ramp in 2013. Coming into January of this year, we've cut that to 9 months. Now, we're actually at a cadence of having new reps ramped by 6 months. So that's been significant for us in just one calendar year cutting that by 50%. So that's been huge.
Another big thing that we've seen from our onboarding program is that new hires have all consistently and collectively performed at over 100% to quota for every quarter. So that has been a very tangible ROI that we can measure. And then I think a big piece that should also be mentioned here is that our adoption rate, we've rolled out some new sales methodologies, and we have consistent training every other week. It's not that we just roll out sales training when they first come on board, but we actually do these continuous reinforcements every other week. And with that we've seen about a 93% adoption rate because it's always sort of fun to mine. So we've had great success in hoping that . . . well.
Scot: That's amazing. So training has a huge impact. Kevin, what are some of the steps? We've heard Dina talk about . . . training, are these the only steps in creating a more effective training program? What are your thoughts on that?
Kevin: Scot, the only thing that I'd add, I'd echo Dina and Natalie as well, we're internally big users of Salesforce Chatter and not only do we use it in the traditional kind of Chatter sense to connect reps and whatnot, but we also combine it with the product we've actually developed internally at HireVue for Chatter. What it does is it takes the best practices from our most successful reps. For example one of the reps closes a big deal, they share on video through HireVue how they did that, what their techniques were and so on and so forth. And then it's available on the Chatter feed so then when I have a new hire, start as… I’m a new sales rep, I can go and access that, and learn in real time dynamically basically just in time some of the best techniques what on the most successful reps are doing. I think there are a lot of cool new technology in the digital world that enable us to take enablement, onboarding, and ongoing training and learning and put it on steroids and do it much faster.
Scot: Speaking of steroids, we’ve got a lot of great questions coming in. So stay on with us. We're going to get to as many of them as we can at the end. And we want to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with the things that we're talking about here that our panelists, our experts are talking about? Tell us. Come to #GDChat and share your thoughts.
So we’ve recruited, we’ve ramped. As we talked about in our title, retaining this good talent, we talked about 67% of reps are looking for a new job or may be looking for a new job. So, how do we retain? So this next question I want to tee up for Leah and Dina. Leah, let's start with you. Kevin talked about culture at the very beginning. How much influence do you think culture really has on retaining sales professionals, and can that outweigh lower compensation? What are your thoughts, Leah?
Leah: I think it has a huge influence, and one of the things we say here, and again this may not be applicable for all sales roles, but this isn't just a job for the people we bring on. It's truly a lifestyle. So I think that in and of itself is something that candidates are either are going to respond favorably to or not. I think the biggest thing related to what I was saying earlier, is making sure that they know what they're signing up for in that respect. So the job role becomes a culture element. For many people in sales, it may be that they don't want to work behind the desk. For people who work for us, the consistent things they say is they enjoy being out and about, they love meeting new people, they love that every day is different, and again, that becomes then the lifestyle of the job.
Where I think we have an additional advantage is that we have tremendously high quality product lines, and they're ones that each of our sales people can really believe in, and we embrace a family style environment where they are able to, when they start with the company, attend orientation with their peers, and then they come back and attend training classes with some of the same people. So there really is this sense of camaraderie. And because of the product being so high quality and folks being so passionate about it, it becomes something that everybody has a sense of we're in this together kind of feeling.
For me, I think that there is certainly a lot to be said about a day to day job that you love doing, you love what you sell, and at the end of the day, you know there is flexibility because of the relationships that you've built. And I think that that can be in many ways just as important when you're thinking about how to reward and retain somebody versus them thinking about going and doing something else.
Scot: So culture is important. I heard a little bit of a competitive nature in there. Dina, how does it work over at Glassdoor? Does competition play a role for wanting to outdo and out best the next person, to always one up to retain people?
Dina: I think competition is definitely healthy, but it needs to be truly healthy competition. I certainly will echo a lot of the same things that Leah said. I've lived this. Every organization I've ever worked for has paid slightly below market salary. So this is something that myself and my teams have had to overcome. And so what we do try and do is the best of our ability, hire overachievers. I guess I would like to maybe translate how the competition into folks who are not okay with the status quo who are always pushing the envelope. And so we've tried to create a culture where we want to hear ideas, where we want to try new things. We want to make mistakes and then learn from them.
And so I think that that competitive over-achievement is what we've tried to instill but more than that we also have within our culture, we have buddy programs, mentorship programs. We also have being in the air of transparency, we have very clear career paths that we have put into place for our reps. So they know what the next two to three steps look like for them. And the managers are always focused on getting them to what they are motivated by and what they want in their personal career goals.
I think through that, our salaries are completely transparent. They recognize how much more money they can be making if they are to get promoted. We do try and promote probably every 12-18 months. Of course, it depends and some folks are less and some are longer. But since we can offer that, we're hoping that they don't have to look elsewhere because they might be able to get into those compensation thresholds that they're hoping to get into but also be able to take on more strategic selling to Fortune 2000 organizations potentially going into management. So we do all of those things that I personally think you can't put a price tag on but it helps us overcome the lower compensation that we unfortunately are… where we are in our growth cycle that we need to have internally.
Scot: Fascinating. Thank you. So are organizations at risk of complacency, of gee I'll never be as good as the top sales person? Kevin, how do organizations replicate top performance and not end up replicating mediocre performance? It's all about the ramp, the retain, and maximizing that rep's capability. How can a company best go about that?
Kevin: Yeah. That's a great question because I found it quite surprising that most sales reps — 52% last year — did not hit their quota, according to CSO insights. There's almost this bar of mediocrity, and I find that fascinating. I think the first thing you've got to understand is what does success look like? What is a successful rep? Obviously the characteristics and attributes, but what are those reps doing differently than the reps that are missing quota and not successful and that's not always the easiest thing to do but it's critical. And then building your talent plans around that and understanding, okay, if this is what success looks like and the things that differentiate, okay, how do we now determine these attributes?
Another thing that we’ve got to take into context just on the heels of what we were just talking about with career paths and things like that, it's also important to understand the different profiles and send what you have within your sales team, things like the different generations in the work force and we found things that motivate millennials can be a lot different than boomers. In addition to performance and attributes, we also have to take a look at motivators and things like that, and build an organization that caters to those motivators.
So in the case if you have a lot of millennials, make sure you understand a sense of purpose. And a lot of times it's not just what you're selling in the comp but why that really matters and making sure, obviously you've got to build that into your employee value proposition and articulate it and build a culture around that. But then also things like creating rapid career paths for this segment if those are the things that are important to folks who are high performers. A lot of it starts with understanding what high performance look like.
Scot: You said some interesting things there, Kevin. I want stem off of that. Natalie, I want to pose this question to you. Kevin talked about working toward the individuals that you’re most sourcing for roles. Does that come as a priority to… and I think I know the answer to this but let's see what your thoughts are, to sales objectives or how do you match those best attributes to the sales objectives of your organization?
Natalie: Just so I understand, do you mean how do we match the success skills of a sales person to the organization? Can you just restate that?
Scot: Yeah. That's it, Natalie. If the organization is working to sell $10,000,000 this quarter and to Kevin's point, developing and engaging at the cultural level across that sales organization, if the two don't match, what do you do? Sales objectives to the culture of the sales team. If they're not a match, what are your next steps?
Natalie: I think you're pretty stuck if there's not a match, and I think it goes back to what some of the other folks said before which is looking at the culture of your organization. When you bring folks into your organization as well as assessing those competencies, you're going to have to really understand if there is a culture fit. What are the values that the candidates are looking for? Are they represented in your company? What are the principles that they withhold? Are they also represented in your company? I think that upfront in order to mitigate that mismatch that you're referencing, you need to be able to have conversations that say, “Hey, what is important to you?” And also be able to speak well about your own values, your own vision, the message, the obstacles, and the metrics by which you are measured in your own company.
Scot: I appreciate you being very upfront there about you're stuck. So it really says you better figure out early on who you need to hire and then target those people and work to recruit, ramp, and retain those as quickly as possible, or you'll be, how do you say it Natalie, stuck, right?
Natalie: That is a very good northern accent. I have not heard that for at least 3 years somebody do it so well. It's just stuck as S-T-O-O-K.
Scot: Well, we have a lot of comments and a lot of questions that have come in. I'm going to start with some of those and they may be a general question for all panels or they may be somewhat targeted. Dina, actually, this one's for you. Going back to early on, the question is how do I sell improving career section of my company's website? Thoughts on that?
Dina: Yeah. So this is a tough one because I've personally been in the predicament where you need to get the career site updated, maybe you were focused on engineering hiring and now you're moving more towards sales. But depending on who owns your career site, it could be your internal marketing team or it could be an external site or platform, it could cost money and it costs time. One, what I have personally done is if you have the ability to be recruiting for marketing, you might want to work out some kind of trade in terms of, okay, we're helping you with this, what can you do to help us with our own needs? Secondly, and I don't say this because I work at Glassdoor but what I did find in previous organizations was that there's a ton of traffic that goes to organization Glassdoor’s profiles.
If you can update your Glassdoor profile to really showcase the career that you're focused on hiring, really have a voice in the page, include videos, include pictures and a lot of this stuff you can do for free or for pretty minimal costs. You can actually start to have that, and maybe it's something that your development team can simply have as an icon or a link to your Glassdoor profile. You can start to maybe take some matters into your own hands and have an extension of your career site. That is how I always used my employer profile when I worked at previous organizations. So those are a couple of tools.
And then if you're able to showcase truly the ROI and the business goals and needs and become that partner to the business, then if necessary, you hopefully can… I would truly lever that up to executive and let them know that while core operational recruiting is exceptionally important, your brand is, in this day and age, becoming more and more important as the talent marketplace becomes more and more competitive.
Scot: Thank you. I'm sure lots of you have ideas on that. We want to hear from you. Visit us at… join the conversation at #GDChat. This next question is going to be a multi-part question for Leah. Leah, it's a long question, so hold on and I'll tell you when to start talking about it. What are the best practices when it comes to recruiting against the competition? And then in an environment where the role is a 100% commission based, how do you engage with millennials and get them interested? Obviously, money makes the world go round and maybe they haven't been in 100% commission role. I'm not sure you commission your sales reps but the first question is, how do you recruit against the competition? I know that Boston Beer is awesome. So maybe that answers that. But then how do you engage millennials for a 100% commission role? Leah?
Leah: Great questions. I think as it relates to our competition, one of the misconceptions about our company is that we're a lot larger than we actually are. If you think about the overall beer business, we're actually just ticking toward 2% of the overall picture, which to us is something to get very excited about. But when you compare it to some of the bigger players in the industry, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, we're pretty miniscule. So I think the first step is to be very transparent about that. An example that immediately comes to mind is recruiting college students at the University of Missouri which is Anheuser-Busch InBev's territory.
So I think that the first step is to say that this is who we are. As much as we're out there, as much as we have great brands and great quality products, we're a small player in this market. And then you sort of caveat that with we may be small but these are the things that we adhere to. So I think that the second piece coming into that is by introducing candidates to our value statement. These are the things that make us very special and one of the things we do for students and experienced candidates is expose them to these are the values of our company. I say it usually more often when it's in front of students, but I say that these values that we have here, like treating people the way you want to be treated, and valuing creativity and honesty and discussing whatever is on your mind at any point in time, are ones that are really unique.
I think that it's sort of a two-step process from my perspective, is by saying hey you know what, I think Jim Cook says that Anheuser-Busch InBev spills as much beer on their brewery floors as we produce. And so we know what can do and we know what we can't do but because of that it allows us to place more emphasis on the things we do really well, like some of these value points and some of this culture. Relative to your second question, I'm going to answer it in a couple of parts. We actually don't use 100% commission structures here. So I've never had any experience in trying to get millennials onboard with that. I did see a question that popped up via the chat that's about millennials and as it relates to work ethic.
So I'm going to sort of deviate a little bit from that and say there is a certain expectation for motivation that we have for them. I think that the interview process sets it up to give them an idea of exactly what the role would look like and that's usually a good indicator. I generally would assess someone's motivation or work ethic by saying what have they been involved in the past, what jobs did they take on, even if it's going all the way back to high school or college. I always say I'd rather take somebody who is juggling a tough course load and working three jobs to help pay for their school versus somebody with a perfect 4.0 GPA, who has done internship but hasn't really had an interest in getting some of the more raw skill sets that they might have had in working other jobs that are, for a lack of a better term, tougher or grittier because I think that those are the roles that translate well to our company and our culture.
Again, this may not apply for all roles but I think that work ethic is something that people either have or they don't. You could test somebody's reaction, so if you are in 100% commission structure, laying out the goals very specifically and saying that this was going to be expected of you and then having a plan on how you follow up with that. If you can't hold anyone accountable, how are they not only going to be measured, but how are they going to know that they're not maybe doing what needs to get done, whether it be for certain quota or whether certain time of the year or what not?
I think that the difficulty in the millennials piece is that they want to hear how they're doing all the time. So what we've committed to is not only laying out those expectations but being a little bit more proactive as it relates to if we have a manager, and one of our sales trainers shadowing the person for the day, having several conversations throughout the day instead of one big end of day recap. For example, hey it's mid-morning, I've watched you go through these two or three account calls, here's what I've noticed, okay? Yes, we've done some more account calls, now it's lunch time. Here's what I'm noticing, or you really took the feedback well from this morning into the afternoon.
I know I've kind of diverted from the original question but it's a combination of making sure that they know what they're signing up for, that you work very closely with them, and these are the expectations, and then give them the feedback that they need. But before they're even hired, you have to look for that glimmer of work ethic and that they understand that sometimes they're going to be required to run through wall and we want that energy and excitement and enthusiasm. When we say jump, they say how high.
Scot: Terrific. So we want to hear from you, our listeners. What do you do in that situation? Share your thoughts at #GDChat about what you do on a 100% commission basis and what you've done. Share your thoughts with the community and help us out there. Natalie, this next question is for you. It's also a 2-part question. It comes from the field. First, how do you get reps involved in the hiring process without the rep feeling threatened that this person is going to take their job or steal their commissions. And then the second part of that is do you have any recommendations for getting those reps involved and bypassing any pushback because, again like we've talked about, referrals is a great method for finding the next best people. What are your thoughts?
Natalie: It's a good question. How do you get reps involved? I would say to your point about making them not feel like we're stealing their commission, I've never come across a rep coming back to say that that's why they might not get involved . . . I think how we get reps involved is creating an overall culture that really shows the benefits of hiring talent. And again, I talked earlier about now more than ever the market is more passive and people have choices. Especially in our industry, you look 5-10 years ago, there were a handful of staff companies and then today we've got over 5,000 staff companies. So candidates have a choice.
Recently at Salesforce, we took to our sales organization an analysis that we did over the last couple of quarters to show about 60% of our candidate pool were passive, not actively looking for a position. And just sharing that with them, the reps became more involved because they understood that they needed to help us sell and reps being competitive, they want to win. And so as a team, as a unified team, we, the recruiting organization, HR organization are working very closely with the business to make sure that we are winning the war on talent. And they understand the benefit when we talk about how we encourage the job shadowing that I referenced earlier. How do we ask for reps, particularly the A-players, to take time out of their day to help us with the job shadowing? And again it's an adult conversation that we talk about the landscape of the market and that we need their help with it.
So far it's been incredibly successful. But I think you have to have some supporting data that shows the type of market we're dealing in as far as hiring. I know a lot of people were pretty surprised to see just how passive the talent market was.
Scot: Terrific. We live in a world and a day of big data. That's the big buzz word these days. #BigData and you'll go find tons of discussions on that. I'm going to tee all of our panelists up for this last question... great questions that have come in today. We're at about the top of the hour and have time for this last question. Let's start with Leah on this. And the question is, have you used predictive analytics either in your hiring or in your sales performance to determine your next best performer? The lead-on is, how do you use technology to accomplish that, to increase win rates, to decrease cycle times? Do you work with sales managers to assist them with this? Tell me your thoughts; 60 seconds. Go.
Leah: There are a couple of questions in there, so I'm going to try my best. I think that we definitely value predictive indicators. We use Access PI for every single applicant within the company. We've done reviews on which corresponding… for those of you who don't know Access PI is just predictive indicator that gives insight into how somebody best works or the best preferred work environment. We've run reports on the successful folks within our organization in sales. And we've sort of matched close to 95% of our top performers what their read back [SP] patterns are, and we look for that within new hires. This may not only be applicable for sales as we use it for other positions within the company.
What I can tell you is that it is very tough for a candidate to make it past our initial screening without corresponding to the pattern that we’re looking for. Now, we use it as a predictor. We tell people that there is no wrong or right. But it's something that is usually dead-on from the initial phone screen.
With regards to the technology piece, we're able to use HireVue as a gateway screen for mostly our entry level sales to see if the video responses correlate to the PI pattern. And then finally another thing that we do as a major predictor is we use case studies for every final sales interview. So regardless of the level, they get a scenario that basically states hey you're the new Boston Beer. Whichever position that they're interviewing for, here's the scenario. The first 15 minutes of your final interview is going to be the actual mock sales call. And those have proven to be very, very effective. We measure their performance there based on things that we actually used to evaluate our current sales reps in. So it tends to be really true to life and give a good indicator of how they would perform. It's a little more than 60 seconds.
Scot: No, that was fantastic. Thank you. Natalie, what technology are you guys using? I know you're based in technology. But what about predictive analytics to reduce sales cycles and improve top ROI opportunities?
Natalie: I wish our analytics head was on the phone right now because this is… we're very, very fortunate in recruiting to have a dedicated analytics team that go through all sorts of algorithms to capture quality of hire data. I can say and similar to the last speaker, we're measuring quality of hire in using our own technology assessing against key competencies when we are going through the interview process. We also have a case study that all account executives in the commercial business organization go through which is a role play. And we are now just starting to track that data where we're measuring them against these key competencies and a year later, we're able to then go back to these competencies and say here's our top 100 AEs and here's where they ranked when they came into the business and I think that's where we really are as far as quality of hire right now.
Scot: Fantastic. Thank you. Dina, what are your thoughts?
Dina: I hate to say that we do pretty much exactly the same things as Leah and Natalie, but we do. So we're a relatively new recruiting team. So we really only have recruiters that started probably earlier this year. So a lot of this is what we are pulling together. But we do a couple of same things as Leah mentioned. So for example, we use a tool, sort of an assessment tool during the interview process that looks at personality fit but also sort of cognitive assessment as well. We're not only looking for… of course we want to make sure that they're a culture fit, and are they introvert or extrovert? How do they deal in high stress situations? We're also looking for just general intelligence because we have seen where if you're a sharp individual and you are a motivated and self-driven individual, that those do ultimately equate to being very good sales hires and especially in entrepreneurial environment where they need to be thinking on their feet and making decisions. We do want to find folks with those personality skills. So that's one piece that we do.
We also do the mock sales pitch. So that is a big piece of our interview process. One, because we're looking to see how they do discovery, how they deal with objections. We have a very specific sales methodology that we train on. So we make sure to throw those types of curve balls at them, sort of real life situations and see how they react to it. So those are the things we're doing and even further than that, we're trying to really add what our sales ops team does as far as sales team, we're trying to bring those analytics to our sales recruiting.
For example, how many candidates does a recruiter need to screen to ultimately get to an enterprise hire versus a mid-market or S&B hire, even a manager hire. But as we go into increased hiring in 2015, we can actually start to reverse engineer into our goals based off the activity we have seen be successful. So we're at the very early stages of this but these are some of the analytics that we are trying to put into place now to make us be a more successful team.
Scot: Wow. These are some terrific practices we're hearing here today. Kevin, we're at the top of the hour. I want to give you the last word. What are the risks of leveraging new technologies versus the opportunity costs that are remaining in the same situation that you're in? So take 90 seconds if you can before we close out.
Kevin: I'm a little bit biased candidly. But I think the greatest risk is complacency in today's world. I think new technology in the digital era is just upending the way we used to do a lot of things from the most basic to the sophisticated. I think the greatest risk is not exploring. It doesn't mean do everything. The biggest challenge that we found is change. Just in resistance to the change. And it could be something as simple as text messaging. Think about the first time you did that, to using an iPad or video or tablet for sales, engaging, connecting with customers. But I think it's important that you always be on the lookout and consider new technology that can improve things. Not just technology for technology's sake or for innovation's sake but looking for ways that will drive business value and increasing productivity, sales, revenue growth. And there are certainly a lot of sales recruiting tools that do that like we've just been talking about, things like predictive analytics, etc., as well as tools that help ramp and accelerate team productivity in the digital world.
A lot of things, for example, that we're playing with, aside from the ride alongs and role plays, using video to do that on demand, so that we're not taking the team out of the field and letting them use video. And then all the valuable information that comes from video, like level of engagement, distress, and things like that. A lot of cool stuff is out there and I would really encourage folks to check it out, again, not just for technology's sake but you have to identify what will actually move the need for your business.
Scot: Well, I want to thank Glassdoor for hosting this session today on Always Be Closing. And a big thank you to my panelists: Dina with Glassdoor, Natalie at Salesforce, Leah at Boston Beer, and Kevin at HireVue. Please join us. The conversation is going to continue at #GDChat. And also I encourage you to follow each of our panelists. They're handles are listed here on the screen. And Leah, we're going to have to work to get you a Twitter handle so people can follow you as well and engage with you later on.
I encourage you with our panelists. They've got a lot to share. There's a lot of great conversation going on out there around this topic of recruiting, ramping, and retaining the best talent. I hope you found this session useful today. Like I said at the beginning, we've recorded it. We will be sending it out as a follow-up. And we encourage you to share it with those who you think will benefit from this and weren't able to participate today. Thank you for joining us today. Have a great day.